Engaged Buddhism: the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation inaugurates the construction of the “Great Love Village” in India

- through Henry Oudin

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The first shovelful of earth on February 25. Image courtesy of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation

Taiwan-based global charity and humanitarian organization Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new project called Great Love Village in Silaunja, Bodh Gaya, India on February 25.

“Tzu Chi is excited to announce the grand opening of Great Love Village in Silaunja,” Tzu Chi shared with BDG. “This project will provide 36 safe and secure homes for disadvantaged families. The groundbreaking ceremony on February 25 celebrated unity and compassion, as volunteers joined local officials and community members.

Tzu Chi volunteers conduct a door-to-door survey of village residents. Image courtesy of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation

Tzu Chi has supported India for many years through a range of humanitarian initiatives, including disaster relief, healthcare and education. Silaunja's Great Love Village continues this ongoing commitment to sharing compassion through socially engaged activities as a demonstration of the power of collective kindness to bring about lasting social change.

Before construction of Great Love Village began, volunteers conducted a door-to-door survey to better understand the needs of each household. Homes at Great Love Village will be designed with residents’ unique circumstances in mind, to provide a comfortable and supportive environment for each family.

“This village is more than just bricks and mortar. It’s about building a future where families can thrive and children can dream big,” Tzu Chi explained. “As Master Cheng Yen said: “Repaying the Buddha's homeland has always been a deeply personal aspiration of mine. May these 36 houses of Great Love not only provide shelter from the wind and rain, but also foster a model and dynamic community with improved living conditions and lasting peace.

The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Republic of China, commonly known as the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, was founded in Taiwan in 1966 by Buddhist nun and Dharma teacher Master Cheng Yen. Aiming to "put compassion into action", the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation is a UN-accredited NGO with some 10 million supporters and 432 offices worldwide in 51 countries, undertaking regular activities in the areas humanitarian aid, medical care, education, and environmental sustainability.

As a global icon of socially engaged Buddhism, Master Cheng Yen expressed his deep belief that everyone is capable of manifesting the same great compassion as the Buddha. She noted that true compassion is not simply feeling sympathy for the suffering of others, but reaching out to alleviate suffering through concrete actions.

Master Cheng Yen is popularly known in Taiwan as one of the "Four Heavenly Kings" of Buddhism, the others being: Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain; Master Hsing Yun, founder of Fo Guang Shan; and Master Wei Chueh, founder of Chung Tai Shan. These four global Buddhist orders, known as the “Four Great Mountains,” have become among the most influential Chinese Buddhist organizations in the world.

Master Cheng Yen. From tzuchi.org
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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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