Extracted from the website of Buddhist Vajrayana Charity Funds Association and translated (是否真心布施) into English:
Is it Sincere Charitable-Giving?
|The real meaning of charitable-giving is to be able to give up what is hard to part with to those who are in need, it is not about donating to others those secondary items that one does not like, as this cannot be called charitable-giving. If a Buddhist practitioner gives away discarded objects, unwanted appliances and old things from home to Buddhist organisations as one pleases; and the Buddhist organisations keep receiving all these old items from worshippers, whilst the donor buys brand new things for his/her own use at home, this so called ‘donor’ must honestly ask himself/herself: what kind of attitude is this?|
|For example, one gives an old computer from home (even if it is only used just once) to a Buddhist organisation. Thereafter, one buys a new computer for one’s own use. Why doesn’t one buy a new computer to donate to the Buddhist organisation and use the old computer oneself? If one does not know how to sacrifice oneself, just hoping that other people will inherit those bad and secondary belongings from you, wishing that the Buddhist organisations will accept and take the items that you no longer want or that are bad, whilst one enjoys brand new things, will this be regarded as acts of those with Bodhi Heart?? Will those who possess this behaviour, be able to transgress to the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss(西方極樂世界, Sanskrit: Sukhavati, refers to the Western Pure Land of Amitabha in Mahayana Buddhism)???!|
|Occasionally, followers still habitually, casually and foolishly donate secondary items from home for the Buddhist organisation to use (those items thereby become logically the possessions of the temple). Once these old items are left for a while with no use and needs to be discarded, nobody dares to recklessly throw away anything at random, as they belong to the Buddhist organisation (because one fears the karmic result of damaging the objects of the temple). Hence, they allow these old objects to gradually accumulate like a mountain at the Buddhist organisation. Again, what kind of attitude is this?
A Buddhist organisation is a clean pure and blissful place for cultivation!! It is not a storage warehouse!!!
|Everybody wants to have a clean comfortable environment as home; he/she does not want to have any old clutter accumulate and fill the space at his/her residence; so why do you wish for a Buddhist organisation to accept all your old things? This isn’t the good behaviour of Buddhist practitioners, is it?|
|The acts and the attitudes of the above examples are definitely not those of sincere charitable-giving !!
If a foreign believer offers old items to the church, what would their God think?
If a Buddhist follower offers old items to the temple, what would those Dharma Protectors think?
If a Buddhist follower/ Dharma brother offers old items to the temple/centre, again, what would you all think?
As always, there is this saying: why don’t you buy new things as a gift to give to the Buddhist organisation and use old things yourself?
|Furthermore, one must know that Buddhist organisations are different from other religious organisations and those environmental groups which promote resource recycling, as these organisations will repair any discarded and damaged things to forward to places and establishments that are in need of them. Both organisations of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism emphasise cultivation and Dharma practice; sutra reading and mantra recitation; meditation and Great Mudra of Meditation.........., it is difficult to find time to repair those already damaged or nearly damaged goods. Hence, if one gives unwanted or damaged goods to Buddhist organisations, this may just add more pressure to a Buddhist practitioner’s cultivation, create extra annoyance and trouble, and waste his(her) precious time of practice. Is this again charitable-giving? The act of genuine charitable-giving by Bodhisattvas is always for the benefit of sentient beings!|
|Rinpoche once met a non-Buddhist follower who gave a pile of old belongings to Rinpoche. Rinpoche did not reject the other party, but rather accepted the items on behalf of the Shrine. Why did Rinpoche accept these old belongings? Only Rinpoche has the ability to accept these old items. This is because Rinpoche let these people the creation of a positive link with Buddhism so that they may have more coincidences to learn Buddhism in future lives.
Of course, these are non-Buddhist followers, of which Rinpoche painstakingly accepted their old items. Would it be necessary to give them a discourse on how not to offer damaged, old, or already used (second hand) goods to Rinpoche or Buddhist organisations/Shrines. They are not Buddhist followers, and as such, they do not understand these principles. It is merely that they can grasp a bit of good fortune from this process; however, there are bound to be certain residual effects. After listening to this case, should you all still muddle-mindedly follow the example and donate batch after batch of old things to Buddhist organisations, with those recipients also imitating and accepting the old things batch by batch, the Buddhist organisations will become a small warehouse for recycling/environmental protection.
Have you ever followed this up by asking about the eventual "good" or "evil" consequences of the non-Buddhist follower who gave those old items to Rinpoche, and how hard it was for Rinpoche to subsequently classify and deal with these old goods. Of course, for Rinpoche, annoyance and trouble means Bodhi, and he will compassionately handle this well. However, this ultimately would have consumed a lot of Rinpoche's precious time of preaching Buddhism and Dharma Practice!
|Vajrayana Buddhism deeply emphasises Cause (緣起original cause). If you offer these old goods to Rinpoche or donate them to Buddhist organisations/Shrines, as they are damaged, old and broken, you will obviously plant an old and broken cause, the fruit you bear during this life and even in future lifetimes will naturally be "old and broken".
What is perceived as "old and broken" fruit? When the time comes, those concerned will know themselves and when one receives the karmic consequences, one can then understand and experience it!
|Buddhist doctrines explain clearly the true principle of Cause and Effect. Therefore, senior Buddhist followers including junior Buddhist followers, will certainly not use old and broken items, or self-used goods as offerings to Rinpoche, or donate them to Buddhist organisations/Shrines. This is the most simple and the most basic general knowledge of Buddhism and fundamental knowledge of Vajrayana.
One is truly puzzled why sentient beings repeatedly commit such mistakes not only once, but twice, even thrice.