Buddhist monasteries relieve stress, grief caused by pandemic

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Publish Time: 2020-07-19 Author: PALDEN NYIMA From: chinadaily.com.cn

Ganden Monastery in Lhasa, capital of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, Feb 5, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tibetan Buddhism monasteries and colleges in China have been contributing to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and ease the stress and grief caused by it, an expert said at an event on Wednesday in Beijing.

Wei Wen, a research assistant at the Institute of Tibetan History Studies of China Tibetology Research Center, said many Tibetan monasteries and colleges have made donations and conducted prayer events to combat the pandemic.

He gave the speech on the International Webinar on Tibetan Cultural Heritage and Religious Belief, which was held at the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon.

In the presentation, Wei mentioned a recent field trip to the Buddhism College of Qinghai and was overwhelmed by the story of the college's dharma master Ogyal, who called on the province's monasteries to make their contribution during the outbreak. "Ogyal made a proposal with 58 young Tibetan Buddhism representatives to promote prevention and control measures and call for donations and prayer events for the pandemic," Wei said.

The proposal, written in Tibetan and Mandarin, was posted on social media platforms and received wide support.

Monasteries in the province donated medical supplies, Tibetan medicines and money to support the fight against the outbreak in Hubei province, the hardest-hit region in China. "A total of more than 190,000 yuan ($27,200) was donated by the officials and staff of the Buddhism College of Qinghai, and some Buddhist disciples of the college were involved in the production of plague prevention incense and pills," Wei said.

To increase awareness of COVID-19 prevention and control efforts, students of the college also went to remote villages and monasteries to spread information and give prevention tips and details.

"All are vivid examples of the social responsibility and compassion of the Tibetan Buddhist world," Wei added.

Moreover, Tadruk, Samye and Mondroling monasteries in Tibet's Lhokha city donated more than 450,000 yuan on Feb 6 to Hubei province, China Tibet Online reported. On Feb 7, a donation of more than 1 million yuan was made by Champaling Monastery of Tibet's Chamdo city to combat the outbreak in Wuhan, the hardest-hit city in China.

Lhasa's monasteries of Drepung, Sera, Gandan and Tsurphu, as well as the temples of Jokhang and Ramoche also donated to affected areas and conducted different prayer activities during the period.

Losang Nyima, a high-ranking monk in Qinghai's Kanchen Monastery, said making financial and spiritual donations to the epidemic disaster was an obligation and honor for him and his fellow monks.

"We have conducted so many prayer rituals either in the monastery or in our homes, we prayed for the disaster to fade away as soon as possible, and we also made cash donations," Losang Nyima said.

"We receive support from civilians and all walks of life in society, and when any place, region or community has a difficult time, it is our obligation to face up to the challenge together with others."

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