Does A Bhikkhu Beg?
Even if a donor has given some money to a lay-attendant (kappiya
= one who makes things allowable), inviting the bhikkhu to ask for whatever he needs, the bhikkhu should not order the kappiya
to buy this or buy that. He should only say, "I need this." If the kappiya
fails to buy what the bhikkhu needs, the bhikkhu has no argument with the kappiya.
He should inform the donor that his donation failed to provide anything, and leave it to the donor to sort it out.
The donation is held in trust for the bhikkhu by the kappiya.
The money does not belong to the bhikkhu, nor to the kappiya
— it still belongs to the donor.
Fund-raising by bhikkhus is ugly — it should only be done by lay supporters. A bhikkhu may, and indeed should on the appropriate occasions of thanks-giving, talk about the benefits of giving. It is then done after the gift has been given, not in the hope or expectation of receiving offerings. The longest rule in the Pātimokkha
is hard to practice correctly. It is only human nature to be misled by greed. If I learn that my kappiya
has received a large donation, it is almost inevitable that I will start thinking, “What do I need? What can be bought with that amount?” Before I heard about the donation, I had no such thoughts about what I needed, so how come they arose afterwards? Is it really a legitimate need, or is it just greed?Note that a bhikkhu can ask his blood relatives for requisites, even if not invited.