Thoughts on Helping Fellow Practitioners Financially
(Clearwisdom.net) Several days ago, a fellow practitioner accepted a donation of more than 8,000 yuan from other practitioners for his son's wedding. This caused many comments among the local practitioners.
This practitioner lost his wife in 2000. She died because of the persecution. He was sentenced to forced labor that same year. Their two sons were left alone at home. One was about 20 years old and the other was still in middle school. Since then, fellow practitioners have helped his family and given them money through different ways.
After the practitioner returned from the labor camp, some practitioners continued to help him since they thought his life was difficult. When his son got married, certain practitioners wanted to help him out. Some of them donated over 20 yuan and others even over a thousand.
Many practitioners later talked about this and discussed different opinions. Some thought, "It is collecting money and does not conform to Dafa." Others thought, "We should help fellow practitioners and this was not wrong."
Nothing happens accidentally. The event exposed some issues among fellow practitioners in our local area. We indeed did not understand the principles on some issues. Master has talked about this issue in "Teaching the Fa at the Eastern U.S. Fa Conference," "Question: If someone accepts well-intentioned gifts from a fellow practitioner over a long period of time, will he be losing his virtue endlessly?
"Question: If someone accepts well-intentioned gifts from a fellow practitioner over a long period of time, will he be losing his virtue endlessly?
"Teacher: I'll give you an example. A student's family all of sudden gets into financial difficulties. For a cultivator, this hardship is very possibly the result of his owing this kind of debt in the past. During the karma elimination process, he must bear something like this, but it won't last long. I'm saying that might be the case. Then, some students think that since he's having such a hard time, 'We should help him out.' How to help him? Everyone contributes some money, gives him money, and provides for his family. Well, he stops doing anything from then on. Other than studying the Fa, he just stays at home and lives on their money. A little later, he stops studying the Fa, too: 'Just bring me the money and I'll just live like this now.' Think about it, everyone. You do have compassion, but you can't handle these things that way. Everyone has his own tribulations. You can assist him out of compassion by helping him find a job or by temporarily attending to some emergencies, but you absolutely can't do that over a long period of time. You would be disrupting the path I arranged for him, and it would become impossible for him to cultivate. In the end, he would stop cultivating. He would stop looking for a job, and he wouldn't want to solve the problem since he had money to spend, and he'd say, 'Just bring me money every month.' Then, I'd say, what are the students really doing?
"Gift giving? What's gift giving? Someone gives someone else something? Why should someone you don't know give you things? Okay, so you know each other and you're all students. But, should a student casually give another student expensive things? Why would you do that? There needs to be a reason! Even if those aren't expensive things, why do they keep supplying them for such a long time? Why? And why do you accept them? Is it because you can't abandon your attachment to greed? Or are there other reasons? Why don't you try to find them? That is unacceptable. This Dafa of ours doesn't involve money or material possessions, and we don't accumulate money or material possessions. You have come to practice cultivation, and with all of you sitting here, I don't ask a penny from you. Why is it that when other people give you things, you can't let it go? Here I'll make a point about a particular issue: All those who work for Dafa, and all those who work for Master, regardless of the reason, you absolutely cannot accept anything from students. Things that are to be forwarded to Master must be given to Master to handle. Don't take the liberty of handling those things on your own, don't keep them for yourselves, hold onto them, or open letters or other things that are intended for Master."
How should we help fellow practitioners? How can we truly help fellow practitioners? What is best for fellow practitioners? Based on the viewpoint of human beings to help, this is not genuinely helping fellow practitioners. True help should be based on the Fa. After studying Master's Fa, we should be clearer on this issue now.
In fact, we indeed collected money. The financial situation of that fellow practitioner is not that bad. After his wife died, many fellow practitioners cared for his family and naturally thought they might have financial problems without knowing the actual situation. They did not think about it from the Fa. Therefore they continued to give him money. Our mentality caused this practitioner to have a wrong attitude and the attachment to money. On this issue, he forgot to conform to the Fa and act according to the Fa. He wanted to let fellow practitioners support him. The evil forces behind the scenes and the rotten ghosts took advantage of him. He felt sleepy when he studied the Fa, sent forth righteous thoughts, or practiced the exercises. This situation lasted a long time. Some fellow practitioners realized his problem, studied the Fa, and shared with him. He admitted that he wanted to collect money through his son's wedding and that he was greedy. However, when he was asked to return the extra money, he was not willing to do so.
Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York:"
"Disciple: A fellow cultivator has been giving me financial support recently, which has enabled me to stay in New York to do more Dafa work. I don't think it is quite right to accept others' help. Master, is my understanding correct?
"Teacher: Yes, I think that since all Dafa disciples are giving of themselves and you too are giving of yourself and clarifying the truth, if you rely on other people's financial contributions, then aren't you doing things conditionally? If others didn't provide for you, then would you not do it? When we take from others, don't we have a sense of indebtedness? Do we feel right about it? Sure, there are special circumstances, and we can't be absolute with this. It's understandable when students who have their own businesses give more and support certain projects by students. But under normal circumstances I don't think that seems right. Even when it's for doing things like clarifying the truth, I don't think it is quite right. If you can stay here long term, then find a job and do [the Dafa] things in your spare time--that works, too. In any case, ultimately you have to resolve your financial situation on your own. You can't depend on someone else to provide for you--that would be a problem.
"I'm talking about this in terms of the Fa's principles. In fact, the observing gods are glaring at you, so you shouldn't be borrowing from people."
"No loss, no gain." Master had said that even if someone begs for food he or she has to exchange it with De. Master also reminded us that our path as a Dafa disciple is very narrow. We must be strict and righteous; otherwise, the old forces will seize any chances they find and destroy Dafa disciples.
In fact, compared to those practitioners who lived very frugally in order to save more money and use it for saving more sentient beings, this practitioner lived a better life. However, he continued to accept money from other practitioners. I am not pointing a finger at that practitioner. I just hope that the practitioner realizes how serious this issue is. Do not let the evil take advantage of your loophole and strengthen those attachments that make him unreasonable. Get rid of the attachment and truly improve within the Fa.
Those practitioners that thought he had financial problems and therefore gave him money should also think it over from the Fa's perspective. Why did you believe that his situation was very hard? Why did you keep giving him money? In the end, were we also not reasonable about this issue? Our mind was not on the Fa concerning this issue; therefore, we are also responsible for the current cultivation state of that fellow practitioner. It is very painful to see the current state of that practitioner.
It is not wrong to help fellow practitioners financially. It should be done only if a true need exists. In our local area, two practitioners were sentenced and detained in a forced labor camp. They had a daughter who was left alone at home. She was in middle school and suffered difficulties, both mentally and financially. Fellow practitioners often visited the teenager, helped her financially and spiritually, and helped her to solve issues she encountered. The neighbors witnessed this and told others, "I don't believe those bad words about Falun Gong. I say Falun Gong is good. Do you see who takes care of the child whose parents are detained? It is Falun Gong practitioners. I often see them coming to help the child. Just based on this, I'd say that Falun Gong is good." We validate Dafa, do we not? Moreover, when this couple was released, they returned all the money to the practitioners who had given donations.
The issue of helping fellow practitioners in a way that does not conform to Dafa has existed in our local area for quite some time. Nothing happens accidentally. It also exists in other areas. Write it down and discuss it with other practitioners. Let us study the Fa well. Never let Master down, never disappoint his benevolence and the hardship he endures in order to save us.