This question is probably in everyone’s mind this week. If you will hear us out, here are our thoughts:
- We do gokuyo for Buddhism, not for SGM.
- There are many ways to contribute to the Law, one of them is with sincere chanting to Gohonzon, helping our friends in pain, introducing and encouraging others to embrace faith in the Daishonin’s Buddhism. Money contribution is only one way.
- SGM leaders often tell us that it does not matter how much you contribute, it’s your sincerity that matter. Oh by the way, please listen to this experience of a member giving everything he/she owned, ‘sai lang’, which have resulted in 10-fold returns (I don’t know about you but that sounded manipulative to me).
- The above was acceptable many years ago when SGM needed the money to expand and build Cheras Kaikan. Our sincere contribution created meeting centers for practitioners to gather.
- Today, SGM have $350m cash in fixed deposits, generating over a million a month in interest. So, how will our additional donations helped Buddhism?
- We still scratch our heads as to why SGM need so many rounds of Gokuyo every single year. Is SGM trying to create more opportunity for members to accumulate good fortune?
- January New Year
- February Chinese New Year
- April Special Contribution round 1
- October Special Contribution round 2
- Monthly kofu fund
- When we shakubuku new members, we often encourage new Soka friends by saying that this Buddhism is free, no need money. Really? Are you sure? Can’t say that now with a straight face, can we?
- Also, remember that all our operations, such as canteen and TSS aim to break even and we pay for our Cosmic and Flow. When trying to claim small sums (less than a hundred ringgit) paid in advance for promotional activities such as EYT, SGM said no budget.
- Post-Johor incident, we learned that there are serious governance and transparency issues. Have we pondered how will our donations, to an already cash rich organization, be used in future? Do we know? Dare we ask without being sacked? Or being labelled as having problem in faith, not trusting and supporting GD or a spy from the enemy camp to cause disunity?
- Will we indirectly practice the “give oil money to temple so one gets protection” mentality and as such, embrace the old superstitious and believe that the Law is outside ourselves?
- If we believed the Law is inside us, then how will more monetary donations helped us gain benefits? I have always read and be told that we can only accumulate good fortune and transform our karma through our own human revolution, sincere and strong daimoku. Can giving money without human revolution have the same effect?
- We also notice some amusing behaviour among our members. The only reason they do gokuyo is because they do not want leaders to home visit them and ask weird questions like why he didn’t do gokuyo. The leaders have a list of who contributed and who didn’t.
- Isn’t it better to contribute daimoku in times like these?
Hope we can ponder more deeply and critically before deciding to do our gokuyo. Some of the teachings of SGM regarding gokuyo is not totally right and deviated from true teachings of the Daishonin Buddhism, we feel.
p.s. To understand more on the spirit of gokuyo, read The poor woman’s lamp .