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I read the following on the internet:

If you truly understand the practice of generosity, then you'd never have to look for outright expression of gratitude from the receivers. The act does and will benefit you in this life and many future lives to come. It's the donor who should express the gratitude for the opportunity to build up his great kammic storehouse.

Did the Buddha teach receivers to be ungrateful?

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The Buddha taught people (especially monks) to be "worthy of offerings" -- that's in the Saṅghānussati for example, which also says that such a recipient is "worthy of respectful salutations" and "a field of merit".

Apparently that (being "worthy of offerings") does not imply fawning on laypeople in gratitude.

On the subject of fawns though, AN 2.31-32 does talk about gratitude and especially in relation to parents:

Now what is the level of a person of no integrity? A person of no integrity is ungrateful & unthankful. This ingratitude, this lack of thankfulness, is advocated by rude people. It is entirely on the level of people of no integrity. A person of integrity is grateful & thankful. This gratitude, this thankfulness, is advocated by civil people. It is entirely on the level of people of integrity."

"I tell you, monks, there are two people who are not easy to repay. Which two? Your mother & father. [etc.]

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Did the Buddha teach receivers to be ungrateful?

No, of course not. The quote that you refer to is using a hyperbolic statement, “It's the donor who should express the gratitude for the opportunity to build up his great kammic storehouse,” to make the point vividly that true generosity benefits everyone, both the giver and the receiver. The key point being made, though, is the first line of the quote: “If you truly understand the practice of generosity, then you'd never have to look for outright expression of gratitude from the receivers.” This is key, because if one acts generously in order to receive gratitude from the receiver, then one is not being authentically generous, but is merely flattering their ego, or attempting to garner social standing, or even, perhaps, seeking to elevate themself above the receiver who was in need. As the gift is done in expectation of a return, it is only a transaction, and as such, binds one to the mundane world of suffering. It neither benefits the giver, nor the receiver, in a spiritually significant way. The Buddha would never have promoted transactional generosity.

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You still can use your discretion when you give. For instance, giving by an unvirtuous person to another unvirtuous person bare little fruits.

====== What is the Sanctification of the Gift?

https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=25889&p=372098&hilit=katha#p372098

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  • i think giving by a highly virtuous person to an evil rude unvirtuous person bares little fruits because the virtuous person already has enough fruits Oct 15 '20 at 4:44
  • 2
    I do not think that works that way.
    – SarathW
    Oct 15 '20 at 5:33

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