Being on the receiving end of dana

Bhikkhus & Friends,

It happened that in this life, i have been on the receiving end of generosity. I encountered the Buddha’s teachings, i have good and supportive family, and i have not very demanding job to earn a living.

I have no memories of past lives. Based on memories of my actions in this life, i have no reasons to believe that i am worthy of such gifts. I developed some skill in identifying the shortcomings of the world, and often sharing it with others. On the other hand, i feel that the world is somehow helping me by not exposing my shortcomings in the public sphere. When i do something wrong or break a precept, it happens that things unfold in a way that does not make me embarrassed publicly.

While i am only a lay follower, i take the monastic rules as inspirations for higher standards and better conduct. Being worthy of receiving alms is often mentioned in the suttas, and is somehow linked to inner qualities that i currently lack.

I often resist developing a sense of entitlement, but i have no objective reasons to believe that i am worthy. What should i do?


Yes! I’d recommend chanting the Brahma-vihāra lines in your native language:

May I abide in well-being
In freedom from affliction
In freedom from hostility
In freedom from ill-will
In freedom from anxiety
And may I maintain well-being in myself

May everyone abide in well-being
In freedom from hostility
In freedom from ill-will
In freedom from anxiety
And may they maintain well-being in themselves

May all beings be released from all suffering
And may they not be parted from the good they have attained

When they act upon intention, all beings are the owners of their action and inherit its results.
Their future is born from such action, companion to such action, and its results will be their home.
All actions with intention—be they skillful or harmful—of such acts they will be the heirs.

Chant it as a blessing…and to cultivate :grin:


Sadhu sir, you are honest. Very rare a person has bravery to accept his weaknesses and strengths as it is. Only people of high virtue are able to be honest with themselves regarding their morality and virtue. You have a great respect for buddha, dhamma and sangha, you know their place and conduct which is superior to ordinary laypeople like us. As far as I can think of you are actually worthy of all those things, because otherwise why would you get such things in the first place? You are like layperson from Lord Buddha’s time!:pray: Even I also many times think that I might not be worthy of things which I am getting. Maybe it’s a good thing to not have big sense of entitlement as it can develop sense of detachment, which is necessary on the path to achieve liberation gradually. You can own things you are getting with happiness and rejoicing in past good deeds! Although I don’t think you need to resist the sense of entitlement, instead you can take responsibility for every good and bad thing that happens to you, I guess that’s what is meant by samyak drishti (right view from noble eightfold path). Anyways glad to meet you!

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I’ve had the good fortune to know you for many years, and based on your views and what you have shared, you seem very receptive to the themes described in the Canon. That alone is tremendous achievement, and in that sense you have already given back both to your own path and to the community around you. There are many directions to give attention. You have more than earned the right to look forward. At where you want the Dhamma to lead. If you keep putting in the work, that goal is well-within reach.

If you weren’t worthy, the wisdom you’ve found in the Dhamma would’ve went right over your head and you would have left it alone long ago. That has never been the case as far as I have seen. I’ve cherished your enthusiasm and views for years and you are exactly the sort of good friend to have around. :slightly_smiling_face:


One of the lovely things that I feel about generosity is that you always need both sides - the giver and the receiver. Both are equally important in allowing the wonderful flow of generosity that we see in the world. Another lovely thing that I have noticed about generosity is that it is not a transaction, there is no balance sheet. One side doesn’t lose out, both sides gain and generosity multiplies as it flows through the world.

For me, I find that it is very important to encourage any flow of generosity and to never hinder it, whatever side we happen to be on.