By India Relief Team (Originally in English)
Supreme Master Ching Hai has high regard for the wandering monks and nuns in India who have renounced everything in the world to practice ascetically in the mountains. For many years, Master has offered monetary assistance and instructed our Association members to distribute warm supplies in wintertime to these holy people. In January 2017, with Master’s fund of US$14,000, our Delhi Association members traveled to different regions in India to deliver Master’s love and material assistance.
First our team went to Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh where many monks were staying in small tents or small temples. At the Balaji Ashram, we distributed 170 sets of clothing supplies, including shawls, socks and caps to the monks who stopped by for tea and food on their way to their morning rituals. The remaining 80 sets of supplies were distributed in Sant Kutir, where many were engaged in deep meditation. In the beginning, many saints were reluctant to take our offerings, but upon seeing Master’s photos which we showed them, they accepted blissfully.
Learning that many monks and nuns were heading east through Thal in Pithoragarh District in the state of Uttarakhand to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar in the Himalayan area, we brought each group of monks and nuns 50 sets of thick, warm supplies including shawls, caps, gloves, socks and sweaters.
On the auspicious day of January 14, the important annual Hindu ritual Magh Mela began at Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh, at the Triveni Sangam (the confluence of three holy rivers: Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati). This ancient fair gathers thousands of pilgrims who come to bathe at the holy site. For the monks and nuns at the Magh Mela, we purchased 4,500 shawls from the manufacturers in Ludhiana in the state Punjab and brought the items south to Allahabad. The head of the local police station, Mr. Brijesh Yadav, kindly allowed us to store the shawls in the station and use the police van to transport them.
From early morning to late evening, Mr. Yadav accompanied us to distribute the shawls to the monks and nuns at the main entrance spot for the holy bath. We also met several head monks from religious schools, talked to them about our Master and gave them shawls for their student monks who were learning monkhood and scriptures.
We finished distributing the rest of the shawls the next day before returning home, feeling contented in conveying Master’s loving concern for the holy spiritual practitioners and keeping them warm in the winter.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai for Winter Relief Work in India
|Winter supplies for monks and nuns (shawls, socks, caps, gloves and sweaters) and other expenses (transportation, packing and relief team’s travel expenses)||941,393||A|
Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh – January 2017
Thal in Pithoragarh District, Uttarakhand – January 2017
At the bank of the Ganges River – Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh – January 2017