Namo Buddhaya. Yesterday a person came to me and said he was bit by a dog and then he asked for money to buy medicines as he had none as he was poor. I gave the money to him.But I wonder whether people fake suffering to win sympathy and/or money ? Should I compromise my pride in honesty to help these fake people ?

How should I respond to people who fake suffering ?

3 Answers 3


Your honesty was not compromised. And don't let your pride grow on you because of these incidents.

Money comes and go. If the money is yours it will eventually come back in any possible way. Be more careful/mindful next time too, of course.

  • I think I should feel compassion even to those who fake suffering. Why should I harden myself against the Truth ? Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 7:54
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    Either Harden or soften, is just a relative concept. If someone is faking their suffering, they could very well be really suffering, just in a different context behind this "Fakeness". Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 8:28

you might be what pali called; "yācayogā ". Took me a very long time to understand this word.

  • yācati: beg
  • yogga: Suitable, fit for

I dont think there is an English word directly translate "one who deserves to be begged". this word appears in many suttas about gift giving. One with kind heart when asked for gifts or things he does not get angry or get frustrated. Opposite for some people. They get angry when asked to give up something. So naturally, "one who deserves to be begged" attract beggars.

I guess in your example, instead focusing on helping others, bring your attention back and focus on giving to remove greed (ornament of mind). As per sutta,

This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind' — on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of Brahma's Retinue. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a non-returner. He does not come back to this world.

....vossaggaratā yācayogā dānasaṃvibhāgaratā..."

Dana Sutta

my point is, if you are one of those who deserves to be begged, expect to hear from beggars. And when you do, focus your mind on removing greed.

  • The beggar was not claiming to be beggar. He claimed to have been bitten by dog. He exploited my compassion to gain financially I suspect. There are lot of beggars in India. Some are genuine some are fake. I want to help only the genuine ones. Every time a situation arises I am in habit of asking is it genuine or is it fake ? Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 22:01
  • For this conversation, anyone who asks you for things (money) is beggar. Semantics here. Budget your money according to Buddha, and be selective in whom you give (since resource is limited), and focus on your mind. I get that A LOT of that too. amount of sob stories I hear each month. I gave what i can which often not enough to meet their demands. I dont care what they do with the money I give. The whole point of my answer which most people overlook is that , by placing your mind on proper place, one can reach nirvana as result from it.
    – user5056
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 22:14

Even to fake something like that, the person can be very poor. Therefore, instead of just begging they may come up with a story like that. However, if I feel like that the person is using the money for drugs kind of things I may ignore. But if it is for food or education type of a thing, I will give money although the story seems fake.

  • Act of begging is meritorious enough to be rewarded with love and kindness. Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 3:08

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