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Anguttara Nikaya VIII.39

Abhisanda Sutta

Rewards


"Monks, there are these eight rewards of merit, rewards of skillfulness, nourishments of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing, to welfare & happiness. Which eight?

"There is the case where a noble disciple has gone to the Buddha for refuge. This is the first reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing; to welfare & to happiness.

"Furthermore, the noble disciple has gone to the Dhamma for refuge. This is the second reward of merit...

"Furthermore, the noble disciple has gone to the Sangha for refuge. This is the third reward of merit...

"Now, there are these five gifts, five great gifts -- original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning -- that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & priests. Which five?

"There is the case where a noble disciple, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift -- original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning -- that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & priests. And this is the fourth reward of merit...

"Furthermore, abandoning taking what is not given (stealing), the noble disciple abstains from taking what is not given. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the second gift, the second great gift...and this is the fifth reward of merit...

"Furthermore, abandoning illicit sex, the noble disciple abstains from illicit sex. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the third gift, the third great gift...and this is the sixth reward of merit...

"Furthermore, abandoning lying, the noble disciple abstains from lying. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fourth gift, the fourth great gift...and this is the seventh reward of merit...

"Furthermore, abandoning the use of intoxicants, the noble disciple abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift -- original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning -- that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & priests. And this is the eighth reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing; to welfare & to happiness.


See also: AN IV.111, as an example of gentle training.
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Steps on the Way by Ayya Khema


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