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Uncle Monks
Buddha's true followers in action

27 May 2008

Amid chaos in Shenfang (什邡县) caused by the massive earthquake that killed thousands people in the county, there is a place where life is still running orderly and calmly, with thousands homeless quake victims found a temporary home.

If you go there you'll see tents are aligned in rows, beds are set up within the tents, hot water is provided 24 hours a day, and spicy meals are offered for free, where injured get treated, distressed get relieved, 28 post-quake babies were born, and 28 new moms get nourished.

Yet for over thousands of years, this premises was exclusively reserved for hermits who aspired to never again be reborn.

Yep, this place is an ancient Buddhist monastery Luohansi (罗汉寺), and the hosts of this temporary quake relief centre are forty Buddhist monks who are called "Uncle Monk" by the kids under their care.

Immediately after the fatal earthquake on 12 May, 800 people sought refugee in the monastery. By the second day, the number of people arrived jumped to 1,200, and figure keeps growing ever since.

The monks give all they have to help those in need, and before the tents were set up, they spent their nights under umbrella in downpour rain, allowing the victims newly arrived from the ruined mountain villages to have a rest in their beds.

The monastery in fact has also been hit by the quake - the roof of a praying hall built during the Ming Dynasty cracked and leaking, and the part of their kitchen walls collapsed. However, the bells are still intoned in morning and gong beat prior to nightfall, and the meals catering for 3,000 people are cooked in the damaged kitchen, from 3am to 8pm, every day.

This is how the true followers of the Buddha act.

(Source of info and original photos: Chinese online media)

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