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Nepali Buddha Dharma and Buddhist Culture (ARTICLE IN NEPALI)
Can one be a Buddhist without believing in ‘Rebirth’? Bhikkhu Sugandha, Brunel University
Ten meritorious acts: A dharma talks at Executive Committee Meeting
Highlands Buddhism of Nepal , Anil Sakya
Lumbini Today, Arjun Pradhan and Amrit Sthapit

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Articles Taken from LUMBINI magazine, November 1998, volume 1:

Ten meritorious acts:
A dharma talks at Executive Committee Meeting

The last committee meeting took place in October at the residence of Bhikkhu Sugandha at West Drayton. As usual the meeting started with taking refuges to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, followed by taking of five precepts. After this Sugandha Bhante delivered dharma talk on the ten meritorious acts.

‘Merit is a great facilitator. It opens the doors of opportunity every where. A meritorious person will succeed in whatever venture he puts his effort into’ (Ven. Dhammananda).

Human mind has tendency to indulge in greed, hatred and delusion. A greedy mind gives rise to insatiable appetite for more. A hateful mind leads to dislike and anger. A deluded mind makes us think these roots of evil conditions as righteous and worthwhile conditions. Meritorious actions help us to lead happy and peaceful life.

There are ten types of meritorious acts:

1) Generosity (Dana): It is not simply giving something. It is the readiness of mind to give whenever and in whatever circumstances to help others. One can do that only if one has compassion towards others. It does not matter how much you give. It is the state of giving mind which is important. Dana could be in the material form like food, clothes, money, etc. It could be time spent in charitable and meritorious work. Giving knowledge to others is also a form of Dana.

2) Morality (Sila): It means to discipline one’s body, speech and mind from doing harmful actions towards oneself and the others. This can be done by either preventing oneself from wrong act or involving in rightful acts.

3) Meditation (Bhavana) : It is very easy to say what is meditation but very difficult to live accordingly. One needs a great deal of patience, effort and understanding of worldly conditions (atthalokadharma: gain and lost etc.). Meditation is to train mind to see things as they are. This is to overcome negativity in us so that our view can be right.

4) Reverence or respect (Apacayana): To respect teachers, parents, elders, etc. is the fourth meritorious act. Respecting teachers’ means valuing their knowledge. Honoring parents means understanding their love, kindness and compassion shown to us. Lack of these leads to misery in the society.

5) Rendering services (Veyyavacca): This means to serve elders, respectable people, patients and beings in need. This can be done by sharing one’s time and energy. It will reduce selfishness which is inherent on all of us, which is one of the causes of suffering.

6) Sharing merit (Pattidana): This is to transfer merit which one has accumulated. At the end of meritorious action we can share with others for their well being and happiness. This is also quality of sharing and selflessness.

7) Rejoicing in others’ good deed (Pattanumodana): This is to rejoice in others good action. It is opposite of jealousy but be joyful (mudit : sympathetic joy) in others success.

8) Giving dharma talk (Dhammadesana): It is regarded as the highest form of meritorious act. Food, clothes, money and other material things do not last long. On the other hand, giving knowledge will last for a life time and may change the mental attitude of the person for a better life.

9) Listening to the dharmadesana (Dhammasavana): By listening to the dharma talk it will help us to understand true nature of the world. Listening to the learned sages will always enlightened our understanding which will cultivate our mind for betterment in the life.

10) Right view (Ditthujukamma): This means to overcome from wrong attitude or view about world and self. When the attitude is good, the thought becomes good and the character becomes good. When the character becomes good, the purpose of the life becomes good.

Reported by Amrit R. Sthapit

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