Yesterday I received a mail from a person in Australia, who happens to visit my blog quite frequently, she was very happy to read the articles I wrote. But she was puzzled why I wrote so much about dharma and detachment, but still I had ads on my blog and she felt I was trying to sell the dharma. She also felt may be I was very keen on earning money through dharma.
I must confess I am answerable to all my readers. People, who might have visited my blog about a year ago, would have noticed that I had ads for a few months, and then the blog was ad free for sometime again. And now again ads have come up. Well the reason for the absence of ads on my site for some time was because the advert Program we had used had a minimum number of page-loads per month criteria for our ads to be displayed. So now the traffic has increased and the ads have come up again.
But I still haven’t explained why the ads are there in the first place… and also the question of am I trying to sell the dharma?
Before I go into the answer let me tell u a story about a Buddhist monk.
The Greedy Monk
Gessen was a Buddhist monk. He was also an exceptionally talented artist. Before he started work on any painting, however he always demanded payment in advance. And his fees were exorbitant. So he came to be known as the Greedy Monk.
A geisha once sent for him to have a painting done. Gessen said “How much will you pay me?” The girl happened to be entertaining a patron at that time. She said “Any sum you ask for. But the painting must be done right now before me.”
Gessen set to work at once and when the painting was completed he asked for the highest sum he had ever charged. As the geisha was giving him his money, she said to her patron, “This man is supposed to be a monk but all he thinks of is money. His talent is exceptional but he has a filthy, money-loving mind. How does one exhibit the canvas of a filthy-minded man like that” His work is good enough for my underclothing!”
With that she flung a rug at him and asked him to paint a picture of it. Gessen asked the usual question before he started the work: “how much will you give me?” “Oh, any sum you ask for,” said the girl. Gessen named his price, painted the picture, shamelessly pocketed the money and walked away.
Many years later, quite by chance, someone found out why Gessen was so greedy for money. A devastating famine was so greedy for money. A devastating famine often struck his home province. The rich would do nothing to help the poor. So Gessen had a secret barns built in the area and had them filled with grain for such emergencies. No one knew where the grain came from or who the benefactor of the province was.
Another reason why Gessen wanted money was the road leading to his village from the city many miles away. It was in such bad condition that ox-carts could not move on it; this causes much suffering to the aged and the infirm when they needed to get to the city. So Gessen Had the road repaired.
The final reason was a meditation temple which Gessen’s teacher had always desired to build but could not. Gessen built his temple as a token of gratitude to his revered teacher.
After the Greedy monk had built the road, the temple and the barns, he threw away his paint and brushes, retired to the mountains to give himself to the contemplative life and never painted another canvas again.
-------End of Story-------
Well about a year ago when I launched my blog. My friend (who happens to be the site-admin for my blog right now, I thank him for the wonderful design and layout of this blog), asked me why was I blogging, and that it was a complete waste of my energies and time. And he said instead if I had spent my time helping some charitable organization here I would be of greater help to people.
But he also knew how passionate I was about writing. So he said he wanted take over the settings of my blog and said he would revamp it. And he put up the ads and an awesome design. About 3 months later we receive a check of 50US$ from our Advert program.
To our better sense we deiced to completely donate it to a charitable organization. Being in India, it’s not hard to find causes for which we can donate money for the poor. One afternoon he drove me to the near by temple (in Bangalore, see pic below). And there we were greeted by a couple of monks, we said we wanted to donate some money to any charity program they had. And the monks took us personally to a small hall where they showed us a video of their Akshaya Patra program. and we at once knew for sure we were at the right place. We said we would like to immediately make a donation to the program, and we did.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, feeds nearly 1 million students in India. It is the world's largest nongovernmental organization that provides a midday meal to children.
We donated 50US$ . well 50US$ = about 2500 Indian Rupees. And at that time they could feed about 20 students with about 100 rupees (because of a little help from the government).
So our contribution was able to give one meal each for about 500 poor students!!!!. And we were very very surprised with that figure. click here for the cost per meal(units are in rupees, 50 Rupees is approximately 1 US$ )
Our humble little blog had helped to give 500 children a meal, and that day I knew and we decided that any revenue we ever received from this Blog will always go to Akshaya Patra Program. This has also inspired me to blog more, finally I had a reason behind blogging. Every time I sit down to write a post I am reminded of those innocent faces.
All the earnings received though this blog has never been used by the author or the site-admin , all of it has been given to the Akshaya Patra Foundation. All future earnings shall also be given to that noble cause.
Please see my post on Akshaya Patra Program for more information about that organization. Click to here to visit the post on Askaya Patra