Anguttara Nikaya


 

A'nguttara Nikaaya
4. Catukka Nipaata
VI. Pu~n~naabhisanda Vagga

The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
IV. The Book of the Fours
VI. Streams of Merit

Sutta 51

Pa.thama Pu~n~naabhisanda Sutta.m

Streams of Merit (1)

Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi
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[54] [440]

[1][pts] "Bhikkhus, there are these four streams of merit, streams of the wholesome, nutriments of happiness - heavenly, ripening in happiness, conducive to heaven - that lead to what is wished for, desired, and agreeable, to one's welfare and happiness.

What four?

"(1) When a bhikkhu enters and dwells in a measureless concentration of mind while using a robe [that one has given him], one acquires a measureless stream of merit, stream of the wholesome, a nutriment of happiness ... that leads ... to one's welfare and happiness.

(2) When a bhikkhu enters and dwells in a measureless concentration of mind while using almsfood [that one has given him], one acquires a measureless stream of merit, stream of the wholesome, a nutriment of happiness ... that leads ... to one's welfare and happiness.

[55] (3) When a bhikkhu enters and dwells in a measureless concentration of mind while using a lodging [that one has given him], one acquires a measureless stream of merit, stream of the wholesome, a nutriment of happiness ... that leads ... to one's welfare and happiness.

(4) When a bhikkhu enters and dwells in a measureless concentration of mind while using medicines and provisions for the sick [that one has given him], one acquires a measureless stream of merit, stream of the wholesome, a nutriment of happiness ... that leads to one's welfare and happiness.

"These are the four streams of merit, streams of the wholesome, nutriments of happiness - heavenly, ripening in happiness, conducive to heaven - that lead to what is wished for, desired, and agreeable, to one's welfare and happiness.

"When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple possesses these four streams of merit, streams of the wholesome, it is not easy to measure his merit thus: 'Just so much is his stream of merit, stream of the wholesome, nutriment of happiness ... that leads to ... one's welfare and happiness'; rather, it is reckoned simply as an incalculable, immeasurable, great mass of merit.

"Bhikkhus, just as it is not easy to measure the water in the great ocean thus:

'There are so many gallons of water,'

or

'There are so many hundreds of gallons of water,'

or

'There are so many thousands of gallons of water,'

or

'There are so many hundreds of thousands of gallons of water,'

but rather it is reckoned simply as an incalculable, immeasurable, great mass of water; so too, when a noble disciple possesses these four streams of merit ... it is reckoned simply as an incalculable, immeasurable, great mass of merit."

Just as the many rivers used by the hosts of people,
flowing downstream, reach the ocean,
the great mass of water, the boundless sea,
the fearsome receptacle of heaps of gems;
[56] so the streams of merit reach the wise man
who is a giver of food, drink, and cloth;
[they reach] the donor of beds, seats, and covers
like rivers carrying their waters to the sea.


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