Did the Buddha Do Charity?

Of late, I’ve been thinking about something. “Did the Buddha do charity?”

Of course the mere inclusion of Buddha in such a question would invoke hordes of Buddha-fans who might flame this entry as its preposterous to even conceive such a question, much less ask one, and to post it online at that. Purists would start asking questions like “Define ‘Charity'” or “When we say ‘Did’, are we referring to the Buddha in his final life, as a monastic, as a prince or are we referring to his numerous past life?” … or perhaps my personal
favorite would be “What do you mean by Buddha? Are we referring to the historical Buddha or the very concept of Buddha-Nature” … etc etc.

While it may really seem like they are splitting hairs, those questions are very real and helps define the extent of our question. It can also shed light on the current status of Buddhism and perhaps whether there are alternatives to our current way of applying Buddhism to modern society.

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