By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, APR. 8: Tibetan monasteries in India are leading the efforts to donate funds to various relief organizations during the ongoing all-India 21-day Covid-19 lockdown that has put many including health care workers and less-privileged members of the community in difficult positions.
Prominent Tibetan monastery based in South India Tashi Lhunpo earlier this week donated Rupees 1.5 lakh to the Prime Minister of India Covid-19 relief fund and Rupees 1 lakh to the state CM relief fund. The monastery also distributed a month’s worth of dry ration including essentials like rice, dal and cooking oil to close to 300 less privileged households and members of the police force in the Bylakupe locality in Mysore district. The monastery said that it is praying for the “speedy recovery of those affected by the Covid-19 and a swift end to this crisis”.
Another collective of monasteries under the banner of Sakya Institutions based in Uttarakhand also made a substantial donation to the state government. Sakya Dolma Phodrang’s official Facebook stated that ranking religious leaders of the institution presented the Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat with a donation of Rupees 23 lakh as contribution to the relief of the plight of the people of Uttarakhand in these harrowing times.
The Kagyupa International Monlam Trust also made a donation of five lakh Rupees to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and a second donation of five lakh Rupees to the PM CARES Fund. The Trust said that under the guidance of the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, dry ration was distributed to 1000 people in Bodh Gaya area in Bihar.
Earlier the foremost Tibetan Buddhist leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama made donations to both the PM relief fund and the CM relief fund of the state and urged people to help the less privileged members of the community during the hard times.
Tibetan religious leaders, monks and people from the lay community were also seen making donations and distribution of essential commodities to poorer sections of the community in Mundgod in Karnataka and here in Dharamshala since the lockdown began.
As of Wednesday evening, India has 5480 positive cases of Covid-19 with a death toll of 164 people. 773 new cases of the virus were discovered in the last 24 hours. Globally, the coronavirus-related death toll has surpassed 83,103 and the number of infections has risen to 1,444,821, according to Worldometer.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the three-week lockdown of the country is unlikely to be eased on April 14, indicating extension of the lockdown in the country with 1.3 billion people.
It is good to read stories about people, organization coming forward and helping the less fortunate in times of crisis.
This kind of help is what Buddhism is about and more and more monasteries should be helping out in times like this.
This help and service to people in need, should be the priority and continue until this crisis ends.
I pray for the end of this pandemic and hope we all learn an important lesson from here. We come into this world for a brief moment, our purpose should be to help one another and not spend all out times chasing dreams that never materialize.
The joy and happiness that comes from doing something good to the people remains with you forever , and not like some pleasure you get from material things that go away after sometime.