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Translations of
English generosity,
attitude of giving
Pali dāna
Sanskrit dāna
Chinese 布施
Japanese --
(rōmaji: fuse)
Korean --
(RR: posi)
Tibetan སྦྱིན་པ་
(THL: jinpa; WYL: sbyin pa)
Paramita icon 125px.png
Dana is one of the six (or ten)

Dana (Sanskrit; Pali) is typically translated as "generosity". It is defined as generosity or attitude of giving; it can also refer to cultivating this attitude of giving.

Dana is one of the most highly-regard virutes in Buddhism.[1] The practice of dana is said to purify and transform the mind of the giver.[2]

On the mundane (worldly) level, it is thought that generosity developed through giving can lead to experience of material wealth in this life, or being reborn into a situation of greater wealth or prosperity.

Dana paramita

The paramita of dana is regarded as:


In the Pāli Canon's Dighajanu Sutta, generosity (denoted there by the Pāli word cāga, which can be synonymous with dāna) is identified as one of the four traits conditioning happiness and wealth in the next life. Conversely, lack of giving leads to unhappy states and poverty.

Dāna leads to one of the pāramitās or "perfections", the dānapāramitā. This can be characterized by unattached and unconditional generosity, giving and letting go.

Tibetan Buddhism

In the Tibetan tradition, it is taught that giving without seeking anything in return leads to greater spiritual wealth. Moreover, it reduces the acquisitive impulses that ultimately lead to continued suffering.[3]


  1. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Dana
  2. Stewart McFarlane in Peter Harvey, ed., Buddhism. Continuum, 2001, page 186.
  3. Tsong-kha-pa (2002). Guy Newland, ed. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, Volume II. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, ed. in chief. Canada: Snow Lion. ISBN 1-55939-168-5. : 236, 238