Alms giving in Buddhism, Bangkok by Myoma Myint Kywe

Almsgiving in Buddhism, Bangkok

Researched by- Myoma Myint Kywe
 ဦးျမင့္ၾကြယ္ ( ၿမိဳ ႔မ ျမင့္ၾကြယ္ သမိုင္းပညာရွင္ 
 ဆိုရွိကိ ကရာေတးအသင္း နည္းျပခ်ဳပ္

Alms-giving ceremony on Nov 23rd, 2014 in Bangkok
Generosity or charity or alms or alms-giving involves giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in the sense of providing capabilities (e.g. education) for free. In Buddhism, alms or alms-giving is the respect given by a lay Buddhist to a Buddhist monk, nun, spiritually-developed person or other sentient being.

In Buddhism, "alms-giving" and, more generally, "giving" are called "ทาน dana". Alms giving is one of the most common practices among Buddhists. It's a way to support the monks, who study and practice the Buddha's teachings, by offering them food and goods.

Alms (ทาน) are money or goods given to those in need as an act of charity. The word “alms” is used many times in the Buddhism.

(Remark: Although the Sangha Vinaya specifies a prohibition on accepting and handling gold and silver, the real spirit of it is to forbid use and control over funds, whether these are bank notes or credit cards. BUT, The Vinaya even prohibits a monk from having someone else receive money on his behalf. In practical terms, monasteries are financially controlled by lay stewards, who then make open invitation for the Sangha to ask for what they need, under the direction of the Abbot. A junior monk even has to ask an appointed agent (generally a senior monk or Abbot) if he may take up the stewards' offer to pay for dental treatment or obtain medicines.
If a layperson wishes to give something to a particular monk, but is uncertain what he needs, he should make an invitation. Any financial donations should not be to a monk but to the stewards of the monastery, perhaps mentioning if it's for a particular item or for the needs of a certain monk.
For items such as travelling expenses, money can be given to an accompanying anagarika (dressed in white) or accompanying layperson, who can then buy tickets, drinks for a journey or anything else that the monk may need at that time. It is quite a good exercise in mindfulness for a layperson to actually consider what items are necessary and offer those rather than money.)
Donating foods and goods
The lay people line the side of the road in groups and as thousands of monks pass, they offer the food. With the mass alms giving that we attended and donated yesterday at 6:00 am - 8 am (23rd November, 2014). My family offered alms foods, medicines and goods to monks.  

Lay people in front of central world

Thailand is best known as a devout Buddhist country like our Burma (Myanmar). Offering food to the Buddhist monks is a free will, compassion and voluntary giving ritual for the people to practice in their daily life.

Dana is generosity or giving, a form of alms. In Buddhism, it is the practice of cultivating generosity. Ultimately, the practice culminates in one of the perfections (paramita): the perfection of giving - dana-paramita.

We can charity alms foods, and material goods not only to monks but also needed people. The practice of charity means the voluntary giving of help to those in need. Charity is humanitarian act of temporal principle.

Buddhists believe that giving without seeking anything in return leads to greater spiritual wealth.

Moreover, it reduces the greedy impulses (urge) that ultimately lead to continued suffering from egotism.

The Buddhism views charity as an act to reduce personal greed which is an unwholesome mental state which hinders spiritual progress. 
A person who is on his way to spiritual growth must try to reduce his own selfishness and his strong desire for acquiring more and more.