Transfer/Sharing merit limits

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TRobinson465
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Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by TRobinson465 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:56 am

Hi there,

Based on the scriptures, are there any limits as to what kind of beings can receive merit when someone tries to share it? Its pretty clear that hungry ghosts can receive merit shared to them by the living, but I'm curious as to if other beings are able to also.

https://suttacentral.net/pv5/en/kiribathgoda
https://suttacentral.net/pv16/en/kiribathgoda
https://suttacentral.net/pv13/en/kiribathgoda
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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DooDoot
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by DooDoot » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:32 am

My view is 'hungry ghosts' are looking for love so its easy to give merits to 'hungry ghosts'.

But beings that have reached the 'human state' don't need our merits; similar to how a millionaire does not need our $10 gift.

'Hell beings' are often too trapped by their 'dukkha' to be able to use another's merits (similar to the often impossibility of giving advice to a person heavily addicted to drugs & destructive behaviour or a person with deep heartbreak, grief & depression).

'Animals' are often too ignorant to appreciate your merits; like when you feed the neighbor's dog but the dog continues to bark at you.

So sharing merits with 'hungry ghosts' theoretically brings the best results. :heart:

That's probably why the followers of many metta monks resemble groupies of rock stars.
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TRobinson465
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by TRobinson465 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:01 am

So to clarify. i am asking about literal merit and literal hungry ghosts and apparitions. Other view points on "merit" and "hungry ghosts" are fine, but they are not what i am looking for in posing this question.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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DooDoot
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by DooDoot » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:04 am

OK. My merits are not appreciated. Its OK. :anjali:
The Supreme Buddha gave this sermon to King Bimbisara after an alms offering to the Sangha.

Beings in the ghost world do not farm, herd cattle, trade, buy, sell, or use gold and money. They survive on merits shared by humans. As water that rains on a mountain-top flows down to the bottom, so will the merits shared from the human world reach the beings in the ghost world. Just as streams of water fill the ocean, so will the merits shared from the human world reach the beings in the ghost world.

https://suttacentral.net/pv5/en/kiribathgoda
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by salayatananirodha » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:08 am

16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

James Tan
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by James Tan » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:41 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:32 am
My view is 'hungry ghosts' are looking for love so its easy to give merits to 'hungry ghosts'.

But beings that have reached the 'human state' don't need our merits; similar to how a millionaire does not need our $10 gift.

'Hell beings' are often too trapped by their 'dukkha' to be able to use another's merits (similar to the often impossibility of giving advice to a person heavily addicted to drugs & destructive behaviour or a person with deep heartbreak, grief & depression).

'Animals' are often too ignorant to appreciate your merits; like when you feed the neighbor's dog but the dog continues to bark at you.

So sharing merits with 'hungry ghosts' theoretically brings the best results. :heart:

That's probably why the followers of many metta monks resemble groupies of rock stars.
Hungry ghost need some foods that's why they are called hungry ghost and if possible they wanted to eat . Love , nay.

Millionaire still would be happy if everyone give him $10 gift .

If not mistaken hungry ghost does need others merits and was mentioned in the sutta.

After I fed my neighbour dog he became friendly towards us.

:hug:
:reading:

TRobinson465
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by TRobinson465 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:26 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:04 am
OK. My merits are not appreciated. Its OK. :anjali:
The Supreme Buddha gave this sermon to King Bimbisara after an alms offering to the Sangha.

Beings in the ghost world do not farm, herd cattle, trade, buy, sell, or use gold and money. They survive on merits shared by humans. As water that rains on a mountain-top flows down to the bottom, so will the merits shared from the human world reach the beings in the ghost world. Just as streams of water fill the ocean, so will the merits shared from the human world reach the beings in the ghost world.

https://suttacentral.net/pv5/en/kiribathgoda
No worries, they would certainly be welcome elsewhere, just not what I am asking in this particular question.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:06 am

TRobinson465 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:56 am
Based on the scriptures, are there any limits as to what kind of beings can receive merit when someone tries to share it?
In the Milindapañha the benefit of dedicating the merit of a gift to one's deceased relatives is limited to those who have been reborn as just one of the four sub-species of peta. It's explicitly denied that there can be any benefit to those reborn in hell, heaven, as animals or in the other three peta sub-species. Curiously nothing is stated one way or the other about those reborn as humans.

Rhys Davids' translation:

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/mil6.3.4

I.B. Horner's:
Pubba-peta-panha.pdf
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James Tan
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by James Tan » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:51 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:06 am
TRobinson465 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:56 am
Based on the scriptures, are there any limits as to what kind of beings can receive merit when someone tries to share it?
In the Milindapañha the benefit of dedicating the merit of a gift to one's deceased relatives is limited to those who have been reborn as just one of the four sub-species of peta. It's explicitly denied that there can be any benefit to those reborn in hell, heaven, as animals or in the other three peta sub-species. Curiously nothing is stated one way or the other about those reborn as humans.

Rhys Davids' translation:

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/mil6.3.4

I.B. Horner's:

Pubba-peta-panha.pdf
Bhante ,

1.
I have a question , this wasn't of the words of the Buddha ?

2. About the pretas , who live on the gifts of others , does here referring to foods ?

Thanks.


<<

‘Those who have been reborn in purgatory, O king, do not; nor those reborn in heaven; nor those reborn as animals. And of those reborn as Pretas three kinds do not-the Vantāsikā (who feed on vomit), the Khuppipāsino (who hunger and thirst.), the Nijjhāma-taṇhikā (who are consumed by thirst). But the Paradattūpajīvino (who live on the gifts of others) they do derive profit, and those who bear them in remembrance do so too.’
>>
:reading:

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Dhammanando
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:42 pm

James Tan wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:51 am
1. I have a question , this wasn't of the words of the Buddha ?
No. It's the arahant Nāgasena talking to King Milinda some time in the 2nd century BCE.
James Tan wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:51 am
2. About the pretas , who live on the gifts of others , does here referring to foods ?
No. When the term paradattūpajīvī is applied to humans (e.g., in the Muni Sutta and the Mātaṅga Jātaka) it refers to living off others' gifts of food, as practised by those gone forth into the homeless life. But applied to petas it means those of them who subsist on merit dedicated to them by humans.

Khettūpamā arahanto, dāyakā kassakūpamā,
Bījūpamaṃ deyyadhammaṃ, etto nibbattate phalaṃ.

Etaṃ bījaṃ kasi khettaṃ, petānaṃ dāyakassa ca,
Taṃ petā paribhuñjanti, dātā puññena vaḍḍhati.


“Like a field are the arahants, like farmers are those who give;
Like seed is the merit-offering: from this the fruit is produced.

“This seed, field and cultivation are (desirable) for both the petas and the giver;
The petas make use of it, whilst the donor grows through that merit.”
(Petavatthu 1)

See the attached file for the commentary to these verses.

.
Like a Field.pdf
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James Tan
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by James Tan » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:42 pm
James Tan wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:51 am
1. I have a question , this wasn't of the words of the Buddha ?
No. It's the arahant Nāgasena talking to King Milinda some time in the 2nd century BCE.
James Tan wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:51 am
2. About the pretas , who live on the gifts of others , does here referring to foods ?
No. When the term paradattūpajīvī is applied to humans (e.g., in the Muni Sutta and the Mātaṅga Jātaka) it refers to living off others' gifts of food, as practised by those gone forth into the homeless life. But applied to petas it means those of them who subsist on merit dedicated to them by humans.

Khettūpamā arahanto, dāyakā kassakūpamā,
Bījūpamaṃ deyyadhammaṃ, etto nibbattate phalaṃ.

Etaṃ bījaṃ kasi khettaṃ, petānaṃ dāyakassa ca,
Taṃ petā paribhuñjanti, dātā puññena vaḍḍhati.


“Like a field are the arahants, like farmers are those who give;
Like seed is the merit-offering: from this the fruit is produced.

“This seed, field and cultivation are (desirable) for both the petas and the giver;
The petas make use of it, whilst the donor grows through that merit.”
(Petavatthu 1)

See the attached file for the commentary to these verses.

.
Like a Field.pdf
Thanks bhante .
As mentioned above , the merits is Not transferable to deva, human, hell and animal .

However , I have a question , eg.
If an animal or human is at near death and we chant say for example the three Refuge and other sutta dedicate to them , does this has any benefits for the animal / human or even if they happen just dies ?
:reading:

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Dhammanando
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:22 pm

James Tan wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 pm
If an animal or human is at near death and we chant say for example the three Refuge and other sutta dedicate to them , does this has any benefits for the animal / human or even if they happen just dies ?
With humans it can be beneficial if the chanting is done in their presence and if all the factors that make a paritta recital efficacious are fulfilled. For details of these see Mingun Sayadaw's Great Chronicle of the Buddhas, pp. 537-42.

https://www.bps.lk/olib/mi/mi014.pdf

With animals it seems very unlikely to me that the factors could be fulfilled. Nevertheless I do it anyway, for example when I see a dog get run over and it's obvious that its death is imminent.

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DooDoot
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by DooDoot » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:53 am

James Tan wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:51 am
1.I have a question , this wasn't of the words of the Buddha ?
The relevant sutta was quoted by @Salayatananirodha.
salayatananirodha wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:08 am
Then there is the case where a certain person takes life, takes what is not given, engages in sensual misconduct, engages in false speech, engages in divisive speech, engages in abusive speech, engages in idle chatter, is covetous, bears ill will, and has wrong views. With the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the realms of the hungry shades. He lives there, he remains there, by means of whatever is the food of hungry shades. He lives there, he remains that, by means of whatever his friends or relatives give in dedication to him. This is the possible place for that gift to accrue to one staying there.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

James Tan
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by James Tan » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:32 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:22 pm
James Tan wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 pm
If an animal or human is at near death and we chant say for example the three Refuge and other sutta dedicate to them , does this has any benefits for the animal / human or even if they happen just dies ?
With humans it can be beneficial if the chanting is done in their presence and if all the factors that make a paritta recital efficacious are fulfilled. For details of these see Mingun Sayadaw's Great Chronicle of the Buddhas, pp. 537-42.

https://www.bps.lk/olib/mi/mi014.pdf

With animals it seems very unlikely to me that the factors could be fulfilled. Nevertheless I do it anyway, for example when I see a dog get run over and it's obvious that its death is imminent.
What do you mean by " factors " for both cases ?

Do you think the commentary could be inaccurate in many instances ?
:reading:

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Dhammanando
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Re: Transfer/Sharing merit limits

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:41 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:32 pm
What do you mean by " factors " for both cases ?
I mean the factors needed for a paritta recital to be effective, as given in the commentaries and summarized by Mingun Sayadaw in my link.
James Tan wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:32 pm
Do you think the commentary could be inaccurate in many instances ?
As far as the subject of parittas is concerned, the Milindapañha and commentaries are our only source of information. As the Buddha rejected haphazardism (ahetukavāda) there must be some kind of causal factors that make parittas work. Those stated in the commentaries seem very plausible to me.

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