Points of Controversy

17.11. Of the Sanctification of the Gift

Controverted Point: That a gift is sanctified by the giver only, not by the recipient.

Theravādin: Now are not some who receive gifts “worthy of offerings, attentions, gifts, salutations, the world’s supreme field of merit”? And did not the Exalted One pronounce the four pairs of men, the eight kinds of individuals to be worthy of gifts? And are there not those who, having offered a gift to a Stream-Winner, Once-Returner, Never- Returner or Arahant, make the gift effective? How then can you maintain your proposition?

Uttaiapathakas: But if a gift may be sanctified by the recipient, does not he become the agent for quite a different person? Does not one person work the happiness or the misery of another? Does not one sow, another reap?

Theravādin: Now was it not said by the Exalted One:

“There are four ways, Ānanda, of sanctifying a gift. Which are the four? A gift may be sanctified by the giver, not by the recipient; a gift may be sanctified by the recipient, not by the giver; or it may be sanctified by both; or, again, by neither.”

Hence it is surely wrong to say: “A gift is sanctified only by the giver, not by the recipient.”