Giving to beggars

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Stiphan
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Giving to beggars

Post by Stiphan » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:05 pm

I plan on moving to Manchester, UK, perhaps later this year. I've been there twice, and I saw many beggars on the streets. I gave some change to some of them, to others not.

But the Buddha said "When asked, give even if you only have a little" (Dhp. 224).

Since at first I will be using my mother's money until I find a job there, I am not sure whether giving to all beggars will be the right thing to do - it would be a major drainage of money that really is not my own.


So, should I always give to every beggar, or just to some, or to no one?

culaavuso
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by culaavuso » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:46 pm

Some points to consider are whether the money is yours to give, whether it's a good place to give a gift, and whether the gift is given with a good state of mind.

If the money isn't yours to give then it seems to be a form of taking what is not given, which would mean violating the second precept.

Regarding where gifts should be given and where they bear fruit, see SN 3.24: Issattha Sutta

Regarding motivations for giving, see AN 7.49: Dana Sutta

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Stiphan
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by Stiphan » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:49 pm

Thank you, culaavuso! Problem solved. :smile:

santa100
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by santa100 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:08 pm

Stephen K wrote:But the Buddha said "When asked, give even if you only have a little" (Dhp. 224).


Also see here for the full context of Verse 224..

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Stiphan
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by Stiphan » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:14 pm

santa100 wrote:
Stephen K wrote:But the Buddha said "When asked, give even if you only have a little" (Dhp. 224).


Also see here for the full context of Verse 224..
Thanks.

Digity
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by Digity » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:03 am

A lot of people begging on the street have drug and alcohol problems. Might be better to give some food, etc. because that money might otherwise go to support their substance abuse.

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manas
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by manas » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:59 am

Stephen K wrote:I plan on moving to Manchester, UK, perhaps later this year. I've been there twice, and I saw many beggars on the streets. I gave some change to some of them, to others not.

But the Buddha said "When asked, give even if you only have a little" (Dhp. 224).

Since at first I will be using my mother's money until I find a job there, I am not sure whether giving to all beggars will be the right thing to do - it would be a major drainage of money that really is not my own.


So, should I always give to every beggar, or just to some, or to no one?
Hi Stephen

if you are in a rich, industrialized country, in which no one really need starve as there are always charities to provide food for survival - a charity worker once told me, that the money will most likely go towards drugs, so that the unfortunate person can forget their troubles for a while. Which in itself is not as unpalatable as the fact that the money ends up in the hands of a drug dealer. If in a poor country, however, where there is a real risk that some simply cannot get enough food to eat, I would give what I could, even if only a little.

kind regards,
manas.
:anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by lyndon taylor » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:01 am

I don't think that can refer to America, Manas, people are starving and there is not enough charity here, you can often get a gauge of who are the druggies and who are genuinely in need, and I sort of adopt certain homeless people and support for a few rather than all, when you hear their stories, you'll find that while some drink, they're not all drug addicts, and often quite intelligent, my one friend just went through throat cancer, and radiation treatment, and the accompanying sickness, I'm so glad to see him doing better now, I look forward to our visits at the coffee shop I go to. Your friend at work is almost just as likely to be using alcohol as some homeless person, and they don't all drink to be stinking drunk, etc.
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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manas
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by manas » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:55 am

lyndon taylor wrote:I don't think that can refer to America, Manas, people are starving and there is not enough charity here, you can often get a gauge of who are the druggies and who are genuinely in need, and I sort of adopt certain homeless people and support for a few rather than all, when you hear their stories, you'll find that while some drink, they're not all drug addicts, and often quite intelligent, my one friend just went through throat cancer, and radiation treatment, and the accompanying sickness, I'm so glad to see him doing better now, I look forward to our visits at the coffee shop I go to. Your friend at work is almost just as likely to be using alcohol as some homeless person, and they don't all drink to be stinking drunk, etc.
You make a good point...I forgot that despite America being a wealthy country, that there is not any system of welfare that compares to that in my own country (Australia) so yes, I will agree with you that one ought to just use one's discretion in each individual case.

kind regards
manas.
Last edited by manas on Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by lyndon taylor » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:09 am

In my town there are two providers, one the Salvation Army, both offering one hot meal in the evening, once a day, usually not on weekends, and for whatever reasons most of the homeless people don't like going to them, perhaps because they aggressively ban intoxicated and loud persons. Also we do have foodstamps, but they are usually only available to people who have addresses and the patience to fill out a lot of paperwork, AND do community service at very low hourly wage equivalent to food stamp value they get. Don't get me started on this wonderful "wealthy" America.....
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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manas
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by manas » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:23 am

lyndon taylor wrote:In my town there are two providers, one the Salvation Army, both offering one hot meal in the evening, once a day, usually not on weekends, and for whatever reasons most of the homeless people don't like going to them, perhaps because they aggressively ban intoxicated and loud persons. Also we do have foodstamps, but they are usually only available to people who have addresses and the patience to fill out a lot of paperwork, AND do community service at very low hourly wage equivalent to food stamp value they get. Don't get me started on this wonderful "wealthy" America.....


In Melbourne city things are quite good in that regard, just one example: you can eat for free at the Hare Krishna temple three times a day, 365 days a year if you need to...they are always feeding people. If you do it for long enough they might ask if you would like to help sweep the eating hall floor or something (not a bad thing in any case, I swept and mopped it many times in my younger days and actually enjoyed it) but even if you refuse they will still feed you anyway.

:anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Dan74
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by Dan74 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:41 am

Gents, Stephen was talking about the UK, or has the conversation moved on already?
_/|\_

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by lyndon taylor » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:57 am

Given the title of the thread, I didn't know the conversation had to be restricted to the OPs country!! Homelessness is a pretty universal problem, but as we have pointed out, not all countries are the same......
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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manas
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by manas » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:03 am

Dan74 wrote:Gents, Stephen was talking about the UK, or has the conversation moved on already?
Well Dan, our PM seems to think Australia is still part of the UK... :lol: while he is into ending 'entitlements' (for the poor in any case) he is bringing back titles...so get ready for Sir Rupert and Dame Gina (to be rewarded for their services to the oligarchy...)
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Dan74
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Re: Giving to beggars

Post by Dan74 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:51 pm

A timely recognition of two wonderful Australians, I say!

It will also come in handy for Dame Gina as I hear the wedding bells are ringing for her at last. At last she found a match for herself, both in stature and personality. A man with a title already, with interest in mining and a keen concern for governance.

Here's a sneaky pic at the beautiful couple:
baron copy.jpg
baron copy.jpg (247.86 KiB) Viewed 2658 times
_/|\_

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