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Date Posted: 11:24
Author: Eponymous - 27 Jul 2001
Subject: A Vow of Poverty: what it t'is, what it t'ain't.
In reply to: ketch - 27 Jul 2001 's message, "Re: high living on others' heartfelt donations" on 11:20

The issue is whether living in relative material luxury is consistent with a vow of poverty. Ketch’s argument appears to be that Daya Mata need only renunciate a desire for things not yet acquired to satisfy her vows. But a vow of "poverty" is a vow to renunciate wealth, not a vow to renunciate mere acquisitiveness.*

Daya Mata’s lifestyle is more luxurious than is necessary to enable her mission. If she really does not care where she lives (as suggested in another post below), then she would have no problem living in areas common with other renunciates, in the same manner all other renunciates of the order do.** Indeed, if material accoutrements were of no moment for DM, why would she opt to live anywhere else?

Other arguments about privacy, other alternative uses of the property, DM’s basic good character and her years of hard work, etc., are largely beside the point. DM may be an exceptional person, but that does not bear on the consistency of her vows with her lifestyle.




*The vow of poverty is a fairly textured topic, but I hope that the absurdity in casting a "vow of poverty" as merely a "vow of nonacquisitiveness" is clear: if these two phrases are synonymous, then 'poverty' just means 'nonacquisitiveness'.

**I'm not sure I follow Ketch as to how a vow of poverty speaks to the enjoyment of flowers and sunlight, but in any case the gardens and the California sunshine he mentions are obviously commonly enjoyed by all members of the order (and by anyone who cares to visit). The mansion, on the other hand, is enjoyed by DM and her sister exclusively.

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