Dealing With Loss in Business for Charity

Dealing With Loss in Business for Charity

Date Posted:
October 2005

A couple started a business to help Rinpoche build a 500-foot Maitreya statue. They lost a large amount of money trying to get the business going. They were not particularly wealthy people, and may have been cheated out of some of the money. Rinpoche wrote to them as follows.

Actually, you haven’t lost anything. In fact, you have gained everything. Even though you didn’t physically get the money, you gained all the merit, because from your heart you wanted to give the money from the business to the Maitreya Project. Since every single dollar that you put into the business was actually dedicated to this holy object, every single dollar you spent created the cause for enlightenment. That means you created thousands of causes for enlightenment, thousands of causes for liberation from samsara, and thousands of causes for happiness in future lives.

Also, if you spent the money with the recognition that I am your guru, then that money was spent to fulfill my wishes, so that means that each dollar you spent collects much more merit than having made offerings to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and all the statues, stupas, scriptures, thangkas, and holy objects in every direction. Just one dollar spent that was dedicated to your guru collects a vast amount of merit, and you have collected thousands of times this amount of merit. This is wonderful. You can rejoice at your own merits, which you have collected through this. By rejoicing again and again in all these merits that have been collected and dedicated to me, the merit is doubled, then tripled and so forth, each time you rejoice.

Even though it may seem that you lost out in this business, you didn’t. What you actually gained is like a vast sky of merit and good karma. From this, you receive zillions and zillions in future lives, which you will be able to enjoy for thousands and thousands of lifetimes. Then, of course, you will also achieve enlightenment, have the infinite qualities of a buddha’s holy body, holy speech, and holy mind, and then enlighten so many suffering beings.

Losing this money also means that you are paying your karmic debts to those people involved, so the karma gets finished. You should make charity of all the money that was lost. Even though you believe and label the money as lost, actually you did an excellent business deal, and collected so much merit, especially if the business was performed with bodhicitta, with the thought to bring sentient beings to enlightenment. For that purpose, you need to achieve enlightenment, so you should think, “Now I will offer all this money to them as charity.” Then with each penny, however many pennies you offer as charity to them, you create so much merit. So, you can see how the money is not lost at all, and in fact you have only gained incredible benefits.