SuttaCentral

The logic and advantages of supporting the Sangha

In the mood of Kathina season, I would like to share with everyone a nice fragment in which one finds a summary of the logic behind and advantages of lay disciples supporting the Sangha.

The fragment below shows the Buddha agreeing with the reasons put by Visākhā Migāramātā (aka Visākhā, Migāra’s mother) for the offering of an eightfold support to the Sangha at Sāvatthī: i) cloths for the rains, ii) alms for those coming, iii)departing, iv) sick and v)attending the sick, vi) medicine, vii)congee / rice porridge, and viii) bathing cloths, the sum of those being summarized as the eight boons.

“But having what advantage in mind do you, Visākhā, ask the Tathāgata for eight boons?”
(…)
“If they say to me: ‘Sāvatthī was previously visited by this monk,’ I shall come to the conclusion that undoubtedly cloths for the rains or food for those coming in or food for those going out or food for the sick or food for those who tend the sick or medicines for the sick or a constant supply of conjey was enjoyed by this master.

On my calling that to mind, joy (pāmujja) will arise in me;
from joy, rapture (pīti) will arise in me;
with a rapturous mind my body will be tranquil (passaddha);
with the body tranquil, I will experience pleasure (sukha);
because I will be feeling pleasure and ease, my mind will be still (samādhi);
by thus I will develop the five dominant factors or faculties (indriya)
by thus I will develop the five strengths (bala)
by thus I will develop the seven factors for Awakening (bojjhaṅga).

I, Lord, having this advantage in mind, am asking the Tathāgata for the eight boons.”

“It is very good, Visākhā, it is good that you, Visākhā, having this advantage in mind, are asking the Tathāgata for the eight boons. I allow you, Visākhā, the eight boons.”
Source: https://suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd8

It is interesting how the sequence listed by Visākhā resembles the first half of natural unfolding of enlightenment presented by the Buddha in the Ceta­nākara­ṇīya­sutta (AN10.2)

Thus, as a topic for discussion and discovery I ask:

Do anyone know of any other formulation in the suttas of a similar summary of the logic behind and advantages of lay disciples supporting the Sangha?

7 Likes

There is one sutta that I read a long time ago which I have been trying to find, but I just cannot find it!

It’s a lay woman (IIRC) who asks the Buddha for special permission to serve a meal to all the sick bhikkhus (and bhikkhunis?) - and the Buddha replies that he does not normally give permission to do this.

But then, the lay woman says “but if I get to tend to the sick monks, then afterwards I feel feel joy …[the whole sequence]…”

And the Buddha says something like “OK actually since you have understood the Dhamma so well I’ll let you do it :slight_smile:

If anyone knows this sutta, please post it! I’ve been trying to find it for ages :smiley:

4 Likes

Hi Erik,
That’s exactly what I quoted at the beginning of this topic.
It isn’t part of a sutta but found in the vinaya:

2 Likes