Abhidhamma View: Recollection of the Sangha
[Presented by Dr.Tep Sastri @ sariputtadhamma/JTN]
Vism. p. 215-218 (excerpt):
89. One who wants to develop the recollection of the Community should go into solitary retreat and recollect the special qualities of the community of Noble Ones as follows: The community of the Blessed One's disciples has entered on the good way, the community of the Blessed One's disciples has entered on the straight way, the community of the Blessed One's disciples has entered on the true way, the community of the Blessed One's disciples has entered on the proper way, that is to say, the four pairs of men, the eight persons; this community of the Blessed One's disciples is fit for gifts, fit for hospitality, fit for offerings, fit for reverential salutation, as an incomparable field of merit for the world (A III 286).
93. The word yadida.m (that is to say) = yaani imaani. The four pairs of men: taking them pairwise, the one who stands on the first path and the one who stands in the first fruition as one pair, in this way there are four pairs. The eight persons: taking them by persons, the one who stands on the first path as one and the one who stands in the first fruition as one, in this way there are eight persons.
And there in the compound purisa-puggala (persons) the words purisa and puggala have the same meaning, but it is expressed in this way to suit differing susceptibility to teaching.This community of the Blessed One's disciples: this community of the Blessed One's disciples taken by pairs as the four pairs of men (purisa) and individually as the eight persons (purisa-puggala).
94. As to fit for gifts, etc.: what should be brought (aanetvaa) and given (hunitabba) is a gift (aahuna"lit. sacrifice); the meaning is, what is to be brought even from far away and donated to the virtuous. It is a term for the four requisites. The Community is fit to receive that gift (sacrifice) because it makes it bear great fruit, thus it is fit for gifts (aahuneyya).
96. Fit for hospitality (paahuneyya): hospitality (paahuna) is what a donation to visitors is called, prepared with all honours for the sake of dear and beloved relatives and friends who have come from all quarters. But even more than to such objects of hospitality, it is fitting that it should be given also to the Community; for there is no object of hospitality so fit to receive hospitality as the Community since it is encountered after an interval between Buddhas and possesses wholly endearing and lovable qualities. So it is fit for hospitality since the hospitality is fit to be given to it and it is fit to receive it.
97. Offering (dakkhi.na) is what a gift is called that is to be given out of faith in the world to come. The Community is worthy of that offering, or it is helpful to that offering because it purifies it by making it of great fruit, thus it is fit for offerings (dakkhi.neyya). It is worthy of being accorded by the whole world the reverential salutation (a~njali-kamma) consisting in placing both hands [palms together] above the head, thus it is fit for reverential salutation (a~njalikara.nÃ¬ya).
98. As an incomparable field of merit for the world: as a place without equal in the world for growing merit; just as the place for growing the king's or minister's rice or corn is the king's rice-field or the king's corn-field, so the Community is the place for growing the whole world's merit. For the world's various kinds of merit leading to welfare and happiness grow with the Community as their support. Therefore the Community is an incomparable field of merit for the world.
99. As long as he recollects the special qualities of the Sa.ngha in this way, classed as having entered on the good way, etc., then: On that occasion his mind is not obsessed by greed, or obsessed by hate, or obsessed by delusion; his mind has rectitude on that occasion, being inspired by the Sa.ngha (A III 286).
Love Buddha's dhamma,