Punna, aka: Puṇṇa, Puñña, Punnā, Tham-boon; 5 Definition(s)


Punna means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Merit; worth; the inner sense of well being that comes from having acted rightly or well and that enables one to continue acting well.Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

1. Punna

Slave girl of Sujata. J.i.69; AA.i.218.

2. Punna Theri

An arahant. She was born in a householders family of Savatthi, and, at the age of twenty, having heard Pajapati Gotami preach, she left the world. One day, while meditating, the Buddha appeared before her in a ray of glory and she became an arahant.

In the past she was a kinnari on the banks of the Candabhaga, and, having seen a Pacceka Buddha, worshipped him with a wreath of reeds. Thig. vs. 3; ThigA. 9f.

She is perhaps identical with Tininalamalika of the Apadana. Ap.ii.515.

3. Punna Theri - (v.l. Punnika)

An arahant. She was born in Anathapindikas household, as the daughter of a domestic slave. She was called Punna because, with her birth, the number of children in the household reached one hundred.

On the day, on which she heard the Sihanada Sutta she became a sotapanna. She converted the brahmin Sotthiya, who believed in purification through water (the conversation is recorded in Thig. vs. 236 51), and thereby won the esteem of Anathapindika, so that he freed her. Thereupon she entered the Order and in due course became an arahant.

In the time of Vipassi Buddha she was born in a clansmans family and entered the Order. She learned the three Pitakas and became a distinguished preacher. She did the same under five other Buddhas - Sikhi, Vessabhu, Kakusandha, Konagamana and Kassapa but, owing to her tendency to pride, she was unable to root out the defilements. ThigA. 199 ff.; Ap.ii.611.

Buddhaghosa, however, say of this Theri (MA.i.347f.; the story, with very different details, is given in AA.ii.716f) that she was a slave girl of Anathapindika. On one occasion, when the Buddha was about to set out on a tour, Anathapindika and the other chief patrons of the Buddha, loth to lose him for several months, begged him to remain with them. But the Buddha declined this request, and Punna, seeing Anathapindika very dejected and learning the reason, offered to persuade the Buddha to stay. So she approached him and said that she would take the Three Refuges with the Five Precepts if he would postpone his tour. The Buddha at once agreed, and Punna was freed and adopted as Anathapindikas daughter. She later joined the Order, and became an arahant after listening to an admonition (Therigatha, vs.3, about Punna 2) of the Buddha, who appeared before her in a ray of glory. Here we undoubtedly have a confusion of legends. See Punna (2).

It may be this same Punna who is mentioned in the Milindapanha (p.115) as one of the seven people whose acts of devotion brought them recompense in this very life.

4. Punna

The slave girl of the brahmin soothsayer of the Nanacchanda Jataka. When asked what boon she desired, she answered, A pestle and mortar and a winnowing basket. J.ii.428, 429.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

merit, meritorious, is a popular term for karmically wholesome (kusala) action.

Opposite terms: apuñña, 'demerit'; pāpa, 'bad', 'evil',

The value of meritorious action is often stressed, e.g., in the Treasure Store Sutta (s. Khp. Tr.), Dhp 18, 118, 122. -

The Community of Holy Monks (ariya-sangha), the third Refuge (s. ti-sarana), is said to be "the incomparable field of merit in the world" (anuttaram puññakkhettam lokassa); s. anussati 3.

The Arahats, however, having transcended all life-affirming and rebirth-producing actions, are said to be "beyond merit and demerit"; see Sn.520, 547, 636, 790. - See foll. 3 articles.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Pali-English dictionary

Punna in Pali glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

puñña : (nt.) merit; righteousness.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Puñña, (nt.) (cp. (late) Vedic puṇya favourable, good; etym. not clear, it may be dialectical. The word is expld by Dhammapāla as “santānaṃ punāti visodheti, ” i.e. cleaning the continuation (of life) VvA. 19, thus taken to pu. The expln is of course fanciful) merit, meritorious action, virtue. Always represented as foundation and condition of heavenly rebirth & a future blissful state, the enjoyment (& duration) of which depends on the amount of merit accumulated in a former existence. With ref. to this life there are esp. 3 qualities contributing to merit, viz. , dāna, sīla & bhāvanā or liberality, good conduct & contemplation. These are the puñña-kiriya-vatthūni (see below). Another set of ten consists of these 3 and apaciti, veyyāvacca, patti-anuppadāna, abbhanumodanā, desanā, savana, diṭṭh’ujjuka-kamma. The opp. of puñña is either apuñña (D. III, 119; S. I, 114; II, 82; A. I, 154; III, 412; Sdhp. 54, 75) or pāpa (Sn. 520; Dh. 39; Nett 96; PvA. 5). The true Arahant is above both (Pv. II, 615). See on term also Kvu trsl. 201.—(a) Passages (selected): D. III, 58, 120; M. I, 404; II, 191, 199; S. I, 72; II, 82; IV, 190; IV, 190; V, 53; A. I, 151, 155 sq.; III, 412; Sn. 427 sq. , 547, 569, 790; Dh. 18, 116 sq. , 196, 220, 267, 331, 412; Nd1 90; Pv 1. 2; I, 512; Pug. 55; Vism. 541 (puññānaṃ paccayo duvidhā); DhA. IV, 34; PvA. 6, 8 30, 69 sq.; Sdhp. 4, 19 sq.—(b) Var. phrases & characterisations: Merit is represented as great (uḷāra DA. I, 110; PvA. 5; anappaka Pv. I, 512) or little (paritta DA. I, 110; appa S. II, 229); as adj. (—°) mahā° S. I, 191, opp. appa° M. II, 5. puñña is defined at Nd1 90 as follows: “puññaṃ vuccati yaṃ kiñci tedhātukaṃ kusal’âbhisaṅkhāraṃ; apuññaṃ vuccati sabbaṃ akusalaṃ. “ It is defined as “dāna-sīl’—ādi-pabheda” & “sucaritaṃ kusala-kammaṃ” at VvA. 19; considered as leading to future happiness: Vv 13; PvA. 58; consisting mainly in dāna (dānamayaṃ p.) PvA. 8, 51, 60, 66, 73, but also in vandana PvA. 1. To do good= puññaṃ (puññāni) karoti D. I, 137; S. IV, 331; A. V, 177; Pv. I, 119; or pasavati S. I, 182, 213; A. I, 89; II, 3 sq.; III, 244; V, 249, 282; PvA. 121, cp. puññaṃ pasutaṃ Pv. I, 512; VvA. 289. Other phrases: °ṃ ākaṅkhati S. I, 18, 20; pavaḍḍhati S. I, 33; corehi duharaṃ S. I, 36; puññānaṃ vipāko A. IV, 89; āgamo S. III, 209 IV. 349; opadhikaṃ S. I, 233; It. 78; purāṇaṃ & navaṃ S. I, 92; sayaṃ katāni puññāni S. I, 37; puññassa dhārā S. I, 100; V, 400.

—atthika desirous of merit Sn. 487 sq.—ânubhāva the majesty of merit PvA. 58.—âbhisaṅkhāra accumulation of merit D. III, 217; S. II, 82; Nd1 90, 206, 442; Vism. 557 sq. , 571; VbhA. 142 sq. , 166, 184.—âbhisanda (+kusalâbhisanda) meritorious results A. II, 54 sq.; III, 51, 337; IV, 245.—assaya seat of merit DA. I, 67.—iddhi the magic power of m. PvA. 117.—kata one who has done a deed of m. A. II, 32.—kamma good works, righteousness, merit S. I, 97, 143; DA. I, 10; VvA. 32; PvA. 54, 87; Sdhp. 32.—kāma (adj.) desirous of doing good works S. V, 462.—kiriyā a good or meritorious action S. I, 87 (°kriyā), 101; PvA. 54; usually as °kiriyavatthu item of m. action (of which 3 are usually enumd: see above) D. III, 218; A. IV, 241; It. 51; Nett 50, 128.—kkhandha mass of merit (only as mahā°) S. V, 400; A. III, 337.—kkhaya decay (or waning of the effect) of merit D. I, 18 (cp. āyukkhaya & DA. I, 110).—kkhetta field of m. , Ep. of the Saṅgha or any holy personalities, doing good (lit. planting seeds of merit) to whom is a source of future compensation to the benefactor. Usually with adj. anuttara unsurpassed field of m. (see also saṅgha) D. III, 5, 227; M. I, 446; III, 80; S. I, 167, 220; V, 343, 363, 382; A. I, 244; II, 34 sq. , 56, 113; III, 158, 248, 279 sq. , 387; IV, 10 sq. , 292; It. 88; Sn. 486; Vv 5031 (cp. VvA. 216); Pv IV. 133 (of a bhikkhu); Vism. 220; VvA. 286; PvA. 1 (ariyasaṅgha), 5 (Moggallāna), 6 (arahanto), 132, 140, 214 and passim. Cp. BSk. puṇyakṣetra Divy 63, 395 (+udāra).—paṭipadā the meritorious path, path of m. A. I, 168; Nett 96.—pasavana creation of m. PvA. 31.—pekkha looking for merit (i.e. reward), intent upon m. S. I, 167; Sn. 463 sq. , 487 sq.; Dh. 108 (cp. DhA. II, 234).—phala the fruit (or result) of m. action S. I, 217; Pug. 51; DhA. II, 4; PvA. 8, 50, 52.—bala the power of m. PvA. 195.—bhāga taking part in meritorious action S. I, 154.—bhāgiya having share in m. M. III, 72 sq.; Nett 48.—maya=puñña J. IV, 232 (°iddhi); cp. BSk. puñyamaya AvŚ I. 183. (Page 464)

— or —

Puṇṇa, (pp. of pṛ, Vedic pṛṇāti, Pass. pūryate, *pelē to fill; cp. Sk. prāṇa & pūrṇa=Av. p∂r∂na; Lith. pílnas; Lat. plēnus; Goth fulls=E. full=Ger voll) full, seldom by itself (only passage so far pannarase puṇṇāya puṇṇamāya rattiyā D. I, 47=Sn. p. 139). nor —° (only Sn. 835 muttakarīsa°), usually in cpds. , and there mostly restricted to phrases relating to the full moon.—ghaṭa a full pitcher (for feeding the bhikkhus, as offering on festive days, cp. J. P. T. S. 1884) DhA. I, 147; KhA 118 (v. l. suvaṇṇaghaṭa); DA. I, 140 (°paṭimaṇḍita ghara).—canda the full moon J. I, 149, 267; V, 215.—patta a full bowl (as gift, °ṃ deti to give an ample gift) J. III, 535.—baddha at Miln. 191 should be read as °bhadda.—bala at DA. I, 110 read puñña-bala.—bhadda worshipper of Puṇṇabhadda, perhaps a Yakkha (father of the Yakkha Harikesa) Nd1 92 (Vāsuvadeva, Baladeva, P. and Maṇibhadda, cp. p. 89); Miln. 191 (pisācā maṇibhaddā p.).—mā the full moon (night) D. I, 47 (komudiyā cātumāsiniyā puṇṇāya puṇṇamāya rattiyā, cp. DA. I, 140); Sn. p. 139 (similar); M. III, 21; J. V, 215 (dve p-māyo); Vism. 292 (puṇṇa-m-uposatha=puṇṇa-māuposatha), 418 (Phagguṇa-puṇṇama-divase); VvA. 66 (āsāḷhi p.); PvA. 137 (id.); DA. I, 140; DhA. III, 461 (komudi).—māsa=°mā only in Loc. puṇṇamāse Vv 811 (=puṇṇa-māsiyaṃ sukka-pakkhe pannarasiyaṃ VvA. 314; the similar pass. at VvA. 321 reads, prob. by mistake, sukka-pakkha-pāṭiyaṃ: see pāṭī); J. V, 215 (=puṇṇa candāya rattiyā C.).—māsī (f.; fr. °māsa)= mā J. I, 86 (Phagguṇi p.); VvA. 314; cp. BSk. pūrṇamāsī AvŚ I. 182. (Page 465)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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