Do I get merits for just avoiding dasa akusala?

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  • This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by Lal.
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    • #48461
      Jaro
      Participant

      Recently, I have been looking more closely at the subject of merit and have asked myself the following:

      Do I get merit if I just avoid dasa akusala? For example, if I do not lie, steal, kill, etc., does the mere renunciation of these acts already generate merit? Or does this result in merely producing “neutral” kamma that leads to equally “neutral” consequences?

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    • #48464
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. You do.

      This is an important point. Please feel free to ask questions/comment.

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    • #48466
      Jaro
      Participant

      Thank you for the clarification, Lal! That’s wonderful!

      You mentioned another interesting point that I would like to explore in more detail. You wrote:

      Another aspect is to engage in “puñña kamma” or “moral deeds,” like giving.

      Most people are probably familiar with this situation: Paying taxes to the government. When I change my mindset from “I think it’s unfair to pay so much tax” to “May my tax money help the people in this country and improve their lives” does this count as “puñña kamma”? I mean of course paying taxes is something I’m obligated to do anyway so I don’t know if it qualifies as “giving”. But can my mental attitude make a difference?

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    • #48467
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Paying taxes means paying one’s fair share to maintain the infrastructure (such as roads, the judicial system, etc.). That is more like “fulfilling one’s obligations.” (Of course, many governments spend carelessly, but that is a separate issue.)

      • “Giving” is to those who do not have other means to sustain life. That includes bhikkhus and the poor. That is done with “good intentions” and going over and above one’s necessary obligations.
      • “Giving” to the poor (and also animals) is out of compassion when seeing the suffering they go through. That generates “strong javana citta” with “good kammic energies.”
      • “Giving” to bhikkhus and temples helps sustain the “Buddha Sasana” for future generations, and that is even more meritorious. Buddha’s teachings will not survive without temples and bhikkhus.
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