Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: On Money -Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 1076 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: On Money -Khenpo Sodargye
« on: November 13, 2016, 08:42:19 am »
On Money

City dwellers usually wear a look of weariness and worry. Why is that so? After my careful observation, I find money issues are largely to blame.

This sack of flesh and bones that we humans survive in, if it fatefully lands in a city, will need the constant support of money. Otherwise, it will fall with a thump. Some of you may argue: “That’s not quite possible!” But in the city, one is forced to be keenly aware of the power of money. Any activity—be it eating, buying clothes, and seeing the doctor, sleeping, even going to the toilet—calls for money. It is exactly how the saying goes: “Money is not almighty, but without money nothing can be done.”

With no money, all living activities in the city have to come to a halt. In order to have our body machine, the composite of five aggregates, function normally; humans have to struggle like slaves to garner the source of its fuel—money. I often think, wouldn’t it be wonderful if humans could survive just by imbibing soil like the earthworm! But cruel reality tells me otherwise: for people living in the city, the provisions to survive are by no means easy to come by.

Consequently, city folks are reduced to being always on the run. The anguish of having to work hard for money is felt by practically everyone. Previously I had the illusion that people in the city live like celestial beings; only now do I come to see the extra agony they have to endure. This reminds me of those spiritual seekers deep in the mountains where the environment is naturally conducive to survival. Other than food, there are not too many things to worry about, and a person with 1,000 yuan can stand tall and be considered a rich person. While in the city, the same amount of money won’t go too far; one is unable to make ends meet and will feel a sense of inferiority.

A spiritual seeker should be defined as one who is proud of accruing the seven noble riches, who is ashamed of amassing worldly possessions, and who regards poverty as a dear companion. The most celebrated teaching among the Kadampa masters is:

Base your mind on the Dharma,
Base your Dharma on a humble life,
Base your humble life on the thought of death,
Base your death on a lonely cave.

Wealth and power make one obsessive and indulgent, while poverty and humility impart to one vision and wisdom.

There is also a saying in the Han area: “The monk of the highest caliber is light and at ease, the monk of the second rank holds a big sack, the monk of the third rank stoops with weight.”

Some time ago, an erudite Tibetan went to England as a visiting scholar. Each month before payday, he would offer all the money he saved from the previous month to charity, keeping for himself only old ragged clothes. When visitors sought him out with admiration, they found it hard to match the humble, scrubby person they saw with the famous Tibetan siddha of perfect learning and accomplishment. His conduct deserves our highest praise.

Innumerable sages have shown us perfect examples; we should abide in poverty without the slightest second thought.

8th of March, Year of RenWu
April 20, 2002


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