23 October 2013

God Don't Need No Money

The Buddha and his Buddhism I know about and I believe in doesn't talk about money, it doesn't talk about buying blessing with money, it doesn't talk about greed for blessing, it doesn't talk about blind faith, and it doesn't talk about cleansing of sin just by bathing, offering or praying. It is all about selfless sacrifices we make for others, freeing from greed and attachment, and contentment with what we have. But looks like we have made Buddha into a business model.

I am not a faithless man but what is happening in Thimphu at RAPA hall is a religious circus where they make mockery of holy relics, which they know is a magical commerce. When religion opens a shop, there is no need for advertisement and nobody bargains. About 16,000 people kept aside their sleep and hunger to see the relics and throw in their money with prayers and wishes.

Image from BBS.bt
When I look at the wild crowd of pilgrims there I see greed, greed for blessing. Everybody wants to selfishly get in the front and everybody wants to be blessed first and more. They throw in money as if blessing is up for sale, and bigger the amount they throw more satisfaction they get with the selfish feeling that they will be blessed more.

On the other hand, there was Health Walk organised to raise money for Health Trust Fund, which is the money that will sustain our free health service but how many of us contributed? How many of us contributed without criticizing the move as political stunt? Our country is in difficult economic state and if there is anybody who needs money at this time its our country, not God, God don't need money.

Image from Kuensel
Rupee shortage has been bothering us since last year, which hugely inflated food prices and also was the very cause of vehicle import ban. In such times we have to put in collective effort to reduce rupee expenditure to stabilize the balance of trade but the millions of ngultrum we collectively threw at RAPA hall in the name of God will be converted to rupee and flown back to India on top of the huge fee we paid them to bring the relics to Bhutan. God didn't take the money, it was taken to India.

When will we understand that God is impartial; God won't bless those who came there more than those who didn't come, and those who paid more than those who paid less. When you will understand that you cannot bribe god for blessing, of all the things in the world god don't need money.


  1. Hi Passu, when I read about it online last time, I thought that was very commercial too and it's like commodity item to bring the relics from one place to another. What you write here was logic and sense too. However, it still won't stop people to donate more money in exchange to get more blessings. It applies everywhere, not only in Bhutan.

  2. Indeed Passu sir; I often wonder if such behaviors really show that Bhutanese are Buddhist in nature?
    One should watch Oh My God, a Hindi movie, perhaps that will instill some instincts..:)

  3. I agree with you sir... People are still wondering and they are still in a dream...

  4. Passu sir,
    This is an insightful letter to the religious influential with the message that you proposed: God Don't Need Money.

  5. A very thought-provoking post!

  6. I agree with Rekha... very thought provoking... and indeed something I've been struggling with, wondering 'why we do what we do'...and when I asked a highly 'religious' minded person this question once long ago (I think early 1990's), he just said, "Shhh... Tshering... careful... don't ask such questions." And, I thought Buddha had had an inquiring mind. He surely asked questions, didn't he?

  7. I'm a spiritual person but for some reason, though the relics were brought right to 'the doorstep', I couldn't go. And I had some kind of questions rising in my mind as well, but I wouldn't really think it wise to speak them aloud. Faith plays a big role in our life and if these people lined up sacrificing food and sleep, it is good for them. In my layman's view of how faith works, I am sure they will have gained merit for this sacrifice they made.

  8. Very thought provoking article. However, we must know that Move for Health program is totally different from Buddhism. The Buddha exactly taught teaching as you perceive in your article. Nonetheless, he also taught in different ways in different levels. The faith is must-needed in every religion. The people who would have been rushing to be blessed by relics must be the effective way of teaching on Buddhism by Buddha and great masters ( may be people will react same if move for health program is taught in same way). The totality expression from public to Buddhism may queue the economic problem at certain areas and situation but the religion must not be seen as economic faith. This is where people go wrong in most part of the world. The relic blessing program, I have seen it as most cost effective as people going all the way to get blessed from relics at India where only few rich people can go. We also know the risk associated going to another country.
    In my view, Move for health walk was equally treated by people. All the civil servant and corporate employee has been seen donating money. The objective was to collect money and not necessary to walk from one point to another. Someone is doing that, and public has supported. The productivity of program was excellent.

  9. Passu, it is a great article which makes sense and make us to realize. You are right, God doesn't need the money..
    Thank you for such great article and keep writing. Appreciated a lot.

  10. Lets see the others' observation from other dzongkhags which I m sure ll be no different from the Capital ;)

    great observation Passu.... Keep Rocking :)

  11. Haa haa.. Fellow Blogger started to think and write like me.. :p Not a pretty good idea Sir. Buddhism just teaches us impermanence, not to have attachments with anything.. be it Buddha's own belongings let alone his idols.. :)

  12. This post reminded me of the bollywood movie OMG; and I can't help agreeing with you on this sirji!

  13. Passu sir, it was a grt article which made us to think twice.
    keep sharing your grt thoughts.


Your thoughts on this post;