For Compassionate Relief

For Compassionate Relief

Life Wisdom from Dharma Master Cheng Yen: India’s COVID-19 Crisis

Tzu Chi Center  | May 3, 2021
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By Dilber Shatursun

In her daily Life Wisdom address on May 3rd, Dharma Master Cheng touched on the growing COVID-19 crisis in India. Their tragedy, she emphasized, is one that all of humanity must rally around and pay attention to.

Don’t say that what’s happening in other parts of the world has nothing to do with us. We must awaken to this crisis.

Despite relaxing COVID-19 measures around the world, Master Cheng Yen also stressed the need to continue to minimize our personal risks of contracting and spreading the disease: “with vigilance, we need to quickly take strict preventative measures and protect ourselves against the virus.”

She then recounted the efforts made by a partnership formed with Missionaries of Charity, an organization founded by Mother Theresa, and the Camillians India, founded by Fr. Baby Ellickal. Last year, Tzu Chi sent aid in the form of rice and supply distributions to help families struggling through India’s first wave of COVID-19.

Now, however, Master illuminated the current activities of Fr. Ellickal and his team of 27 priests, nuns, and volunteers. They are currently acting as support staff to care for COVID-19 patients at a local hospital, putting themselves at risk of contracting the virus in the process. Recognizing their selflessness in a time of heartbreaking need, Master was moved with emotion.

It cannot be that they will not have a chance to walk out of the hospital. Let us do our best in providing them with sufficient protective gears. They go in with benevolence, mercy, with such loving hearts, and courage. I hope they’ll come out as happy and healthy human beings.

While she acknowledged that the nature of the disease would make traditional forms of help difficult (e.g. sending volunteer medical teams and other in-person support), Master did offer important courses of action and explained why.

Now is the Hour to Embrace Vegetarianism

Let us express our sincere piety through being vegetarian; we must truly protect and love life. Everyone loves life, but it is not just loving our own life, nor just the life of humans, we are to love all (animals)... When everyone goes meatless, nothing is killed and we are sparing animals’ lives, which creates countless merits.

Heed Warnings

This global pandemic is a warning to humans; it tells us to restrain our hearts and keep them in check… We must stop growing and spreading our ignorance and greed, which produces impurities.

Put Prayer Into Action

Let us pray together. To pray is not just done with our voices, what’s more important is the voices of our hearts; let us show our piety which is done by taking action… By working together, we provide material aid like the PPEs, and they provide the manpower.

Overall, Master illuminated this moving request throughout her remarks on behalf of all those suffering in India:

Right now, we need the loving hearts from people around the world. Those in safety need to help people in suffering. Those in safety need to lend their helping hands to places in crisis.

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