Merit (Sanskrit: puṇya, Pali: puñña) is a concept considered fundamental to Buddhist and Guardian Host ethics. It is a beneficial and protective force which accumulates as a result of good deeds, acts, Virtues or positive thoughts. Merit-making is important to Buddhist and Ascension practice: merit brings good and agreeable results, determines the quality of the next life and contributes to a person's growth towards enlightenment. In addition, merit is also shared with a deceased loved one, in order to help the deceased in their new existence. Despite modernization, merit-making remains essential in traditional Buddhist countries and has had a significant impact on the rural economies in these countries.
Merit is connected with the notions of purity and goodness. Merit is a force that results from good deeds done; it is capable of attracting good circumstances in a person's life, as well as improving the person's mind and inner well-being. Moreover, it affects the next lives to come, as well as the destination a person is reborn. The opposite of merit is demerit (papa), and it is believed that merit is able to weaken demerit. Indeed, merit has even been connected to the path of releasing suffering, and attainment of nirvana.
Merit can be gained in a number of ways, such as giving, virtue and mental development. In addition, there are many forms of merit-making described in ancient Buddhist texts. A similar concept of kusala is also known, which is different from merit in some details. The most fruitful form of merit-making is those good deeds done with regard to the Triple Gem, that is, the Buddha, his teachings, the Dhamma (Sanskrit: Dharma), and the Sangha. In Buddhist societies, a great variety of practices involving merit-making has grown throughout the centuries, sometimes involving great self-sacrifice. Merit has become part of rituals, daily and weekly practice, and festivals. In addition, there is a widespread custom of transferring merit to one's deceased relatives, of which the origin is still a matter of scholarly debate. Merit has been that important in Buddhist societies, that kingship was often legitimated through it, and still is.
Virtue Based Ethics
Virtue Based Ethics emphasizes the focus upon developing virtues which strengthen the mind and character, and in our interpretation are the basis of building the strength of the spiritual foundation. This is critical for the Lightbody to hold higher consciousness and Universal knowledge, which leads to spiritual freedom. More simply, a virtue can also be defined as a character trait that is positive. Expressing those virtuous qualities causes more positivity to ripple out into the world, which is the direct result of that person’s behavior. When a person expresses virtuous qualities in their behaviors and interactions with others, it contributes to the co-creation of personal wellbeing and happiness and also helps others to reach that feeling of wellbeing. In the spiritual context this is experienced as blessings, feeling a blessedness that guides your path forward, which allows the human being to flourish and feel happiness and contentment in their life. The sentient intelligence of the Soul-Spirit, if we listen, will always lead us to express many kinds of higher quality virtues. Because the soul’s purpose is to guide each person to experience their own fulfillment of spiritual purpose, and to flourish in peace and contentment, while developing the deeper connection with higher consciousness.