Question: When someone donates to charity, does the recipient saying ‘Thank you’ negate merits of the donation?
Answer: No, it does not do so at all.
Question: Of course, the giver should not desire for thanks as this will ‘discount’ the merits to some extent due to expectation of ‘returns’.
Answer: Yes, it is best to just do what should be done and move on.
Question: What if the giver was not expecting thanks, but the receiver said it due to good will?
Answer: No worries, there is no discount of merits based just on this. In fact, being thanked is part of the manifestations of the giver’s merits bearing effect. If there is discount of merits simply due to receiving unexpected thanks, it would be as if being given an unexpected present is a form of deprivation. This does not make sense.
Question: What best should the recipient do or say?
Answer: All recipients should at least thank to express gratitude. This is a Dharma practice too.
Question: When one’s working husband helps to do some housework, should the wife who is a housewife thank him?
Answer: As above, why not? In fact, it is good for everyone in the family to thank one another regularly for what they do for one another. This is practice of gratitude and kindness too. Of course, there should be no expectation of thanks. This is practice of wisdom, to be as selfless as possible.
Question: I thought it is good to thank as a form of encouragement too, and as practice of Right Speech, even though helping out is expected when he can.
Answer: Yes indeed.
Question: A friend felt that thanking the husband would discount his merits.
Answer: This is a strange notion. Imagine the world becoming a thankless place, with no show of appreciation. This actually can discourage the doing of more good, not because there is no reward, but because no one would know if one’s help is needed or worth anything!