Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part VII by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

(100) Kammic cause of poverty and affluence

(5A) If no offer of charity (ten kinds in number such as offerings of, rice-meal, milk, robes, transport, flowers, incense, fragrant substances, bed, building, light e.g. candles, oil-lamps, etc.) is made, or if the acts of charity done by others are deterred, such actions will probably cause one to land in Apaya. If he happens to be reborn in the world of human beings, he can be indigent and stricken with poverty. The gist of it, briefly put, is quoted below:

“Appabhogasamvattanika esa manava patipada yadidam na data hoti.”‘

Mavana – 0, Subha, the lad, yadidam-yo ayam – a certain person, na data – is not used to making charity, or rather, is miserly and stingy, hoti – it so happens. Tassa – His (that person’s), esa patipada – (this) habit of stinginess not wishing to do charity, appabhogasamvattanika – is probably the cause of becoming needy and poor or lacking in wealth.

The essence of this statement is composed partly in a motto as: “Refraining from doing charity will cause extreme poverty.” By doing charity with generosity, one may probably reach the abode of Devas (Sugati). If relegated from there to human existence, he is most likely to become wealthy and prosperous. This has been preached in a nutshell as:

(5B) ‘Mahabhogasamvattanika esa manava patipada yadidam data hoti”

Manava – 0, Subha, the lad, Yadidam-yo ayam – a certain person, data – usually offers charity or performs charitable deeds, hoti – it is so done. Tassa – That person’s, patipada – usual practice of making donation, mahabhogasamvattanika – is likely to bring about wealth. This is phrased in a motto as follows (to be recited in combination with the relevant portion of the expression described herein before).

(5) “Refraining from doing charity causes extreme poverty; charity brings wealth and prosperity.”

This Danakatha, the expression of rejoicing – anumodana Dhamma in respect of the charity done being heard of so often is well-known. However, the story of Ananda the rich, is relevant to the expression: “Refraining from doing charity causes extreme poverty,” needs illustration.