Maha Bodhi Temple

Pictures of revered teachers, places, rupas, temples, bhikkhus, shrine rooms etc. that bring inspiration to our members. Pilgrimage advice, devotion etc.
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cooran
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by cooran » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:12 am

Thank you for your thoughts and considerations, chownah. Having been to Bodhi Gaya many times,I am not sure how I feel about this myself. It is the Bodhi Tree that I spend most time near, on my visits.

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:00 am

There's a story about a monk who could make no progress in his meditation. Venerable Sāriputta taught him the meditation on repulsiveness of the body (asubha kammaṭṭhāna). He took him to see the Buddha, who looked into his previous lives and found that he had been a goldsmith in 500 previous existences. The Buddha created a beautiful golden flower using his psychic powers, and the goldsmith could gain concentration using it. The Buddha then made the flower fade, and the goldsmith gained the perception of impermanence, realising Arahantship.

The moral is, different things inspire different people. Let those who wish donate gold to shrines, build glorious temples, etc. Let those who wish, donate to orphanages, or cancer charities, or animal charities. Let those who wish revere the Buddha by trying to emulate his example.

The bottom line is that only developing insight into the three characteristics — impermanence, unsatisfactoriness or suffering, and insubstantiality or not-self — will lead to the end of suffering.
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lyndon taylor
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:11 am

"but the greatest gift is charity, not giving gold for temples" There really is not anything higher than helping those in need, your own suffering pales in comparison to some of these others, like the victims in the Phillipines for example. So many people think of Buddhism selfishly, all about me, me, me and my liberation, perhaps if you thought instead about them, them, them you would have that much less time to think about your own suffering!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:28 am

lyndon taylor wrote:"but the greatest gift is charity, not giving gold for temples"
According to the Buddha, the greatest gift is the gift of the Dhamma.

The Gift of Truth Excels All Other Gifts
Sabbadānaṃ dhammadānaṃ jināti, sabbarasaṃ dhammaraso jināti.
Sabbaratiṃ dhammarati jināti, taṇhakkhayo sabbadukkhaṃ jināti.

“The gift of Truth excels all (other) gifts.
The flavour of Truth excels all (other) flavours.
The pleasure in Truth excels all (other) pleasures.
He who has destroyed craving overcomes all sorrow.” Dhp.v.354
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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lyndon taylor
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:10 am

I guess to you, then, the Dhamma does not involve any giving to those suffering or in need. Dhamma involves helping all beings, not just yourself, or even primarily yourself, that's just selfishness.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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DNS
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by DNS » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:25 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:I guess to you, then, the Dhamma does not involve any giving to those suffering or in need. Dhamma involves helping all beings, not just yourself, or even primarily yourself, that's just selfishness.
Not true at all. See the Venerabe's previous post. Giving can taking many different forms. Who are we, who is anyone to question someone's gift. The whole line of questioning seems quite odd. Yes it is good to give to the poor. So is giving the Dhamma. Maybe beautiful temples are not inspiring to some, but they are inspiring to millions of others. And if that helps them along on the Path, why not? By bringing more people out of suffering, following the Dhamma, the good may be actually greater, but who are we to speculate on such a thing. It is a gift, we should rejoice in their merit and generosity.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:32 pm

100 Kg of gold is worth about £2.6 million, which is a substantial sum. There's no end of different ways that it could be used to benefit others. If it's your money, then you get to choose where to donate it. I don't have any money to donate — if I did, I would choose option 2. I do have some time to give, which I give freely to help in any way that I can.

Possible ways to spend £2.6m
  1. Donate 100 Kg of gold to the Mahābodhi temple
  2. Build a meditation centre where anyone can practice free of charge
  3. Build a monastery and invite a few bhikkhus or bhikkhuṇis if you wish, then they can teach Dhamma and meditation to the local supporters
  4. Build a school or hospital in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Burma, or wherever you think it's needed
  5. Build some homes and donate a trawler for the fishermen in the Philippines who lost their homes and livelihood.
  6. Just donate the money to some trusted charity, and let them decide where the funds are most needed/useful.
It's a worthwhile topic to ponder. If you had a large amount of money to donate, how would it produce the greatest benefit? However, please understand that everyone is entitled to their own POV. Don't insult anyone by insinuating that they are selfish by donating to a pagoda or to a monastery, rather than to starving or homeless persons. Keeping the money to use for one's own sensual enjoyment might be called selfish.
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lyndon taylor
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:42 pm

I'm not impuning you, Bhikkhu, I'm merely pointing out that it is a mistake to think one's own enlightenment and progress on the path is more important than helping others, when in fact the two should go hand in hand. The Dhamma is not more important than charity work, when in truth the Dhamma involves charity and care and concern for all beings. When ever you get the idea that your progress is more important than others, selfishness, you lose track that with out helping all beings you aren't really benefiting yourself, either. The whole notion of enlightenment is to help all beings, not to push beings aside to focus on yourself.

As to the Gold, how about a compromise, a thinner coating of gold leaf on the temple and sell the rest of the gold to aid destitute people around the temple, a win win. I"ve had it up to here with Christian churches spending all their money on expensive churches and schools, while having nothing left over to help the poor, and I certainly am not going to be any more forgiving to Buddhist organizations doing the same. Your liberation comes from liberating others, not from having nicer temples to worship in, IMHO
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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appicchato
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by appicchato » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:23 pm

Here we go...*

*posted earlier, deleted, reposted...

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daverupa
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by daverupa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:43 pm

chownah wrote:Do you think the Buddha would have liked it? That is what I was talking about, not whether people have the right to give bling as a meritorious deed. Certainly people can give whatever they want and consider it to be a meritorious deed. If giving bling is as meritorious as you can get then by all means give bling......and after all it is the thought that counts and many people think that gold is special in some way that escapes me and I certainly would not want to get in the way of anyone wanting to bling up an ancient structure.

Do you think that it is possible for some people to have some deluded ideas about gold and it's importance?......like thinking that gold is special in some way or that it's application is somehow beneficial?......like thinking that gold is "precious"? If there are mistaken beliefs about gold do you think it would be good if people were gently shown that their value system is skewed? Is it possible that for some people the application of gold to a temple or image constitutes an empty ritual.....or even idol worship?

Do you think the Buddha would have liked the temple better with gold trimmings? If one meditates at the base of a tree would it be better if the tree had gold trim?....sort of like a Buddmas tree?

chownah
:goodpost:

I note that gold extraction, as with many modern mining strategies, is associated with hazardous pollution. Furthermore, why ductile, high-lustre metals should be seen as economically precious in and of themselves - i.e. that they are not treated as simply other industrial metals - is a subtle insanity, though this particular form of insanity among humans seems to stretch into prehistory.
David N. Snyder wrote:If it inspires people to practice to have a beautiful temple, why not?
This starts to broach a discussion of the interface between (un-)sustainable livelihoods and the use of nonrenewable resources (such as gold). So much is indicated here as an important concern for humans now and going forward on this wee planet...

...but nah, let's collect bling so temporary stuff looks good to us, and never mind the obliteration of resources for future generations on account of superficialities and entertainments...

:shrug:

Live a Dhammic life, and draw people into dialogue. Don't gild temples and draw people into buildings while shooting future humans in the foot...
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

mahat
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by mahat » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:06 pm

We are being way too judgmental. The King of Thailand is the richest monarch on earth (that's what I read).

He has donated millions to other charitable causes and this is just one of his many gifts.

The greater beauty of the monument will lure more tourists which will help the local population who are really, really poor.

There is so much opportunity to make merit in that area by helping the locals who are in extreme poverty. You would think all the Buddhists there would help them. But alas no. We like to criticize others, but when it's our turn we fail.

Let us keep our eye on ourselves and what we do and not do. :namaste:

mahat
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by mahat » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:52 pm

I found this wonderful link to a school in Bodha Gaya funded by donations from Buddhists around the world. The school apparently started in a monastery and now is a full fledged school and of course teaches children no matter what their religion and has teachers from every religion, wonderful viewing:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/TJ2zDmHemMA

Here's another school in the same area funded through charity:

http://www.bodhitreeeducationalfoundation.org

Yes, $15 million would have gone a long way to funding more schools…but that just lets other Buddhists have a chance. :twothumbsup:
Last edited by mahat on Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lyndon taylor
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:39 pm

Well I guess $5 million in gold seems like a lot to us mere mortals, but to a hollywood celebrity its just a cheap vacation house, maybe we could convince Richard Gere to sell one of his houses and give to the poor of Bodhagaya.........
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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cooran
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by cooran » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:07 pm

To the poor people of Bihar it would have made life-changing difference.

Karuna,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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lyndon taylor
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:21 pm

You have to ask yourself, if the Buddha were alive today would he vote for the gold dome?? and I think from what we know of his opinions on such in scripture, the answer would have to be a resounding NO!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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