Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

Chapter 15: Existence and Inexistence

3. Two Kinds of Gifts

1. Thus I have heard:[1] One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.

2. It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “There are two kinds of gifts. What are the two? They are Dharma gifts and material gifts.[2] Monks, the best of gifts doesn’t go beyond Dharma gifts.

3. Therefore, monks, you should always train in making Dharma gifts. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves.”

4. When the monks heard what the Buddha taught, they rejoiced and approved.


  1. This sūtra is parallel to AN 2.141. The next two also appear to be generally parallel to AN 2.141-150. This would appear to be another case of the curators of AN expanding a couple older sūtras into a full chapter of ten. [back]
  2. material gifts. C. 財施. The Pali parallel has āmisadāna. Āmisa generally means physical things. Sometimes it means specifically food or bodily concerns, but it can also been worldly possessions and wealth. It seems likely the same underlying term was translated here, but it was interpreted as possessions (presumably those typical of alms giving). [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 30 August 2023