What is Catuddisa Sangha?
The name Catuddisa Sangha is derived from the basic teachings of Śākya-muni, the Lord Buddha, whose principle rests on the idea of Sangha, a monastic association of ordained monks and nuns, if to interpret the word in the religious sense. It is also loosely understood and used to mean “communities” or “groups” of human beings.
It is, however, disheartening to observe in real life, globally, that our world is now littered with conflicts, turmoil, war, destruction of eco-system, widening income gap, human rights oppression, and the decaying sprit of humanity amongst us human beings. And things are getting out of hand.
Herein, we call upon our friends and followers of the teachings of Lord Buddha, to transcend our sectarian divides among Buddhists, as well as inter-faith differences, to convene in one voice, helping people turn their sorrows and despair into hope, so as to realize a world in which humans can learn to live with one another.
Three themes drive and guide our actions to achieving this vision of Catuddisa Sangha (CS).
1. Self sufficient and ecologically sustainable ways of life
2. Spiritual discipline and harmonious mind
3. Self-determination / Autonomous governance / Interdependence.
CS aims to foster the spirit of “self-sufficiency” amongst aid recipients (eventually standing alone with his/her own financial means), and our own action standard based on the spirit of sympathy and empathy (and not pity or mercy). It is imperative that our aid does not in any way jeopardize the sense of “dignity” or self worth of the recipients. Once aid recipients have recovered to stand on their own feet, we would hope that they themselves eventually turn to those in need for assistance.
Our aid actions that help foster people’s buried abilities are articulated in terms of the following 3 pillars of action;
A. Emergency Relief (Stop-gap supply of food and other necessities)
B. Normalization Assistance (in view of people returning to routine and orderly life)
These efforts of Life-Line Sustenance are enabled by infrastructural undertakings of CS known variously as “Rice Bank”, “Buffalo Bank”, “Buddha Pond”, “Buddha Path” and so on.
C. Assisting community building efforts through sustainable means
i) Economic self-sustenance assisted via “Buddha Bank”,
ii) Community based Co-operatives and the establishment of Social Enterprises
The movement of CS began with the assistance in a remote village community of Cambodia. In the past decade, we have grown to become a network of assistance that directly or indirectly affect over 10 million people, who for various reasons are economically deprived and in need of a lending hand, in 20+ countries across the globe.