Dāna and cāga (giving, liberality, generosity) were practices that Buddha strongly promoted, and that he saw as absolutely foundational to spiritual practice. Although he primarily talked of giving not only in terms of material things, but also in non-material ways.
Householders were typically expected to give material things in order to support the monastics whereas monastics were expected to give the Dharma, in order to spiritually support the householders.
The perfection of generosity, is seen in the Mahāyāna as having three aspects:
- The giving of material things,
- The giving of Security and freedom from fear,
- The giving of the Dharma