TET LETTER – YEAR OF THE DRAGON 2012
The Most Venerable Thich Vien Dinh, President of the Institute for the Dissemination of Dharma
Tet has arrived; on behalf of the Institute for the Dissemination of Dharma, I beg to wish Elderly Monks, Most Senior Venerables, Most Venerables, Monks, Nuns and lay Buddhists a safe New Year, all wishes become true, and accomplishment of Buddhist activities.
Spring is the starting season of the year that gives rise to a vow. This year’s vow of Vietnamese Buddhists is the sincere practice of Righteous Knowledge. This is due to current situation in country, intellectuals, writers and those who care have had to raise their alarming voice against the deteriotation of morality, the cultural corruption, and dismal education that were leading to social crises plauging the nation.ihnt “Our society’s most serious and severe disease in the disease of deceit. It is widespread deceit that has caused people to not believe in anything.” Deceit, selfishness, and cruelty give rise to problems of murders, robberies that are seen as natural social occurrences and which is penetrating more and more among the youth. People in today’s Vietnamese society have lost all their feelings towards fellow countrymen’s poverty, disadvantages, and sufferings.
That is because national educational system only emphasizes practical, materialistic and career aspects while belittling humane aspects that are used to create grand will and mental power to the intellectuals and righteousness to honest people. People know nothing else outside of power struggles and robberies right during daylight.
Our ancestors have said culture progressed civilization to its peak, and study the culture to mingle with the people. However, today’s Vietnamese society has gone against that teaching.
Morality and religions are wonder medicines to treat all national crises, devetoping the people and advancing the country. However, the leadership considers religions opium, and if the leadership “supports” religions, its core purpose is to turn religions into superstitions in order to serve the regime. The leadership doesn’t know that religions are mankind’s resources, long-term spiritual tradition, and underlining cultural transformation.
Therefore, the role of today’s Vietnamese Buddhism and Buddhists is to bring forth Righteous Knowledge, which are finite and infinite wisdom that master life’s karma, truly master the nature of all dharmas, and cures all ill-knowledge. Thanks to Righteous Knowledge, one knows that all things present from origination conditions, thoroughly knows the value of his or her life, of people’s and all beings’ lives, as humans and all beings share the same true nature of equanimity. Thanks to Righteous Knowledge, one knows well good and bad karmas in order to practice good and avoid bad deeds, knowing well genuine moral philosophy and use it as an advancing goal for self and for society.
At a time where people emphasize human rights, it is also the time during which people’s rights have been degraded and forfeited. This is because the human rights viewpoint only aims for mankind without remembering about beings outside of the human race. Therefore human rights has become private political privileges so that these entities can freely destroy the earth and ecosystems. There must be Buddhist compassionate and wisdom so that human rights can become Living Rights for all beings on earth and in the universe.
Having personal Righteous Knowledge within each Buddhist in order to aromatize mankind’s society while at the same time seeding Righteous Knowledge in all social elements, all religions and social parties to advance mankind. Everyone has to coexist with and codepend on the world community to accomplish karmic causes. No-one can live in isolation like a lifeless and lonely island, ignoring all fellow beings’ sufferings and injustice.
To the ones who are concerned about or responsible to the people and country, I call on them to delve into Righteous Knowledge, which is the first step of the Noble Eightfold Path, in order to terminate the source of social crises which are moral and cultural degradation in order to bring bliss, freedom, and happiness to each person, and especially pay attention to national sovereignty which is being methodically threatened and invaded.
May the New Year bring peace and prosperity to the nation and people. May the New Year also bring bravery to all Buddhists in and outside of Vietnam in the progress to further Righteous Knowledge, in developing talented monastics and lay Buddhists who can assume Buddhist tasks in the new situation and to preserve the fate and legality of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam.
Namo The Future Great Compassion Meitraya Buddha.
Giac Hoa Temple. The Year of Dragon, 2012.
President of the Institute for the Dissemination of Dharma
The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnamese
Bhikkhu Thich Vien Dinh