Order of Amida Buddha and Amida-shu

From Susthama:

Dear all, 

The harrowing scenes appearing on the news from India about the recent covid-19 outbreak are horrifying. However, these scenes are not new nor uncommon in some of the poorest areas in India. They are certainly not new in the area where the Amida India community was based. When Modgala and Sahishnu were there in the early 2010s they were teaching English and holding services to the poorest of the poor. Sahishnu met ill people on the street who refused to go to hospital because they couldn't afford the hospital bills. Care for the very poor was and still is non-existent. 

Sahishnu taught English to women and children in that area. They listened to and reenacted stories from the Jataka tales. She met Suando and then her husband Suvidya. Suvidya loved what Sahishnu was doing and took her to a Buddhist book store where they found all sorts of Buddhist books in Hindi. From then on, Suvidya carried on helping Sahishnu, agreeing to everything that she asked for even if he didn't understand a word that she was saying. 

He was born on 1 February 1960, married Suando and had three children. They lived in poverty and had to move from place to place out of lack of money. Suvidya was always working, doing anything for anyone just to keep a roof over their heads. It was hand to mouth existence like none we have seen in the West. He admired and respected what Sahishnu and Modgala were doing as priests and ordained as a Buddhist priest in 2014 in the Order of Amida Buddha. His wife Suando supported him in his duties, and she and another member would have been ordained as ministers too had they had a fair knowledge of English. Both of them devoted their lives to care for the poor in their community.

Suvidya was a good natured, compassionate, sincere and devotional Buddhist priest. He had the heart of a Bodhisattva. Jnanamati was his mentor and friend, and grew very close to Suvidya over the years right up until his death. During one of their skype meetings last week when Suvidya had been suffering from a fever, he had asked Jnanamati for a blessing, almost as a foresight of what was coming.

One of the difficulties for us now is to establish what help might be needed. According to Jnanamati,  the funeral rites have been taken care of and Padma had sent Suvidya some money fairly recently, on behalf of the Order, We will wait and see what more can be done.

My wish is that we continue to support Suando financially for the foreseeable future and Jnanamati will look into arranging an online service/memorial with the help of Suvidya's son. Details about that will follow. 

For now, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to Suvidya and Suando. I never met them personally, however, I and several others in the Order were fortunate enough to meet him online during this pandemic. He was a lovely man who will be greatly missed by the Order and his community.

Love and Namo Amida Bu,

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