The Offering of Four Requisites

Four requisites (clothing, food, shelter and medicine) are the daily necessities of monks and nuns. Offering four requisites to the monastics supports indirectly their cultivation of spiritual life, meditation and wisdom. Thus the donors are accruing great meritorious kamma for attaining liberation in the future.

Besides accumulating merits, Giving can cultivate and enhance our wisdom on Kamma too. When we give, we should avoid two extreme mentalities: the craving for returns (akusala citta: unwholesome mind) or the refusing of effects (akiriya diṭṭhi: wrong view of the inefficacy of action). We must realize that due to the natural law of cause and effect, the act of giving will naturally bring results. Hence, we must cultivate this Right View.

Apart from the recipient and appropriate item offered, a critical element during the act of giving (Dāna) is the quality of our mind. If we can offer joyously with a non-greed wholesome mind, our giving would be pure, taintless and wholesome.

Even if at times when we are unable to perform giving, we can learn to rejoice in others’ wholesome deed when we see others giving. Never be jealous nor ever look down on the act of giving performed by others as having both the ability and a willingness to offer in this samsara is hard to come by.

The good kammic result of Giving should not be used to fulfil worldly enjoyment or to achieve worldly gain and fame, but help to incline our mind towards the cessation of sufferings and to attain the ultimate happiness. As such, we should always end the act of a giving with making aspiration. Let us aspire that the accumulated merits would be conducive to the eradication of all our defilements, may the meritorious deeds be the supportive condition for the realization of Nibbāna.