China Adventures (2): Tipping The Enlightened?

As amusing as it is somewhat bizarre, many temple devotees in China like to deposit their cash donations in the meditative mudras (sacred hand gestures) of images of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. Some would go around with small denominations to put the money at every image encountered in a temple. Maybe this is the Chinese ‘give red packets’ mentality of courtesy?

I wonder what goes on in their minds. Are they generously ‘tipping’ the enlightened for their jobs well done, or donating to the temple, or are trying to ‘bribe’ for worldly favours, or to redeem some misgivings, or… ? Anyway, the images smile on gently, indifferent to the cash at hand, neither clutching nor pocketing the money…

Yes, the monks-in-charge come along regularly to remove the money. With many popular temples looking busy with the coming and going of many devotees, many still look dilapidated, some with what seems to be slow or stalled renovation and expansion works. I sincerely hope the money is put to good use to further propagate the priceless Dharma… more speedily and effectively.

Next China Adventure:
Previous China Adventure:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.