|The Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha vowed to save others even from the hells (en.topictures.com)|
The best merit contributes to one's growth towards liberation (nirvana, moksha, full emancipation). But it is generally useful and welcome however it manifests.
|Great Sivali, an arhat of astounding merit, abundance|
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest....
Pariṇāmanā is a Sanskrit term that may be translated as "transfer of merit" or "dedication." It involves helping others by generating merit then sharing it and thereby accruing even more as a result of having shared. The recipient to whom it is dedicated then has the opportunity to also generate merit IF s/he approves of the deed.
In fact, merely suggesting or praising or encouraging that one kill another (e.g., abort) or commit suicide -- if that person then does it -- makes us co-guilty of the action from a karmic standpoint.
- honoring others
- offering service
- inviting and involving others in skillful deeds
- rejoicing, being thankful, and appreciative for others' good deeds
- listening or studying the Dharma
- instructing others in the Dharma
- straightening one's own views in accordance with the Dharma (ditthujukamma).