Khp 8: Nidhikaṇḍa Sutta—The Discourse on the Amount of Savings

Can a thief steal your merit? How can you really protect your wealth for the future?

A man stores his savings
in a deep pit close to water thinking:
“When a duty or need has arisen
it will be there to help me,

to free me from a king if slandered, or from molestation
from a thief, or from a debt, or famine, or accident.”
For this kind of help, savings are stored up in the world.

Although it is well stored
in a deep pit, close to water,
still, it cannot help him in all things on every occasion,

for perhaps those savings are removed from that place,
or he forgets the signs telling where they lie,
or nāgas take them away,
or yakkhas carry them off,

or the heirs he dislikes
extract them unseen,
and when his merit comes to an end
all of it will be destroyed.

But that woman or man who through giving, virtue,
restraint, and self-control has well stored up his savings,
placing them in a shrine, or in the Sangha,
or in an individual, or a guest,

or in his mother or father,
also in an elder brother,
those savings are well stored up,
they follow one, they do not decay.

Riches he gives up when he has to leave this life
but this goes along with him.
It is not shared with others,
no thief carries those savings away,

the wise man should make merit,
for those savings follow one along.
These savings satisfy every desire of gods and men,
whatever they wish for,
through this merit they receive all.

A good appearance, a good voice,
a good shape, a good form,
sovereignty, and a retinue,
through this merit they receive all.

A local kingship, an empire,
and whatever happiness a Wheel-Rolling King has,
also godly kingship in the heavens,
through this merit they receive all.

Human good fortune,
delight in the world of the gods,
even the attainment of Emancipation,
through this merit they receive all.

With the attainment of good friends,
devotion to systematic thought,
there is the power of understanding and freedom,
through this merit they receive all.

The discriminations, and the liberations,
and whatever perfections the disciples have,
Independent Awakening, the Buddhas’ ground,
through this merit they receive all.

So this is of great benefit,
that is to say, the attainment of merit,
therefore the wise and intelligent always praise the making of merit.

Translated by Bhikkhu Ānandajoti.

The text and translation, together with detailed notes and discussions, may be found in multiple formats on the translator’s website, Ancient Buddhist Texts.

The original translation is released under the following licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


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