Another story I would like to share: Let's call it "The teacherous peta".The Basket of Conduct contains ten stories of the Bodhisatta's former lives. In one of these lifetimes he was a brahman named Sankha who saw a Paccekabuddha, or non-teaching enlightened one, walking barefoot on a desert path. Sankha thought to himself, "Desiring merit, seeing one eminently worthy of a gift of faith, if I do not give him a gift, I will dwindle in merit." So the brahman, who had a very delicate constitution, presented his sandals to the Paccekabuddha even though his own need for them was greater (Division I, Story 2).
from: Dana - The Practice of Giving
Cambodian people (I guess even most South East Asian People) are very saddha (saddly mostly just raga) minded people. Dana is well taught by monks and people love to make make Dana to get good results. Unfortunate 99% of the monks accept money and as money is easy to handle and quick to share it is rather difficult to get enought to eat. One can imagen that it is more that arousing if there comes somebody with a almsbow along and does not take money. As the people use to follow each other, it depends very much on the reaction of the fist person behind the entrence of the house you might stop. "He does not take money. You can give him Mi (imported instant noodels)" would be the most accuring message through the village. It's food and one even does not need to cook it to eat it, but the impact of industrial food has its signs after some days.
One day it was another Mi day. As the bow was full I returned to the my place. On the way back through the village one person approches me reaching passing a bag with a cake and a Sojamilk can into my direction. "Full is full, but if I do not take it, it might be another 'dry instant noodle day'. Overheld by greed and fear that I would spend my meal again just with this noodles, I thought that it would be ok to make a exception and exepted that gift.
It was a follmoon day and on this daiy all the petas of the neigboring villages usually gathered on the land of the monastery. There is one young man you is really ugly, mostly naked or nearly naked, mentally and also bodily disabled how leads the grows of petas from one donation occation to the other.
As I came near to the place I used to resist (a small open temple to wrship the place ghosts) he was just following a group of people featuring some food to the spirits. He just pushed some cakes and sweets, taken 5 seconds after the people laid down the gifts, with both hands in his mouth as he saw me coming along. He suddenly started to laught and quickly walked torward me. He streched out the hand to my alm bowl and wanted to open it. In the first moment I realiced did not realice my thought "Hey you greedy being, don't take what is on the top in the bowl. You can have everything else, but wait" and layed my hand on the bowl. As he pulled stronger on the cover, I came to awarness again and let him open it. Of cause he took that what was so crasped by me. Then I needed to laugh inwardly and was actually very happy about this situation of "ripping kamma".
He is one of the greatest teachers in this monastery, saddly even deveted people and monks use to beat him. For him it's not only the food that he enjoys, he also enjoys it to make banter and annoy the "Dana" receiver. One more thing is, that he is actually not that greedy as it seems. As soon as he had taken something he always shares it with the other petas, most of them are poor village children, who enjoy it to spend their time in running for good food around.
He loves Mi but is not used to get it as a gift. He stood still with open eyes and open mouth for minutes as I meet him one time outside of his appearing in the monastery, just working on a field. The children learn much with him, some this, many also what will really help.
After it was silent and the mind empty of those events again I started to prepare my place to eat some dry instantnoodles. In the same moment visitors came and donated some "real" food.