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Re: It it possible to make ourselves rich by donating?

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  • gnua_wam
    Dear Venerable Ven. Dhammasami Thank you very much indeed for your generous answer. I accept and believe that donation is a good practice and I practice
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 9, 2002
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      Dear Venerable Ven. Dhammasami

      Thank you very much indeed for your generous answer.

      I accept and believe that donation is a good practice
      and I practice donation every where as much as I can afford.
      My concept and intention is not to become
      richer and richer by donating. It is just my generosity.
      I tried to solve the problems of the others by donating whatever I
      can afford.

      I read Buddhism when ever I have time and practice
      Buddhism and I meditate too. When It comes to donation
      there is conflict in me. I can solve the conflict inside me by
      myself. Whoever say whatever, I follow what the Buddha taught Kalama.
      But when my friends they friendly often argue and discuss with me
      about idea of donation on what most of the people believe,
      it always become big issue.

      I just disagree with first part of your following statement though
      one may believe the way the one want to.

      "Personally, I believe that people who are born rich, have done some
      dana in their past life. If not, why so different from you and me? There
      are beggars in USA and Japan, the two richest countries, and there are rich
      people in Burma, one of the poorest countries, who can afford holidays in
      Europe and educate their children in the West. I know a few business people."

      But I like the following part.

      "Of course, it would be against the pragmatic teaching of the Buddha
      to suggest that they become rich because they "donate" and do nothing else."

      What I believe is the people are born rich because their parents are
      rich and generous to them.
      We are different because our parents are different. If I were born and lived in UK I would have felt cold and if a British were born in Burma and lived there he would have felt hot. I think it is like that. I think we are taking things in the way we are conditioned since we were born.
      We are conditioned to think like that (donating make oneself rich) since we were born in Burma.

      If not, why so different from you and me?
      I think people are different because of their different Kamma,
      not because of donation. Burmese people are confused
      between the meaning of "chance" and "kamma" as both are
      called "Kan" in Burmese. Some people even say that "he gained
      that because of his good "kan", not because of he is intelligence."
      The way I understand "Kan" is work or Kamma.
      Good work has good product. So it is called good Kamma.
      In other word correct work has correct product.
      It should not be evaluate with value of money or wealth.
      If I pass a difficult examination, it is because of my "kan",
      because I tried hard. It must be because of my "kan"

      I think this confusion should be corrected.
      This wrong idea even derail the move of Burma.
      That is why Burma is poor. Even if the perfect teaching of
      Buddha is misunderstood, what else can be made right there.

      Anyway it does not affect our whole life, only our young life.
      We need strength, power, will, intelligence etc to keep ourselves
      rich the rest of our life when our parents pass away.
      Even a son of 80 billionaire became a poor in a story.
      Beside the money, the wealth etc are just things.
      They are valuable because people put value on it.
      They all are names. There is no actual value in themselves.
      Man makes the value. It is not absolute truth.
      It is only relative truth.

      I personally do not believe that we can make ourselves rich by donating except donating to some kind of so called government to get some permit (I do not think that it is clear donation, it is investment or forced donation).

      As far as I understand, when we donate we become satisfied
      and happy and peaceful. In Burmese way of saying it is "Chanthar".
      This "Chanthar" mean "Sate Chanthar Hmu or peaceful mind", not Money and wealth.

      My intention of donation to Sangha and Monastery is
      to support Buddha because he discovered dhamma,
      to support dhamma (the only truth) to last longer, for all people
      to support sangha, because they take care of dhamma to last longer
      and practice it,
      to be able to practice dhamma longer and to attain Nibbana for
      myself.

      Whenever I hear using the word that "I will become rich later
      if I donate" I feel fooled. I may be wrong. That is why I am
      asking someone whom I can trust.
      If you find the fact in Buddha's teaching
      I would like to know it, as I do not read Pali Language.

      I feel happy that you said " Personally, I believe that people who
      are born rich etc.."
      Especially you use "Personally".

      When I encourage people to donate, I always tell them
      to support Buddha, because he discovered the Dhamma,
      to support Dhamma, because it is the only truth,
      to support Sangha, who are taking care of Dhamma to last longer and
      practice it.
      to support the above so that you may also practise it.

      If someone start saying that something is Dhamma which is not the
      Dhamma, and the true Dhamma is not going to last long.
      Everyone will soon start using the Dhamma to become rich.
      The idea of people on essence of Dhamma will change and
      people will not hear the true Dhamma anymore
      though the true Dhamma will not be changed.
      To hear the true Dhamma people will have to wait another discoverer
      (Buddha).

      This is big problem.
      One need to be very brave to say the truth.
      But you have said it.
      "Of course, it would be against the pragmatic teaching of the Buddha
      to suggest that they become rich because they "donate" and do nothing else."

      I respect you.
      I pay biggest respect to you.

      With Metta

      GW




      --- In SanghaOnline@y..., Khammai Dhammasami
      <khammai.dhammasami@s...> wrote:
      > Obviously, "donation" is NOT recommended by the Buddha nor the
      Buddhist traditions as investment if you want to become rich. You'd
      learn some good ideas, such as MBA, and do business if you want to
      become rich.
      >
      > Donation, however, in the Buddhist traditions is encouraged for
      many reasons.
      > They include developing self-confidence. One gives
      away "respectfully" only
      > when one is self-confident. It is, in other words, sharing with
      others, as
      > they do with you in many ways. Sharing is one of the four
      recommended ways to build good social relationship (sangaha-vatthu).
      And a man and a woman cannot go on living togather as and when they
      stop sharing. Sharing among themselves helps sustain confidence and
      love between them. It counters selfishness in a way.
      >
      > Look at this in a wider scale, at society level. When people stop
      paying tax,
      > which is a forced donation in a way, the social system that we have
      will have
      > to go down.
      >
      > The Buddhist prctice of "donation", usually encouraged by the
      monks, is
      > extended in every sphere of a Buddhist community. Sharing is done
      at family
      > level: parents usually take responsibility for their children even
      after they
      > are 18, and thus reduce the burden on the society as a whole,
      especially on those who cannot afford to shoulder.
      >
      > Food is usually offered to a visitor.
      >
      > We can go on and on. But let us turn to your question
      about "understanding". You are right that you give when you have no
      more attachment. But would this be practical in all cases?
      >
      > In this world there are more peope with attachment than those with
      detachment. You are talking about giving up, but for people who still
      have ties and bonds in an ordinary life, it is about giving away
      (dana), not yet giving up(caga).
      >
      > Dana makes it possible for people with attachment to do some sort
      of sharing,
      > and indeed making sharing a practice to reach detachment, not the
      other way round. For people who do dana, a sense of duty and
      responsibility may play a
      > part too and this is praised by the Buddha as well. They give
      something away not because they do not want it but because they feel
      it is useful and it is
      > their duty.
      >
      > Caga happens in a developed people, like bodhisatta, who gives up
      things
      > happily without agitation, and without any expection in return,
      except
      > enlightenment.
      >
      > It is hard to do donation; harder still to do it happily; the
      hardest, however,
      > may be to do it without any expection in return, meaning with total
      detachment.
      >
      > Personally, I believe that people who are born rich, have done some
      dana
      > in their past life. If not, why so different from you and me? There
      are beggars
      > in USA and Japan, the two richest countries, and there are rich
      people in
      > Burma, one of the poorest countries, who can afford holidays in
      Europe and
      > educate their children in the West. I know a few business people.
      Of course,
      > it would be against the pragmatic teaching of the Buddha to suggest
      that they
      > become rich because they "donate" and do nothing else.
      >
      > To become a well-off person, there are discourses that guide people
      to work
      > hard; to be moral in one's way of life and at work; to have good
      associates etc.
      > and so on and on...
      >
      > Yet, when monks say that there is a logical link between being rich
      and being a
      > donor, the message is not to neglect one's duty and responsibility,
      and to
      > also have the law of kamma in mind.
      >
      > Donation is encouraged in all religions, in the church, at mosque,
      Hindu temple,
      > and Buddhist temple, or even by NGOs. It is a good thing as long as
      people do
      > that willingly and perhaps with some understanding. It addresses
      inequality in
      > society in one way or another, where government taxation system
      cannot reach.
      >
      > Donation should start within one's family (putta-darassa sangaho:
      mangala-sutta). If possible it should be extended to different parts
      of the society.
      > Poor students can study because of a donation system (scholarship).
      And I am
      > studying with the monthly donation by a few devotees. I am very
      grateful to them. I give them what I have, not money but a little bit
      of the dhamma that I know; and they in turn support me.
      >
      > Of course, there is mindfulness needed in doing a donation: be
      mindful of
      > the donation, the donor and the receiver, the Buddha said. This is
      so that you
      > can be happy whenever you remeber it. So, Buddhist devottes are
      very good at it.
      > They pour their wealth into a project they are delighted with; and
      pay no
      > attention to what they are not happy with. A monk may starve
      himself if he makes
      > them unhappy, especially with his unbecoming behaviours.
      >
      > So, your question is a very deep one, if you carefully think about
      it. My teacher, Dr. T. Endo, has written a book called "dana" if you
      wish to read.
      > And there are some sociological works around, commenting on
      Buddhist practice
      > of generosity, in both negative and positive ways. Negative, when
      the donor
      > has no wisdom; positive when he has the right understanding.
      Donation has, in
      > brief, to be seen a part of the eightfold path so that it becomes a
      factor
      > freeing us, not binding us.
      >
      > With Metta,
      >
      > Ven. Dhammasami
      > Oxford
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > In message <20021108022216.2977.qmail@w...> SanghaOnline@y...
      writes:
      > > Dear Venerable Monks
      > >
      > > It it possible to make ourselves rich by donating?
      > >
      > > I have heard a lot of stories in a Buddhist Country said by
      Buddhist monks that one person donated so and so and next life she/he
      was born very rich. Some people even said that one is rich because he
      donates a lot.
      > >
      > > The way I understand is like this.
      > >
      > > When I am free from attachment of something, I can donate that
      and I become independent from the thing I donate. I do not have to
      worry about the thing I donate. So I become peaceful.
      > >
      > > I do not know how to connect the peace and the rich after
      donating.
      > >
      > > Please help me.
      > >
      > > With metta
      > >
      > > GW
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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