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Generosity and Renunciation

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  • Generosity and Renunciation

    Dear Venerable Ajahn Brahmali,

    I once asked a monk, "Why is Generosity specifically not mentioned in the Noble EightFold Path?", To which he replied generosity comes under renunciation.(So I'm assuming that this fits in samma sankappa -> intention of renunciation).
    But now I've got another question, if that is the case then why is generosity and renunciation mentioned separately in the Paramitas., so there must be a difference between the two.

    In my personal opinion, the difference between generosity and renunciation is that in generosity we give in a direct manner to another living being, but in renunciation we give in a very indirect manner.

    Please let me know of your thoughts on this and whether the answer given for the first question is correct or not.

    With Metta.

  • #2
    Dear Abhishek,

    The main meaning of renunciation (nekkhamma) is the giving up of sensual pleasures. According to DN34, nekkhamma is the liberation from sense objects (DN III 275,15), which includes sensual pleasures.

    I would say generosity in included under right view (sammā-diṭṭhi). The standard formula for the right view of the ordinary person includes the following phrase: "There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed". Although having this view is not the same as being generous, I think it is reasonable to assume that generosity is implied as a natural extension of holding such a view.

    You are certainly right when you say that generosity is a "direct" way of giving. Renunciation, on the other hand, does not necessarily involve giving at all. So, yes, they are different things, or at least they have a different emphasis.

    With metta.

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    • #3
      Thank You Venerable Ajahn Brahmali for that reply.

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