A great practice in giving “Abhaya Dāna”
“Dāna” means giving or donating. It is one of the highest qualities of human civilization, accepted and appreciated by all religions and societies.
In the teaching of the Buddha ‘dāna’ occupies a unique place. The supreme goal of Buddhists is to reach Nirvāna which is the cessation of all suffering. The three steps towards achieving this is Dāna (giving) Sēla (virtuous living through discipline or morality) and Bhāvanā (meditation).
The highest spiritual attainment before reaching Nirvāna is to become a Buddha (Enlightened One or the Awakened One). The path to reaching Buddhahood is to practice Dasa Pāramithā (Ten Perfections) of which the practice of ‘Dāna’ is the first. It is to donate food, clothes, houses, medicine and other such essentials needed for living. It means helping by whatever means a person suffering due to the lack of all or some of the above.
This noble practice is meant not only to serve humans but also other living creatures. We should pay attention to animals and other sentient beings suffering due to disease, hunger and other difficulties.
Ven. Dr. Omaple Sobhita Thera