Dharma should not have a price on it

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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:45 am

Malcolm wrote:
LastLegend wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
In Vajrayāna stated in the tantras themselves that a fee for the initiation and teachings should be set.


In form of money? Or other offering?


Gold, usually.
Once upon a time, in addition to requesting the teachings three times, disciples were required to make offerings of solid gold. In the eleventh century there was a Tibetan teacher by the name of Drogmi. He refused to give teachings until students not only made three requests, but also brought him bars of gold. People with impure vision thought that he was greedy. Understandably, he attracted only a limited number of adherents. Of course, this is what he intended. Out of his eighteen successors, only one was going to be his principal successor. Until this particular student was fully trained, he kept asking him for more gold. But when this student was fully developed, he no longer wanted any gold from anyone. By this time people had begun to realise that he was a great teacher. They began to flock to him, bringing handsome offerings of gold. Now he told them that he did not need their gold. His wife complained to him, reminding him that he had previously rejected students who didn’t bring gold. Why when they now brought lots of gold to him did he no longer want it? What was going on? He replied that he did not need any more, because he had already passed his gold on to the one who was supposed to receive it.

-Lamdre: Dawn of Enlightenment pg. 51
[Ra said:] Alas, precious guru!

Lord of beings, who is emanated from the minds
Of all the buddhas in the three times,
Don’t you have any compassion for me?

I have given to you, Dharma Lord,
My lungs, my heart and my breast.
Is it right that the guru should keep
The profound instructions private?

You did not give me this essential Dharma,
Yet told me you had given me all your teachings.
That you have been so dishonest
Has made me sad, truly sad.

Now you really have to give me
This profound instruction.
Otherwise I vow that this body of mine will come to an end
And I will leave this world and go elsewhere.

When Ra had made this challenge, the guru replied:

[...]

In order to receive such an excellent teaching as this,
A precious offering of gold is required,
A gaṇacakra torma for the ḍākiṇīs is required,
Service that pleases the guru is required,
Changeless faith is required,
The fortitude to endure hardship is required.
If there is someone like that, I will give the teaching,
But this is not something that should be taught to everyone.

[...]

Filled with great joy, Ra prostrated to him and circumambulated him hundreds and thousands of times. He unreservedly offered the guru all his gold [100s of ounces, collected from various places] and prayed to him with these words:

I am one who is karmically worthy.
I have today met the perfect guru.
I pray that through your compassion for me
You will give me the profound touching.

[...]

The guru said, “I already knew that you were a worthy vessel, but the time had not yet arrived for me to give you this teaching. I did not give this teaching, so as to emphasize the greatness of the Dharma. Now the time has come, and so I am going to give it to you.”

The guru told Ra to arrange a gaṇacakra. Ra said, “I don’t have any of the necessary things here, so we should return to the Kathmandu valley.”

The guru said, “This has to be kept very secret, so it is better to do it here. The things will not be a problem.”

The guru stared, and instantly countless ḍākas and ḍākiṇīs appeared. Some arranged seats. Some created the maṇḍala, some arranged an extensive feast and torma offerings, and they all finished their work at the same instant.

Then, [starting] at noon of the eighth lunar day, the guru gave the complete empowerment[s]

[...]

Then the guru gave Ra back his gold. He said, “I don’t have any need for gold. I only took it so that you could complete the accumulation of merit and so as to emphasize the greatness of this teaching. You should use this gold to make offerings at the shrines in this area and make prayers. You will accomplish great things.”

-All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats: The biography of the lord of power, the venerable great Ra Lotsawa
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby greentara » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:09 am

One bright spark said, the more money you pay, the less dharma you get.
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby Zhen Li » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:18 am

Dharma does have a very high price. All you need to do to know that is read the Jatakas and Avadanas.
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby LastLegend » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:19 am

The don't equate initiation offerings to buy Dharma. In Cambodia, people used gold to build temples. I know of a Khmer Krom (ethnic group of Cambodia's origin in Vietnam) magic tradition that requires initiation offerings in forms of fresh flowers and fruit. I am afraid I don't have gold to offer to a guru if I am to enter into a relationship with one. Of poor people like myself, I wonder if flowers and fruits are acceptable. This is a different issue from voluntarily supporting the Dharma with money and such.
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:37 am

LastLegend wrote:I am afraid I don't have gold to offer to a guru if I am to enter into a relationship with one. Of poor people like myself, I wonder if flowers and fruits are acceptable. This is a different issue from voluntarily supporting the Dharma with money and such.
Naropa offered piss on sand. Intention is key I think.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby greentara » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:49 am

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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:47 am

greentara wrote:http://sdhammika.blogspot.com.au/

As requested.
:twothumbsup:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby kirtu » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:38 pm

Konchog1 wrote:
LastLegend wrote:I am afraid I don't have gold to offer to a guru if I am to enter into a relationship with one. Of poor people like myself, I wonder if flowers and fruits are acceptable. This is a different issue from voluntarily supporting the Dharma with money and such.
Naropa offered piss on sand. Intention is key I think.


Tilopa told Naropa to offer a mandala. Naropa replied that they were traveling and had nothing. Then Tilopa replied that Naropa should create a mandala of urine and sand, which he then did.

So it wasn't Naropa's idea.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby Paul » Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:50 am

LastLegend wrote:I know of aI am afraid I don't have gold to offer to a guru if I am to enter into a relationship with one


I have been at teachings where people have pooled money to offer gold. Even a tiny amount of money is a good connection.

I am beginning to think that many people don't fully understand the value of what a vajrayana teacher is giving students.
This nature of mind is spontaneously present.
That spontaneity I was told is the dakini aspect.
Recognizing this should help me
Not to be stuck with fear of being sued.

-Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby LastLegend » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:35 am

Paul wrote:
LastLegend wrote:I know of aI am afraid I don't have gold to offer to a guru if I am to enter into a relationship with one


I have been at teachings where people have pooled money to offer gold. Even a tiny amount of money is a good connection.

I am beginning to think that many people don't fully understand the value of what a vajrayana teacher is giving students.


I probably don't because Vajrayana is not what I practice. I would give my finger if I am that sincere. An individual's body part is 'priced' to that individual. If by offering his finger, he shows great sincerity. Does the teacher really want his finger? Does the Vajra teacher really want gold? Does it have to be gold? I don't know. But I don't think people should see it as a form of "trade." It should be voluntarily offer be it gold, money, or something most 'priced' to that individual. One day, that individual will become the guru and pass on the teachings just as his guru did to him, or he will will charge a particular price $500 for this particular teaching?
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby Mkoll » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:02 am

In today's world, if something is salable you will find somebody selling it. This holds true for virtually everything salable and Buddhist teachings are no exception.
Peace,
James
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby Gnosis984 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:36 am

I have mixed views on this subject. On one hand, especially when the seller is largely motivated by money, I find it very dispicable. Then there are those who have written great commentaries on Dharma, who are not so much seeking material gain, but has the desire to help others. Should the second person recieve nothing for his hard work? I think this is a many layered subject, and not easily answered.
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby conebeckham » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:05 am

Paul wrote:
LastLegend wrote:I know of aI am afraid I don't have gold to offer to a guru if I am to enter into a relationship with one


I have been at teachings where people have pooled money to offer gold. Even a tiny amount of money is a good connection.

I am beginning to think that many people don't fully understand the value of what a vajrayana teacher is giving students.


Ya Think? :applause:
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby philji » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:04 pm

We don't have money for teachings but we do for a meal or a few beers or a wonderful massage( this happened when I was at the door at one teaching, a woman said I don't have any money... Next day she was telling everyone about the lovely massage she had had later that evening somewhere).
Paul is right we undervalue the teachings.
Yes a balance needs to be sought
Perhaps we don't need to be chasing so many teachings, attending every Rinpoche that comes to town....
Receive the teaching then go practice.....
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:01 am

Yeah it should be voluntary, ideally; the teachings should be free I think. But I do understand that isn't always possible, sometimes a moderate fee should be OK.

It depends what the money is spent on, of course a functioning monastery has costs they need to cover, but I don't think people coming for the dharma should have to pay for a guru's new Mercedes.
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Re: Dharma should not have a price on it

Postby KeithBC » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:46 am

Having been the treasurer of a Dharma centre, I can tell you that it is possible to run a centre on donations only. However, that is doing it the hard way. It worked because one of our senior organizers was very skilled at laying a guilt trip on the attendees so that they would donate generously. Not all centres have someone with those skills.

Just the repairs and maintenance on the existing facilities cost a lot, as did providing simple but nutritious meals for the retreatants. Those costs have to be covered somehow or there would be no retreats or teachings. We also had ambitions to expand the facilities, but there was no money for anything more than wishful thinking.

If donations do not cover the costs, then you either have to charge a fee or cancel the teachings. The topic of charging fees came up at board meetings every year. They managed to hold off on charging fees for retreats and teachings at least during my tenure there. But the result was that we could only offer teachings by local teachers, and retreatants had to bring their own tents because the accommodations were limited.

Om mani padme hum
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