Tuesday, 14 December 2021

The ugly side of so-called Donation


Bhutan is the last Himalayan kingdom, perhaps the last Shangri-La so to say where the Buddha dharma is flourishing like never before. Of course it is an individual’s choice to which religion you opt to practice and get acquainted with; Buddha dharma is progressing in the small country and have become a kinda safe haven.

Recently the Kuensel, the national newspaper of Bhutan covered an article titled “what makes little boys become monks?’ which showcased the unseen and unheard but obvious reality of the institutions catering to Buddhist education. All in all, the story is same for all the institutions. “Many young monks are from the broken families or economically disadvantaged groups, who feels becoming monk is the best choice” states the article. This is the basis from which the word “Donation” comes from.

Bhutanese in general are all generous and kind by nature, they are willing to lend helping hand of any-cash and kind. They are willing to donate so to say and it’s really nice to see people doing anything they can with the genuine hope to gain good merits as a result. . Bhutanese believe in the law of karma, the cause and effect and perhaps that’s why year by year  people are reaping the benefits of it all and country prospering well as a whole.

Anyway the flipped side of this is that, somehow, these are unevenly distributed and like the old adage, there are rains where there is already water and this creates inequality where by the institutions that are genuinely in need of the basic amenities, genuine care and support aren’t reached particularly in remote areas.

I happened to be part of this thing and I am actually proud to say that we, a group of friends are able to be of some help (even if it is a meagre one) to dozens of young and budding monks who are studying at a secluded place. We intend to do more to help and uplift the lives of these young kids who were once on the verge of getting spoiled and wasted but got something to look up to; something to hang by. It’s such a joy to watch these innocent kids mostly from the broken and disadvantaged families finding a purpose to live. We are starting by providing food and clothing (dresses) for the year 2022.  The shelter for them is being sponsored by other generous group and we are grateful to them.

Despite our best and pure intentions, we do face criticisms and struggles on the way. We want the good merits gained, the sense of purpose and satisfaction, joy that comes from such noble works to be shared with others too and on the way seek the help from others, the donations from people alike ( friends and colleagues) which sometimes doesn’t end as intended. There is reluctance and arrogance which is actually fine as we take it positively.  Despite all the hardships and hiccups we are strong; we value and respect other’s perspective and their freedom of choice; we keep aside the reddened  face and we live with the positive attitude that we will strive harder instead if need be to fulfil not just the dreams and wishes of those innocent souls but also ours. Believe me the joy we derive from doing such work is too sacred to give away and far too exceeds the small setbacks and glitches that come on the way

If your intention is pure, there is nothing you can’t do and nothing wrong in doing what you love. But harder one must try.

In my next and following posts, I will share in details the realities of the monks, their life styles and about the monastery. If anyone wishes to donate, even a cent, it would be such an honor to be receive. No amount is small. Like we have the saying: “if your intention is pure, your path is clear and good”

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