As a layperson, in your daily life, in addition to your
responsibilities and obligations towards your family and
society, you also have to take care of your food,
clothing, money, family burdens, parents, brothers, wife,
and children. . You also have to take care of contributing
to society, and also have the additional responsibility of
protecting the Three Jewels, helping monks and nuns have
conditions, time to study and practice. That is, in
addition to social issues, the duty to take care of the
family, the duty of a citizen in a country, and also to
protect the Three Jewels is not an easy thing to do. To do
this, it is required that Buddhists have solid Bodhicitta,
clear perception, correct understanding, and understanding
of the causes of merit and karma to be able to do so.
In terms of society, in the current era, with the
development of multifaceted globalization, you pay much
attention to the economic aspect, because it brings
material benefits to people. However, besides, it entails
many unpredictable relationships, in which the distinction
between rich and poor has made people difficult to
approach, and not friendly to each other.
Because of the difference between rich and poor according
to Buddhist teachings, karma is understood in simple,
common sense as cause and effect. According to the law of
cause and effect of wealth and poverty, those who lack
altruism, who only care about their own interests, and who
do not think about others are those who have miserly
karma. Therefore, giving and making offerings is the
foundation of good things to erase the gap, creating
conditions for people to be closer and closer to each
other. Especially for those who are walking on the path of
enlightenment and liberation.
As it was said once, in this world, the rich, the glorious
career, the success, the fame, and fortune do not come
naturally, but it is the result of their cultivation and
accumulation of virtue in many previous lives. Nothing in
this world happens by accident. If you want to be rich,
powerful, and prosperous in the future, in this life you
must know how to give, make offerings, help, and share
according to your ability. As a Buddhist, you must be
aware of this, if you want to be rich, and have a lot of
wealth, but at the moment you don't know how to do good
deeds, you probably don't have the opportunity to get
Practicing doing meritorious deeds, giving alms, making
offerings or helping, and sharing love with others is the
first goal in Buddhism. The Buddha taught you to know how
to let go of greed, selfishness, pettiness, and meanness,
only knowing how to live for yourself, whoever suffers
regardless. Buddhism always encourages you to give up such
a narrow, selfish lifestyle, because it loses the meaning
of humanity. On the contrary, Buddhism advocates living in
harmony with humanity, with the concept that everyone is a
lover and relative, so each person has the responsibility
and duty to love, care for and help each other in the
spirit of selflessness, and altruism.
The reason is that Buddhism clearly sees that the lives of
all species must depend on each other, and no species can
be separated from the mutual support that can survive in
this vast and harsh universe. The Buddha has practiced
becoming fully enlightened, he clearly sees all the
differences and disagreements between humans and all
species, like a person standing on a high floor looking
down at the crossroads and seeing rich, happy, wealthy
people materially adequate, the poor and destitute, the
hungry and destitute, wandering. The rich, the cowardly,
the ugly, the beautiful, the stupid, the wise, the
short-lived, the long-lived, the happy, the miserable,
etc. Therefore, the Buddha affirmed:
- If you want to enjoy good retribution now and in the
future, you must know how to plant blessings right now to
So what is a blessed person?
People with blessings are those who have a stable life,
full material means, a house, money, fame, good food, and
warm clothes. Living in a family above and below, being
respectful and polite to the people above, loving and
caring for the people below. Be filial to grandparents and
parents. Parents know how to teach their children good and
right things, stay away from evil friends, stay close to
good friends, live in love, and help others.
If you do not do merit now, but want to be blessed in the
future, it is not possible. Just like before, you have
never done meritorious deeds, now do not be blessed to
enjoy. Remember, doing the goodwill of course be blessed,
and enjoying the blessing without continuing to do good
will end the blessing.
Knowing this, each of you must try to cultivate virtue. A
day in the world should be a useful day for you and for
others, without harming anyone. On the contrary, people
live in poverty, not enough food to eat, and not enough
clothes to wear. In the family, there are often quarrels,
disagreements, and conflicts with each other because of
So what is a blessing?
Blessings are actions, words, and thoughts that bring
happiness to people now and in the future. People who know
how to do good deeds are good people, so they are loved
and close to everyone. Thanks to that closeness, you
easily sympathize, understand, love, tolerate, and forgive
each other, ready to commit and serve in the spirit for
the benefit of others.
Among the deeds that are considered meritorious, which are
mentioned and praised by many people are:
- Road construction, and bridge construction
Transport is an extremely important factor in all
activities of the society. Even in your small house, there
needs to be a path, and from village to village, from
region to region, all need roads to communicate. You
travel to do business, buy and sell, study, visit...
Almost all human activities are related to the road,
including air and waterway. If the roads are blocked, all
your activities will face many obstacles, even causing
At present, in advanced countries, roads belong to
national projects and are constructed with high
technology. The highways and the high-speed train tracks
are executed to perfection. The transport network within
the country, and across the country are constantly
developing. The UK and France have completed the tunnel
through the Manche, to connect the two countries by the
road going under the sea.
In the past, construction techniques for bridge and road
construction were still poor. Dusty dirt roads and jagged
roads connect villages and towns together. People have to
overcome dangerous hills and strong rivers with their feet
or with horsepower. Even sitting on a horse-drawn
carriage, with round wheels, was not happy because of the
fierce shock. Due to limited traffic, cultural exchanges
and social development are limited.
Therefore, the construction of roads and bridges is
focused on. Talking about building bridges and roads as
well as the merits of doing this, in the scriptures of
Northern Buddhism, there is a bodhisattva named
Dharanimdhara with the vow to forever appear in samsara to
sow conditions with people by repairing roads and bridges.
The story is:
- In the past life, Bodhisattva Dharanimdhara was born
right at the time when the Buddha of Universal Light
appeared in the world. When he heard about the
Buddhadharma, he immediately set out to leave home and
vowed that as long as he lived, in that life he would use
all his strength to build bridges and roads for sentient
beings. Whenever he saw a dangerous place, he repaired it
so that the traffic road would be safe and convenient.
Therefore, since becoming a monk, Bodhisattva
Dharanimdhara often goes to rough roads, wharves, rugged
fields, or uneven roads. In order to prevent harm to horse
carts and ox carts, he immediately laid them flat, built
bridges and sewers, and worked diligently in this way
through countless Buddha appearances.
When Vishvabhu was born, the world was often hungry. He
worked as a transporter, regardless of near and far, only
renting for $1.00 dollar. If a buffalo cart got stuck in
the mud, he would come to help and save all the sufferings
of sentient beings. Or there are sentient beings in the
markets, needing someone to move materials and carry
things, he immediately comes to help, when he carries or
carries to the place, he puts it down to the ground, then
leaves immediately without taking payment.
In addition to building bridges and building roads, seeing
old people or children having to carry something heavy and
bulky, Bodhisattva Dharanimdhara hurriedly ran to carry
it, regardless of the distance or near, and absolutely did
not accept any kind of recompense. Therefore, he was
respected by many people.
For many such lifetimes, Bodhisattva Dharanimdhara worked
hard with one heart, without entertainment, without
fatigue, without complaining, and without boasting.
Once, when the king set up an altar to make offerings to
the Tathagata, Bodhisattva Dharanimdhara knew about it. He
immediately hurriedly carefully repaired the road that the
Tathagata was about to cross to make it smooth, and then
stood respectfully waiting for the Tathagata.
When Vishvabhu passed that road, he praised the
bodhisattva Dharanimdhara for his spirit of working for
people and reached out his hand to rub the top of the
bodhisattva's head, saying:
- You develop the mind to repair all roads so that
everywhere is flat. If the land is flat, the mind is also
equal, in the future you will attain enlightenment very
Bodhisattva Dharanimdhara, hearing Tathagata's
explanation, immediately became enlightened, knowing that
there is no difference between his body and the world and
all things, and he knows that his nature is inherently
calm and immaculate, no self exists. So he attained
That is the story of the past life of Bodhisattva
Dharanimdhara. And a touching story is told in Collecting
Sand and Stone, translated by Do Dinh Dong as follows:
Zenkai, the son of a Samurai, travels to Edo and becomes
the servant of a high-ranking official there. Zenkai fell
in love with the officer's wife and it was discovered. In
self-defense, Zenkai killed the husband and led his wife
Later, due to poverty, the two became thieves, but the
woman was so greedy that Zenkai became scornful.
Eventually, Zenkai left the woman and went to a remote
province called Buzen. In Buzen to redeem the past, Zenkai
decided to do some good deeds in life. Knowing that there
is a dangerous road on the rocky mountainside that has
injured and killed many people, Zenkai decided to dig a
tunnel through the rock.
So Zenkai begged for food during the day and dug mountains
at night. When Zenkai was over 30 years old, the tunnel
was dug 695 meters long, 6 meters high, and 9 meters wide.
Two years before the road work was completed, a son of an
officer killed by Zenkai, learned the sword and became a
master of the sword, found Zenkai, and wanted to kill
Zenkai to avenge his father. Zenkai says:
- I will give my life for you, but let me finish this
work. When the job is done you can kill me as well.
The mandarin's son agreed to wait until the day was done.
Months passed and Zenkai continued digging. The mandarin's
son became depressed because he had nothing to do, so he
began to help Zenkai dig mountains. After helping Zenkai
for over a year, he came to respect Zenkai's courage and
character and respected Zenkai as his Master. The tunnel
was finally completed and people were able to pass through
safely. At that time Zenkai said:
- Now that the job is done, cut off my head!
The young man said through two tears:
- How can I cut off the master's head?
In this story to show you, Zenkai's hard work and
tunneling have erased the deep hatred of the son of the
official who was killed by Zenkai. In addition to this,
Zenkai enjoys immeasurable blessings in the future.
This blessing does not stop at the person who makes
contributions, even those who support directly or
indirectly are also blessed. Indeed, there was a Buddhist
who sold soy milk to workers while working on the road
from Phan Rang to Ninh Chu. This Buddhist, although her
livelihood is based only on selling soy milk to support
her family, this Buddhist is not so important, so she
half-sells and half-helps to foster health for the workers
building the road nearby. But no one expected that this
Buddhist is creating great merit. Due to the help and
health promotion for road workers, one day, the head of
the project found out about her poor family and he helped
this Buddhist to open a grocery store right in the middle
of the market in the city of Phan Rang, this Buddhist
The blessings of building bridges and roads do not stop at
escaping poverty but also increase life expectancy. Mr.
Nguyen Van An, in Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan, just 29 years
old, one day dreamed that his dead father appeared and
- Your life will end this year, you can ask master Tuong
Kim to save you.
When Mr. An woke up, he was confused and did not
understand anything. One day, a monk suddenly came to his
house for alms. Mr. An immediately asked for their name,
the monk said his name was Tuong Kim, and Mr. An knew that
this monk was very good at divination. At that time, Mr.
Nguyen Van An asked about longevity, and master Tuong Kim
- Your digital life is very short, I'm afraid you won't
live until next year.
Hearing that, Mr. An desperately begged to save his life,
the monk took a cup of water, blew into it, then gave it
to Mr. An to drink, saying:
- Tonight, if you dream of good omens, let me know.
That night, Mr. An dreamed that he went to a mandarin
mansion, on the left side of the corridor there were a
number of men and women in well-dressed robes standing
together, looking happy. Meanwhile, in the corridor on the
right, there were also some people standing, but they were
all shackled and chained, crying bitterly. At that time, a
person standing next to Mr. An said:
- On the left side of the corridor are the bridge builders
to repair the road, and on the right side are the road
vandals who destroy the bridge. If you want to live a long
life and enjoy happiness, you can choose it yourself.
Mr. An immediately volunteered to do his best to repair
roads and bridges. Later, when he met the master monk
Tuong Kim, he said:
- Your lifespan has increased.
Indeed, Mr. An lived to be 92 years old, and his children
and grandchildren for five generations were all
prosperous. And another proof, in Bong Son, there is a man
named Nguyen Phu Tho, a rich man who is very happy to do
good deeds, but until middle age, he still has no
children. One day, he met a fortune teller who said:
- Your destiny has no children. If you want to have
children, you should build bridges and roads.
Mr. Nguyen Phu Tho asked:
- How can I do it?
The other said:
- The construction of a bridge, no matter how big or
small, is not necessarily new, just repairing the damaged
part is also included in that number.
Mr. Phu Tho gladly followed such encouragement, where he
needed to build a new one, he built it, and where it
needed to be repaired, he fixed it, without any
difficulty. Until Phu Tho was 60 years old, he still had
three sons in succession, who later grew up to be
successful businessmen. Mr. An lived to the age of 84 when
he died very peacefully. That shows you, in any social context, the repair of
roads, connecting bridges and culverts is always a
necessary job and is praised by everyone. For the Law of
Karma, the reward of building roads and bridges is
extremely great. The good results that come from that good
karma can be listed as follows:
- Because it makes everyone's life convenient, all your
activities and plans will go smoothly.
- Because it makes pedestrians safe, you yourself do not
have an accident while on the road.
- Because it makes it easy for people to walk, you
yourself will be healthy, not handicapped
- If you use your strength to build a road, the
retribution will be to have better health than the person
who makes you reap more success in your work.
- If you use the money to hire people to work, the
retribution is to be rich and full.
- Always have high houses, wide doors, full vehicles, and
The opposite of the good karma that builds the road is the
bad karma that breaks the road. Those who obstruct traffic
will also suffer corresponding retribution such as:
- Hard to move,
- Life activities are hindered,
- Disabled legs and poverty.
For public welfare works such as roads and bridges, if you
can't protect them, then don't infringe on them for your
own benefit. Bridge-building and bridge-breaking are two
distinct classes of people. Good and bad retribution are
also two different paths. If you think that there is no
cause and effect, you are bound to have a severe disaster.
In short, cultivating merit through giving, making
offerings, building bridges, and building roads is the
best and fastest way to sell poverty. At the same time, it
is also a means to help people get close to each other in
the spirit of mutual affection, mutual love, and mutual
support. It is the essential dharma of Buddhism that goes
into people's hearts, good for religion and beautiful for
- People people who do good deeds
House house doing good deeds
People help each other
All live in peace.
There are many ways to cultivate merit, if you know how to
give at the right time, in the right place, to the right
object, the merit will be endless. When practicing giving,
even if you are a poor person or a beggar, you must
respect and be sincere to have merit. And if you give alms
with a contemptuous attitude, you will still be blessed,
but you will have to bear the retribution of hatred later.
Blessings are enjoyed, but misfortunes are still suffered.
If you want to have a good life in the present life, right
here and now you must practice cultivating merit to
prepare for the future. All worldly material possessions,
fame, houses, money, and fields you will not be able to
take with you when you close your eyes and die. Only the
good or bad karma you have created in your life will
follow you into another life. Therefore, you must choose
wisely, and regularly plant merit to create good karma. To
prepare for the process of rebirth, to use in the next
life even when you are reborn in the realm of the Buddhas.