Iti 3.60 Three Grounds for Making Merit

Puññakiriyavatthu Sutta


So said the Awakened One,

            the Arahant, as I heard it:


“There are three grounds for beneficial actions monks. [1]


What are they?


(1) The practice of giving,

(2) the practice of virtue,

(3) the practice of mental development. [2]


Theses are the three grounds for beneficial actions.”


This is what the Awakened One said.

Then he explained further:


“One should train in deeds yielding goodness,

Which leads to happiness now and in the future, [3]


a skillful behavior,

and developing a mind of Boundless Love.[4]


Whoever should develop these qualities,

these three sources of happiness, [5]

That sage lives in the world,

happy, untroubled,

and also in the coming life.”



This is what the Awakened One said, as I heard it.



[1] Tīṇimāni puññakiriyavatthūni.

[2] Dānamayaṁ puññakiriyavatthu, sīlamayaṁ …, bhāvanāmayaṁ …

[3] Puññameva so sikkheyya, āyataggaṁ sukhudrayaṁ; This concept and understanding is a hallmark of Buddhist thought and practice. The idea that, by doing good, we are the ones that benefit from it in the first place. Therefore, one should train in it! (Sikkheyya) Buddhists do not do good deeds for the sake of reputation or gains, they simply know that this will lead them to happiness, it is for their own good. And this process cannot be selfish, otherwise it is contradictory, these actions are all selfless actions, they aim at selflessness, they lead to selflessness (anatta) and contribute to all living beings’ welfare. Buddhist practitioners are the ones wishing to give, wishing to uphold a virtuous life, and wishing to develop their minds in Boundless Love or meditation. In their minds, they even see it as a training.

[4] Dānañca samacariyañca, mettacittañca bhāvaye. Just another instance where the Buddha makes clear that, by Bhāvanā or mental development, what is often translated as meditation, he means Mettābhāvanā (mettacittañca bhāvaye) the cultivation of Boundless Love or Loving-kindness.

[5] Ete dhamme bhāvayitvā, tayo sukhasamuddaye;

This is a gift of Dhamma

All Sutta Translations by Ānanda are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.