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dāna (T. sbyin pa སྦྱིན་པ་; C. bushi; J. fuse; K. posi 布施) is translated as "generosity," "giving," "charity," etc.[1] 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 the experience of material wealth in this life, or being reborn into a situation of greater wealth or prosperity.

Dana paramita

The "perfection of giving" (dāna-pāramitā) is identified as:

Pali tradition

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 tradition

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. 1.0 1.1 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. dāna.
  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