News at Tipitaka Network
Buddhists pray for quake souls, supply the living
By Lucy Hornby, Reuters, Sunday, May 25, 2008
CHENGDU, Sichuan (China) Monks chanted while worshippers circled through the Zhaojue temple in Chengdu, halfway through two weeks of prayer meant to guide 80,000 souls to heaven and comfort the living.
The Buddhist temples of Chengdu have taken on unofficial responsibility for both the dead and the 5 million survivors left homeless after the May 12 earthquake that devastated nearby cities and mountain towns.
"The prayers are to wish peace to the refugees and also to open a channel for the souls, so that they don't go to Hell but to Heaven where they are happy," a monk said.
Temple relief convoys are prevented by authorities from going directly into the disaster zone, said monks who requested anonymity because of the controls on temples in China.
The Chinese government prefers that all aid be channelled through the Chinese Red Cross.
Undeterred, Chengdu's monks accept donations of food and clothing and buy medicine with temple budgets and donated money, in line with the Buddhist tradition of charity and compassion.
Some temples bring donations to the border of the zone for pick-up by local contacts, while others transfer them to the local Red Cross. Some temples have succeeded in getting Red Cross accreditation, and monks have been seen delivering vegetables in the rubble of at least one town.
The earthquake occurred just as Buddhists were celebrating the birthday of Sakyamuni, the historic Buddha, which falls on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Buddhist calendar.
It damaged at least 200 historic temples in Sichuan, killing some people as heavy roofs crashed down.
Famous temples at Dujiangyan, a 2,300-year-old irrigation project, and the Bao'en Temple in Pingwu, one of Sichuan's largest, have collapsed, the China Daily said on Friday.
Other temples at Mount Qingcheng, the birthplace of Daoism, are in danger of falling.
Buddhist News Features:
Thursday, May 7, 2020 Vesak Extra!
Sunday, May 19, 2019 Vesak Extra!
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 Vesak Extra!
Mintaka Pass: A rendezvous of Kashmir and Buddhist central Asia
Esala Poya a day significant to Sri Lankan Buddhists
Tokyo temple offers pandemic-hit Vietnamese workers a safe haven
Orders flock for Buddha prints on Bo leaves
Metfone encourages people with Buddhism education through video series
Buddha`s message highlighted in celebration of Dharma Chakra Day
Preserving Buddhist treasures in Afghanistan
Thailand marks Asalaha Bucha and Khao Pansaa this weekend
Buddhist Temple in Grafton offers calm from present storm
UN highlights Buddha`s message of solidarity and service in belated Vesak commemoration
The day Myanmar`s most esteemed foreign monk passed away
The Buddhist code of discipline for householders
Love story in a Buddhist cave: The Grottoes of Maijishan
Joseon Dynasty-era Buddhist paintings to return home from US
East Clare Buddhist centre reaches community online
Blue Lotus Buddhist Center holds Saturday retreat
How a Buddhist temple is promoting peace using origami cranes
Thailand to celebrate `Asalha Bucha` and `Buddhist Lent` in July with precautions
How `birth-tales` of Buddha spread from Thailand to the rest of Southeast Asia
Studying US Buddhist centers, researcher finds 130-year history of fellow Jews
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa.
Buddha sāsana.m cira.m ti.t.thatu.