Porre l’oro dietro la statua – Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Porre l’oro dietro la statua

da Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, No religion, Hartridge Buddhist Monastery, 2005, p. 31-32


You should realize that to make offering as a religious act without letting others know can wipe out pollutions (kilesa) from the mind of the giver, unlike giving in a manner which lets others know. There is a popular saying about “sticking gold on a statue’s back.” This can be interpreted in two ways. As understood by foolish people, it means that one should never do this, for by sticking gold leaf on the back of a statue one will not receive honour or anything worthwhile. On the otherhand, a wise man realizes that sticking the gold leaf on the back of the statue is a desirable thing to do. He does not want the recognition or acknowledgment of society. In this he makes more merit than if he were to stick the gold on the face or the front of the statue.

Therefore, “sticking gold on the statue’s back” and “practising piety in secret” have the same meaning’. That is, to all the time be destroying attachment without letting others know about it; to keep uprooting attachments until at last you can say there is nothing-no ‘I’, no god, no evil, no merit, no sin, no happiness, no suffering, until finally not even any religion and this (not having anything to lean on or grasp) is the highest level  of detachment.



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