Definitions for dāna

New Concise Pali English Dictionary
dāna

neuter a gift; giving; liberality; alms; applying.

Concise Pali English Dictionary
dāna
neuter gift; charity; alms; alms-giving.
PTS Pali English Dictionary
Dāna

neuter

  1. giving, dealing out, gift; almsgiving liberality, munificence; especially a charitable gift to a bhikkhu or to the community of bhikkhus, the Sangha (cp. deyyadhamma & yañña). As such it constitutes a meritorious act (puññaṁ) and heads the list of these, as enumerated in order, dānamaya puññaṁ, sīlamaya p. bhāvanāmaya p. viz. acts of merit consisting of munificence good character & meditation (DN.iii.218 e.g. cp. cāga, puñña, sīla). Thus in formula dānâdīni puññāni katvā Ja.i.168 Pv-a 66 Pv-a 105; cp. compounds under ˚maya.
  2. Special merit & importance is attached to the mahādāna the great gift, i.e. the great offering (of gifts to the Sangha), in character the buddhistic equivalent of the brahmanic mahāyajña the chief sacrifice. On 16 Mahādānas see Wilson Hindu Caste 413; on 4 Beal Chinese Texts 88
    AN.iv.246; Ja.i.50 Ja.i.74; Ja.v.383 (devasikaṃ chasatasahassa-pariccāgaṃ karonto mahādānaṃ pavattesi “he gave the great largesse spending daily 600,000 pieces”); Pv-a.19, Pv-a.22, Pv-a.75 Pv-a.127, etc
  3. Constituents, qualities & characteristics of a dāna: 8 objects suitable for gifts form a standard set (also enumerated as 10), viz. anna pāna vattha yāna mālā gandha-vilepana seyyāvasatha padīpeyya (bread water, clothes, vehicle, garlands, scented ointment conveniences for lying down & dwelliṅg, lightiṅg facility) AN.iv.239; cp. Pv.ii.4#9 & see ˚vatthu & deyyadhamma. Eight ways of giving alms at DN.iii.258 AN.iv.236. Five ways, called sappurisa-dāna (& asapp˚) at AN.iii.171 f.. Eight sapp˚ at AN iv.243. Five manners of almsgiving metaphorically for sīlas 1–⁠5 at AN iv.246 DN-a i.306 Five characteristics of a beneficial gift at AN iii.172 viz. saddhāya dānaṁ deti, sakkaccaṁ d.d. kālena (cp. kāladāna AN iii.41), anuggahitacitto, attānañ ca parañ ca anupahacca d.d
  4. Various passages showing practice & value of dāna: Vin.i.236; DN.i.53 (+ dama & saṃyama; cp. Iti.15; Pv-a.276); DN.ii.356 sq (sakkaccaṃ & a˚); AN.iv.392 sq. (id.); DN.iii.147 sq. DN.iii.190 sq., DN.iii.232; SN.i.98 (dānaṃ dātabbaṃ yattha cittaṃ pasīdati); AN.i.91 = Iti.98 (āmisa˚ and dhamma˚, material & spiritual gifts); AN.i.161; AN.iii.41 (dāne ānisaṃsā), AN.iv.60; AN.iv.237 sq. (mahapphala), AN.iii.392 sq. (˚ssa vipāka), AN.v.269 (petānaṃ upakappati); Ja.i.8 (aggaḷa˚); Ja.ii.112 (dinna˚), Ja.iii.52 (id.); Snp.263, Snp.713 (appaṃ dānaṃ samaṇabrāhmaṇānaṃ) Pv-a.54 (āgantuka˚ gift for the newcomer); Sdhp.211Sdhp.213.

adāna withholding a gift neglect of liberality, stinginess Pv.ii.9#45; Mil.279; Pv-a.25; cp. ˚sīla under compounds: atidāna excessive almsgiving Pv.ii.9#45 (cp. Pv-a.129) Mil.277

  • -agga Sanskrit dānāgara, cp. bhattagga, salākagga ‣See Trenckner, Note. p. 56 a house where alms or donations are given, a store-house of gifts, figuratively a source or giver of gifts, a horn of plenty Ja.vi.487 Dhp-a.i.152 Dhp-a.i.189 Mil.2 Pv-a.121 Pv-a.124 Pv-a.127 Pv-a.141. A possible connection with agga = āgra is suggested by combination dānāni mahādānāni aggaññāni AN.iv.246
  • -ādhikāra supervision or charge of alms-distributing. Pv-a.124 (cp. Pv.ii.9#27)
  • -ānisaṁsa praise of generosity Pv-a.9 cp. AN.iii.41
  • -upakaraṇa means or materials for a gift Pv-a.105
  • -upapatti (read uppatti at DN.iii.258) an object suitable for gifts, of which 8 or 10 are mentioned ‣See above c AN.iv.239 = DN.iii.258
  • -kathā talk or conversation about (the merit & demerit of almsgiving, one of the anupubbi-kathā Vin.i.15 Vin.i.18
  • -dhamma the duty or meritorious act of bestowing gifts of mercy (cp. deyyadhamma) Pv-a.9
  • -pati “lord of alms,” master in liberality, a liberal donor (defined by Buddhaghosa as: yaṁ dānaṁ deti tassa pati hutvā deti na dāso na sahāyo DN-a.i.298) DN.i.137 (+ saddho & dāyako, as one of the qualifications of a good king) AN.iii.39 AN.iv.79 sq (+ saddho) Snp.487 Pv.i.11#4 (+ amaccharin) Ja.i.199 Mil.279f.; Sdhp.275 Sdhp.303
  • -puñña the religious merit of almsgiving or liberality ‣See above a Pv-a.73
  • -phala the fruit of munificence (as accruing to the donor) AN.iii.39 AN.iv.79 Pv.ii.8#3 (˚ṁ hoti paramhi loke is rewarded in the life to come, cp. Iti.19) Pv-a.8 (cp. Pv.i.1)
  • -maya consisting in giving alms or being liberal ‣See above a DN.iii.218 (puññakiriya-vatthu) Vb.135 (kusala-cetanā), Vb.325 (pañña) Pv-a.8 (puñña), Pv-a.60 (identical) Pv-a.9 (kusala-kamma), Pv-a.51, etc
  • -vaṭṭa alms Ja.vi.333
  • -vatthu that which constitutes a meritorious gift almsgiving, beneficence, offering, donation DN.iii.258 AN.iv.236 Pv-a.20 (= annapānādika dasavidha dātabbavatthu Pv-a.7)
  • -veyyāvaṭika services rendered at the distribution of gifts Dhp-a.iii.19
  • -saṁvibhāga liberal spending of alms DN.iii.145 DN.iii.169 AN.i.150 AN.i.226 AN.iii.53 AN.iii.313; AN.v.331 Iti.19 Vism.306; frequently with ˚rata fond of giving alms SN.v.351 SN.v.392 AN.iv.6 (vigatamalamaccherena cetasā), AN.iv.266 (identical)
  • -salā a hall, built for the distribution of alms & donations to the bhikkhus & wanderers Ja.i.231 Ja.i.262 Ja.iv.402 (six); Ja.v.383 (identical)
  • -sīla liberal disposition Pv-a.89 usually as adāna-sīla (adjective) of miserly character, neglecting the duty of giving alms Snp.244 Pv.ii.8#3 (˚ā na saddahaṇti dānaphalaṁ hoti paramhi loke) Pv-a.45 (= adāyaka), Pv-a.59 (+ maccharin) Pv-a.68 (identical)

Ved. dāna, as in dadāti to give & in dāti, dyāti to deal out, thus: distribution (scil. of gifts); cp Gr. δάνος (present), Lat. damnum (E. damages); Gr δ ̈ωρον, Lat. donum; also Ags. tīd (= E. tide, portion, i.e. of time), & tīma (= E. time). See further dadāti dayati, dātta, dāpeti. Defn at Vism.60: dānaṃ vuccati avakhaṇḍanaṃ