giving alms to monk and the poor

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Awakened_Angel
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giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by Awakened_Angel » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:35 am

hai there dhamma friend. recently I was given this question by a friend.

whom asked me,
why I must give alms to the monks? (which can be googled)

but, posted another second question. does that mean I give alms to the poor is less merir less noble than to the monks??

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:26 am

Yes, giving to the poor is less merit than giving to monks and nuns.

What will the poor do with the money? Buy some food, pay the rent, just the basics. It's good, but just basic living.

What will the monks do with the gifts? Work towards enlightenment, spread the teachings. Very very good! Meaning of life!

Best to find someone both poor and a monk!

SarathW
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by SarathW » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:32 am

There is a Sutta to say the hierarchy of merit in giving.
"And which are the three factors of the recipients? There is the case where the recipients are free of passion or are practicing for the subduing of passion; free of aversion or practicing for the subduing of aversion; and free of delusion or practicing for the subduing of delusion. These are the three factors of the recipients."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

"Once, householder, there was a brahman named Velāma. And this was the nature of the gift, the great gift, he gave: He gave 84,000 gold trays filled with silver, 84,000 silver trays filled with gold, 84,000 copper trays filled with gems. He gave 84,000 elephants with gold ornaments, gold banners, covered with nets of gold thread. He gave 84,000 chariots spread with lion skins, tiger skins, leopard skins, saffron-colored blankets, with gold ornaments, gold banners, covered with nets of gold thread. He gave 84,000 milk cows with tethers of fine jute and copper milk pails. He gave 84,000 maidens adorned with jeweled earrings. He gave 84,000 couches spread with long-fleeced coverlets, white wool coverlets, embroidered coverlets, rugs of kadali-deer hide, each with a canopy above & red cushions on either side. He gave 84,000 lengths of cloth — of finest linen, of finest cotton, of finest silk.[2] To say nothing of the food & drink, staple & non-staple food, lotions & beddings: They flowed, as it were, like rivers."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Sanctification of the gift.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=25889&p=505593&hilit=gift#p505593
Last edited by SarathW on Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Srilankaputra
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by Srilankaputra » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:35 am

Looking at it in a pragmatic sense, we can give where it is most needed. But all ways give a proportion to the Sangha. It is said, that giving, even to one monk intending upon the whole Sangha is of great merit.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

sentinel
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by sentinel » Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:37 pm

If you are a buddhist naturally would offer to monks . But , when do encounter sick and poor surely is in the giving list . Forget about the merits when offering and helping .
:buddha1:

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Ceisiwr
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by Ceisiwr » Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:34 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:26 am
Yes, giving to the poor is less merit than giving to monks and nuns.

What will the poor do with the money? Buy some food, pay the rent, just the basics. It's good, but just basic living.

What will the monks do with the gifts? Work towards enlightenment, spread the teachings. Very very good! Meaning of life!

Best to find someone both poor and a monk!


I thought kamma was intention not consequence?

lostitude
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by lostitude » Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:45 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:26 am
Yes, giving to the poor is less merit than giving to monks and nuns.

What will the poor do with the money? Buy some food, pay the rent, just the basics. It's good, but just basic living.

What will the monks do with the gifts? Work towards enlightenment, spread the teachings. Very very good! Meaning of life!

Best to find someone both poor and a monk!
With respect, this sounds a lot like magical thinking. It is probably true that the vast majority of "convert" monks do genuinely strive for enlightenment, but I doubt this is the case among "indigenous" monks as it were, especially those who became monks at a young age to escape poverty, out of family pressure, to gain social status, and what not. And when you hear about what goes on behind the scene, it's very far from the rosy picture of the archetypal renunciant.
So simply becoming a monk does not automatically make you a better guy with worthier motives than any poor layperson.

However this is of course a great system for religious establishments, and it's the same tactic we find in most other religions with a clergy: when you give to us you give to God, and the return on investment will be immense and much more than giving for any other cause!

It really is something in buddhism that's giving me trouble.

dharmacorps
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:06 pm

You are framing the question wrong. There is no "must" here. Give where you feel moved to do so and merit will follow.

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DooDoot
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:28 pm

For 13 years, I sponsored three children in Africa and also gave donations to three environment organisations, which amounted to around $2,500 per year. During that time, I probably donated $500 in total to two Buddhist organisations where: (i) the Abbot of the $X million monastery disrobed; and (ii) the nun was posting propaganda about the mass-murdering psychopath Barack Hussein Obama all over her Facebook. My sense is the Buddhist organisations are well-funded; when they can buy large expensive rural (ex-farming) acreages in Western countries. If the bhikkhus were not well-funded, they would buy inexpensive forest land. I feel my donations to African children were better. :smile:
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cappuccino
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by cappuccino » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:34 pm

lostitude wrote: With respect, this sounds a lot like magical thinking.

It really is something in Buddhism that's giving me trouble.
this sounds a lot like atheism

lostitude
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by lostitude » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:37 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:34 pm
lostitude wrote: With respect, this sounds a lot like magical thinking.

It really is something in Buddhism that's giving me trouble.
this sounds a lot like atheism
Being anticlerical has nothing to do with being atheist or not.

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cappuccino
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by cappuccino » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:38 pm

lostitude wrote:
cappuccino wrote:
lostitude wrote: With respect, this sounds a lot like magical thinking.

It really is something in Buddhism that's giving me trouble.
this sounds a lot like atheism
Being anticlerical has nothing to do with being atheist or not.
though in Kali Yuga you may be right

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:29 pm

lostitude wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:45 pm
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:26 am
Yes, giving to the poor is less merit than giving to monks and nuns.

What will the poor do with the money? Buy some food, pay the rent, just the basics. It's good, but just basic living.

What will the monks do with the gifts? Work towards enlightenment, spread the teachings. Very very good! Meaning of life!

Best to find someone both poor and a monk!
With respect, this sounds a lot like magical thinking. .
I understand the rest of your reply, but I don't understand what you mean by this being magical thinking. Isn't magical thinking when somebody does something, and correlates their action with a unconnected consequence?
:anjali:

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Antaradhana
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by Antaradhana » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:42 pm

lostitude wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:45 pm
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:26 am
Yes, giving to the poor is less merit than giving to monks and nuns.

What will the poor do with the money? Buy some food, pay the rent, just the basics. It's good, but just basic living.

What will the monks do with the gifts? Work towards enlightenment, spread the teachings. Very very good! Meaning of life!

Best to find someone both poor and a monk!
With respect, this sounds a lot like magical thinking. It is probably true that the vast majority of "convert" monks do genuinely strive for enlightenment, but I doubt this is the case among "indigenous" monks as it were, especially those who became monks at a young age to escape poverty, out of family pressure, to gain social status, and what not. And when you hear about what goes on behind the scene, it's very far from the rosy picture of the archetypal renunciant.
So simply becoming a monk does not automatically make you a better guy with worthier motives than any poor layperson.

However this is of course a great system for religious establishments, and it's the same tactic we find in most other religions with a clergy: when you give to us you give to God, and the return on investment will be immense and much more than giving for any other cause!

It really is something in buddhism that's giving me trouble.
Even if there are bad monks, you still support people who have dedicated their lives to Dhamma. It is necessary to proceed from the presupposition of innocence, that is, if you do not know what the qualities of a monk are, then by default, it will be correct to consider him good and not bad. In addition, there is always the opportunity to give the Sangha-Dana, dedicating it to the Sangha, and not an individual.

Sutta about it: https://suttacentral.net/mn142/en/sujato
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

lostitude
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Re: giving alms to monk and the poor

Post by lostitude » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:54 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:29 pm
lostitude wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:45 pm
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:26 am
Yes, giving to the poor is less merit than giving to monks and nuns.

What will the poor do with the money? Buy some food, pay the rent, just the basics. It's good, but just basic living.

What will the monks do with the gifts? Work towards enlightenment, spread the teachings. Very very good! Meaning of life!

Best to find someone both poor and a monk!
With respect, this sounds a lot like magical thinking. .
I understand the rest of your reply, but I don't understand what you mean by this being magical thinking. Isn't magical thinking when somebody does something, and correlates their action with a unconnected consequence?
:anjali:
Yes, I was referring to the merit. Thinking that the moment someone becomes a monk, the merit you get from giving anything to him is multiplied exponentially. This is the part that sounds like magical thinking to me.

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