On Giving "in Season"

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On Giving "in Season"

Post by HumbleThinker » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:04 pm

So on exploring various stuff on Access to Insight, I looked in the topic of generosity, apparently the first step in the Buddha's gradual process to enlightenment. I found a page that gave various verses addressing various aspects of generosity, and I began to think about when it is right to give given how many conservatives in particular push the idea of responsible charity. After a while a ran across this verse from the Sappurisadana Sutta:

"These five are a person of integrity's gifts. Which five? A person of integrity gives a gift with a sense of conviction. A person of integrity gives a gift attentively. A person of integrity gives a gift in season. A person of integrity gives a gift with an empathetic heart. A person of integrity gives a gift without adversely affecting himself or others."

What does it mean to "give a gift in season?" From the words alone, it would seem to have a lot to do with the last point of giving a gift that does not negatively affect the receiver. The usual conservative example of irresponsible giving is giving money to the homeless person on the street and that person immediately going to buy liquor, cigarettes, or drugs with that money. This is clearly unwanted, but balancing this reality with and Buddha's (more so Christ's in my case) call for generosity has always been an interest of mine. I would assume that such scenarios were in the Buddha's mind when he spoke this, so how would giving "in season" relate to this, if at all? Thanks for any information you can provide.
"I know that I know nothing" -Socrates

IOW, take what I say with a grain of salt, for I likely know as little or less than you do.

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Re: On Giving "in Season"

Post by cooran » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:30 pm

Hello Humble Thinker,

Bhikkhu Bodhi, in his recently published translation of the Anguttara Nikaya, translates this as 'timely'.

''Bhikkhus, there are these five gifts of a good person. What five? He gives a gift out of faith; he gives a gift respectfully; he gives a timely gift; he gives a gift unreservedly; he gives a gift without injuring himself or others''.

with metta
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: On Giving "in Season"

Post by gavesako » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:06 pm

For example this month: it is "civara-dana samaya" (robe-offering season) after the end of Vassa rainy season.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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Kim OHara
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Re: On Giving "in Season"

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:28 am

For another kind of example: If giving someone $100 in a week would get them out of jail but $100 now would keep them out of jail in the first place, giving it to them now is timely, and better.


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