from the Fifth Patriarch Thich Quang Do
to the Praying Ceremony for World Peace, Security in Eastern Asia,
and Vietnam’s Territorial Preservation
Namo Sakyamuni Buddha
Dear Eldery Monks, The Most Venerable, Venerables, Bhikkhus, and Bhikkhunis,
Dear international dignitaries, intellectuals, lay Buddhists, people inside and outside of Vietnam.
Let us sincerely pray for world peace, security in Southeast Asia, and Vietnam’s territorial preservation to open up a democratic process in the country after decades of war and ideological conflicts that caused lack of prosperity and happiness among the people.
Today’s world is like a house on fire, due to international extremism, violence, and terrorism. How can one extinguish that fire? One can not trust the arsonists to put down the fire. Only people with conscience can do this; those who have extinguished the internal fire of greed, stubborn, and ignorance can provide bliss to others and to the world. Almost three thousand years ago, The Buddha gifted mankind a life principal of kindness and wisdom so that people could liberate from all sufferings, ignorance and social inequality and step up to the realm of Liberation and Enlightenment.
This is precisely a journey to express that principle from Vietnamese Buddhist followers throughout the past 2 thousand years. That journey had engraved into Vietnamese history. A Buddhist history that travels with sentient beings in order to salvage and enlighten. A Buddhist history that travels with the nation to protect the sovereignty and preserve the culture. That is Vietnamese Buddhism’s unified nature within the spirit of Atvatya and Co-Existence.
Vietnamese Buddhists have known to immortalize death by reincarnating into Life to respect and protect humans, elevating humans to the realm of Wisdom.
Under foreign rules, Buddhism completed a Revitalization which had started in the 20’s of the last century, by unprecedented protests in 1963 in the 20th century, to end an era of foreign dependencies that turned a national religion into a private association, and traditional virtues into foreign desires. From Monks and Nuns to lay Buddhist followers, no-one individually, but waves and waves of people wholeheartedly contributed their thoughts, determinations, and lives in non-violence and bravery to protect freedom of religion, an ultimate right for everybody, while at the same time eliminate religious discrimination and social inequality epidemics.
Unfortunately, another foreign-dependent regime arrived in 1975, causing a delay of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam’s (UBCV) development that lasts until today. This regime blocked the UBCV, Monks, Nuns, and lay Buddhists from participating in the rebuilding of country in spirituality, culture, education, healthcare, social charity, and human rights after the war had ended. Along with the Communist Party of Vietnam’s authoritarian policy, this blockage has caused the entire population of Vietnam to have to live in poverty, deprivation of freedom, and desperation. This is evidenced in this year’s United Nations Human Development Reports: after 36 years since the war ended, Vietnam remains number 128 out of 187 nations!
Another issue that should not be kept silent is the danger of a Chinese invasion against Vietnamese land, sea, and islands that has concerned people’s mind and worry for the entire Vietnamese population for the past few years.
More than any one, Vietnamese Buddhists have the experience and contribution in the sovereignty protection, of which the example of King Tran Nhan Tong forever shines in Buddhists’ hearts. He was also the Vietnamese Truc Lam Zen School’s Great Deity of the Tran Dynasty’s Peace-Wisdom Founding Buddha, whose way of life was Living Dharma Amid Secular Life. Having settled national issues, the King went to Yen Tu mountain to become a monk. His ordination was reviewed by Grand Zen Master Hai Luong in the 17th century:
“At that time, the King knew to treat all people as equal. The country was peaceful, but in the north was a strong neighboring nation; hence he was not completely at ease. The King did not disclose his concern to the public as it would disturb people. He figured that Yen Tu Mountain was the tallest mountain, looking over Yen Quang to the east, in the north looking over the two Lang cities. He built a temple in the mountain and often took a walk to observe the area in order to prevent a foreign invasion worry. He was indeed an immense Great Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva”
Our ancient ancestors worried before people could become worried, and enjoyed after people had enjoyed. Today, what must we do in order not to be ashamed to our ancestors and not to travel against the dharma of Salvation and Enlightenment? This is a core question for each Buddhist follower and Vietnamese fellow countryman.
To international dignitaries present in today’s Praying Ceremony, we hope that you join us in our prayers so that mankind can live in peace, the Southeast Asia be free from threatening territorial contention, and Vietnam can quickly step onto the road of democracy alongside other modern countries in the world. Your prayers are compassionate energy that helps us Vietnamese to be swiftly liberated from the dictatorship as the people in the Middle East have just carried out.
NAMO INDESTRUCTIBLE DIAMOND BUDDHA.
Thanh Minh Zen Monastery, November 19, 2011
The Fifth Patriarch
The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam
(Signed and Sealed)
Sramana Thich Quang Do