By Passang Tshering ‘Passu’
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.
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.
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.
Tshering is a Bhutanese blogger