Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

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Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby puppha » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:54 am

Dear All,

I would like to have your opinions about giving money to the Vihara/Wat/Temple: is it a meritorous deed or not?
The fact is that monks and nuns are prohibited by the Vinaya from holding or managing money. So on the face of it, putting money into the donation box of the Vihara would not be very skillful...

Many thanks for your comments!

With Metta
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Ben » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:00 pm

Then why do they have a donation box?

I think you'll find that its a skilful thing to do and the money gets handled by a lay treasurer.
kind regards,

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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:05 pm

Well it isn't being givento or managed by them but the charity responcible for the Monastery, or at least that is how I understand its management at places I have been/in the west.

you aren't giving it to the monks, and monks can have money recieved for tham by a lay attendent for purposes of buying needed items like a robe, according to vinaya.

it is OK.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:25 pm

puppha wrote:I would like to have your opinions about giving money to the Vihara/Wat/Temple: is it a meritorous deed or not?
The fact is that monks and nuns are prohibited by the Vinaya from holding or managing money. So on the face of it, putting money into the donation box of the Vihara would not be very skillful...


Giving money (or goods) to anyone who has a good/selfless purpose for it's use and needs it more than you is meritorous.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Bankei » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:24 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Well it isn't being givento or managed by them but the charity responcible for the Monastery, or at least that is how I understand its management at places I have been/in the west.
.


This would depend on the monastery involved and wouldn't always be the case.
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:45 pm

Bankei wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Well it isn't being givento or managed by them but the charity responcible for the Monastery, or at least that is how I understand its management at places I have been/in the west.
.


This would depend on the monastery involved and wouldn't always be the case.

I am sure you are corect but I was specifically talking about places I have been/in the west not every monastery in the universe.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Bankei » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:51 am

I know of some monasteries in the west, which I have been to, which virtually treat donations as assets of the monks.

There are other monasteries in the west too which provide funds for the monks to travel to give teachings etc. Some monks are frequently flying around the countries and overseas to 'branch meetings',birthday celebrations etc.

And, in Thailand, the Wat opposite my house recently purchased a brand new 4 wheel drive for the abbot - he needs it so his driver can drive him to visit other temples on temple business. Many westerners think that Buddhists don't criticise monks, but in asia this is not the case and he was criticised for this and other spending with some locals refusing to attend that temple anymore.
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:06 am

Bankei wrote:I know of some monasteries in the west, which I have been to, which virtually treat donations as assets of the monks.

There are other monasteries in the west too which provide funds for the monks to travel to give teachings etc. Some monks are frequently flying around the countries and overseas to 'branch meetings',birthday celebrations etc.

And, in Thailand, the Wat opposite my house recently purchased a brand new 4 wheel drive for the abbot - he needs it so his driver can drive him to visit other temples on temple business. Many westerners think that Buddhists don't criticise monks, but in asia this is not the case and he was criticised for this and other spending with some locals refusing to attend that temple anymore.


that may be but it is outside of my experience isn't it, I wasn't talking about all monasteries was I.

I do know if a monk is invited somewhere it is normal for the person/group to fund the travel, but sure this may not always be the case.

if you want to post something in contribution to a thread no need to be deliberately contrary.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby puppha » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:03 pm

Many thanks for your comments!

An interesting point is being raised here. Money works this way: when some money is available, ways to spend it materialise very quickly, and they become a part of reality within a short period of time and people can't do without anymore. This is certainly true of the corporate world or of personal finances, and it may be the case also for donations.

In other words, there is a world of difference between:
1 - A monk needs something
2 - The lay people make donations to fulfil that need
and:
1 - The lay people make donations
2 - Needs materialise to soak up available money

I know I am playing the devil's advocate here, as we should somewhere trust our monks. On the other hand, we may also consider it the duty of the lay people to make life easier for the monks and avoid them such tension/temptation.

However, when a lay stewart is managing the money for the temple, I think no problem arises with money donations.

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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:54 pm

Electric bill
Gas (heating, stove) bill
Air conditioning
Water bill
Sewer bill
Garbage removal bill
General repairs to the building
Mortgage payment (if there is one)

All of the above must be paid. It can't be done without monetary donations from someone.

Maybe because I am a landlord, but one concept I like is for a temple to acquire a large property and rent out some rooms or buildings to lay practitioners, creating a community / co-housing and then all or most of the expenses paid by the incoming rents. IBMC in Los Angeles and a few others have done this concept.
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:47 pm

Bankei wrote:... some locals refusing to attend that temple anymore.

And that would be the appropriate response.

So in response to the OP: If there is a Wat that you think is worth supporting, support it. :buddha1:
If you think there is something shady about it, ignore it.

:anjali:
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby puppha » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:25 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Electric bill
Gas (heating, stove) bill
Air conditioning
Water bill
Sewer bill
Garbage removal bill
General repairs to the building
Mortgage payment (if there is one)

All of the above must be paid. It can't be done without monetary donations from someone.

That's very true!

mikenz66 wrote:So in response to the OP: If there is a Wat that you think is worth supporting, support it. :buddha1:
If you think there is something shady about it, ignore it.

Excellent!
The middle path, as always, is the right answer. Or in other words: "it depends".

Many thanks for giving me perspectives!

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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Bankei » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:27 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Bankei wrote:I know of some monasteries in the west, which I have been to, which virtually treat donations as assets of the monks.

There are other monasteries in the west too which provide funds for the monks to travel to give teachings etc. Some monks are frequently flying around the countries and overseas to 'branch meetings',birthday celebrations etc.

And, in Thailand, the Wat opposite my house recently purchased a brand new 4 wheel drive for the abbot - he needs it so his driver can drive him to visit other temples on temple business. Many westerners think that Buddhists don't criticise monks, but in asia this is not the case and he was criticised for this and other spending with some locals refusing to attend that temple anymore.


that may be but it is outside of my experience isn't it, I wasn't talking about all monasteries was I.

I do know if a monk is invited somewhere it is normal for the person/group to fund the travel, but sure this may not always be the case.

if you want to post something in contribution to a thread no need to be deliberately contrary.


What has your experience got to do with my post?
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:43 pm

Bankei wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Well it isn't being givento or managed by them but the charity responcible for the Monastery, or at least that is how I understand its management at places I have been/in the west.
.


This would depend on the monastery involved and wouldn't always be the case.

What has what you got to say to do with my post?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Bankei » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:28 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Bankei wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Well it isn't being givento or managed by them but the charity responcible for the Monastery, or at least that is how I understand its management at places I have been/in the west.
.


This would depend on the monastery involved and wouldn't always be the case.

What has what you got to say to do with my post?


Nothing.
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Re: Giving money to the Vihara/Wat: is it OK or not?

Postby Ferox » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:30 pm

of the three monasterys I frequent, two in NJ and Bhavana Society in WV, I always donate money when I go. I have never given food , partly out of ignorance of what I should bring and party due to the distance I travel to them and party due to the ease of donations. the NJ Buddhist Virhara in Princeton is actually working towards building a temple(they currently stay in a small two story house on the property and this is where we meditate) so I feel glad to help them towards their goals as I know if will benefit myself and others in the future.
-just one more being treading the ancient path of Dhamma-
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