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Samyutta Nikaya
Sotāpatti Saṁyutta

55.41 Asaṅkheyya Sutta
Incalculable 1

How do we create happiness?

“Monks, there are four kinds of streams of merit and streams of wholesomeness that generate happiness. What four? It’s when a noble disciple has unshakable confidence in the Buddha… the Dhamma… the Saṅgha… and he has the virtue loved by the noble ones… leading to concentration… These are the four kinds of streams of merit and streams of wholesomeness that generate happiness.

“When a noble disciple has these four kinds of streams of merit and streams of wholesomeness, it’s not easy to measure how much merit he has by saying, ’This is the amount of happiness generated by his stream of merit and stream of wholesomeness.’ His merit is simply incalculable, immeasurable and is vast.

“It’s like trying to measure how much water is in the ocean. It’s not easy to say how many bucketfuls, how many hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of bucketfuls there are. It’s simply incalculable, immeasurable and is a great mass of water.

“In the same way, when a noble disciple has these four kinds of streams of merit and streams of wholesomeness, it’s not easy to measure how much merit he has by saying, ’This is the amount of happiness generated by his stream of merit and stream of wholesomeness.’ His merit simply is incalculable, immeasurable and is vast.”

That is what the Buddha said. Then the Blessed One, further said,

“The great ocean which holds a huge quantity of water,
is the home to many precious gems.
All the rivers that flow through villages
finally reach the great ocean which is deep and terrifying.

“So too, when a person gives food, drink, and clothes;
and he’s a giver of beds, seats, and mats—
the streams of merit reach that wise person,
just as the rivers bring their waters to the great ocean.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 55.41 Asaṅkheyya Sutta: Incalculable 1

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