PUNYA (Sanskrit: पुण्य) is a difficult word to translate; there is no equivalent English word to convey its exact intended meaning.
It is generally taken to mean following according to the context it is used.
saintly virtue holy sacred
pure good meritorious virtuous
righteous just auspicious lucky
favourable agreeable pleasing lovely
beautiful sweet fragrant solemn
PUNYA is the outcome of doing prescribed works, and PĀPA, the prohibited. All works pertaining to the body, to the mind and to speech are karma, the good and bad with reference to actions make for punya and pāpa respectively.
Punya (पुण्य,) is referred to as good karma or a virtue that contributes benefits in this and the next birth and can be acquired by appropriate means and also accumulated. In Vedanta terms punya is the invisible wealth, a part of dharma, the first of four human goals; the other three goals being artha, kama and moksha.
Punya and pāpa are the seeds of future pleasure and pain, the former, which sows merits, exhausts itself only through pleasure and the latter, which sows demerits, exhausts itself only through pain.
A Jiwan Mukta ends all karmic debts consisting of and signified by these two dynamics.
The Buddhists consider Punya as the extraordinary force that confers happiness, as a spiritual merit which is one of the ten forms of balas (sources of strength) to a bodhisattva. They hold the belief that charity leads to the accumulation of punya or a happier rebirth on earth or a long sojourn in heaven.
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