After writing about the problems with the Karmapa Lama, I had some more thoughts about why people give donations to religious institutions like temples and churches or also to gurus and masters. Sometimes I wonder whether they think they can bribe God.
The ideal scenario would be this: a believer goes into a religious building, be it a church, a temple or any other such place. He or she has a problem and goes there to do prayers or ceremonies. This person finds inner peace, can calm the mind and maybe in this way find a solution for the problem. This makes him thankful that there is such a place and he wishes this place to remain so that he can always go there to pray. He thus supports the place with his donation.
What actually happens in the minds of people is not really this! People give donations not out of thankfulness and the wish to support, but rather in the belief that they can buy blessings. They think they can buy their luck or good destiny just like rice on the market.
They want to get something, they have a wish and they want to have it fulfilled. For this wish they go, offer some money and say ‘God, here you are, this is how much I give for you to fulfill my wish’. Even if they don’t formulate it clearly like this, they think that for big wishes you should give a big donation, for smaller wishes, some coins may be enough.
People thus try to buy fulfillment of their wishes from God. God however does not want or need any money. People have this thought that they give for God, or that God would love them more if they gave more but actually God does not really care for this. Otherwise what could a poor person give if he had a big wish?