World Buddhist Forum Discusses Building of World Harmony

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    World Buddhist Forum discussesbuilding of world harmony

    www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-28 13:32:43 Print

    Backgrounder: World Buddhist Forum

    The opening ceremony of the Second World Buddhist Forum (WBF)

    is held in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu Province on March 28, 2009.

    (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)Photo Gallery>>> WUXI,

    Jiangsu, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The Second World Buddhist Forum

    opened in this eastern Chinese city Saturday with more than 1,700

    Buddhist monks and scholars from about 50 countries and regions

    gathering to discuss how Buddhism can contribute to building a

    harmonious world.

    "Buddhism is a religion boasting openness and tolerance. When

    he founded the religion, Buddha advocated his moral position --

    equality of all living beings as well as harmony and amicability," Du

    Qinglin, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese

    People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), told the

    opening ceremony of the forum in the gigantic Buddhist Palace at

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    Lingshan Mountain.

    "We anticipate that world Buddhist circles will carry forward the

    spirit of 'harmony and synergy', manifest the qualities of mercy andcompassion, reclaim people's souls and promote harmonious

    coexistence between humans and nature, humans and society,

    among people and within each individual," said Du, who is also

    head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party

    of China (CPC) Central Committee.

    The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, talks with Xu

    Jialu, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the

    National People's Congress of China, before the opening ceremony of

    the Second World Buddhist Forum (WBF) in Wuxi, east China'sJiangsu Province on March 28, 2009.(Xinhua Photo)

    Photo Gallery>>> He said

    the world faces the financial crisis, social contradictions, cultureshock and environmental contamination.

    He added: "To persist in 'harmony and synergy' and co-create

    harmony, we are called upon to depend on the people's welfare,

    hold high the banner of human progress and create promising

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    conditions for world peace.

    "We should respect diversity on the basis of equal treatment,

    strengthen mutual understanding through communications andachieve common progress while making up for each other's

    deficiencies," he said.

    "The Chinese people have always unswervingly held high the

    banner of peace, development and cooperation, pursued a strategy

    of mutual benefit and win-win outcomes and actively developed

    international exchanges and cooperation," he said.

    They have also "positively participated in coping with the

    financial crisis, committed themselves to promoting world economic

    growth and the progress of human civilization and worked with

    people across the world for harmony, lasting peace and common

    prosperity," he added.

    The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, speaks duringthe opening ceremony of the Second World Buddhist Forum (WBF)

    in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu Province on March 28, 2009. The

    Second WBF opened here on Saturday.(Xinhua/Han Yuqing)Photo Gallery>>> The

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    forum, with the theme of "A harmonious world, a synergy of

    condition," was jointly organized by the Buddhist Association of

    China, the Buddha's Light International Association, the Hong Kong

    Buddhist Association, and the China Religious Culture

    Communication Association.

    Addressing the opening ceremony in English, The 11th Panchen

    Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, said that this event fully

    demonstrates that China nowadays enjoys social harmony, stability

    and religious freedom. It also shows China is a nation that

    safeguards and promotes world peace.

    Extending his gratitude to the central government for the concern

    for and patronage to the forum, the Panchen Lama said, "This

    forum is convened in my country -- China, which has a Buddhist

    cultural tradition going back 2,000 years."

    The Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama are the most important

    religious figures in Tibet.

    The Panchen Lama said the rapid development of "external

    material science and technology, " or material civilization of the

    present world, brings about convenient facilities for people's lives.

    "But on the other hand, it also causes the environment

    degradation, growing disparity between the rich and the poor,

    financial crises, armed conflicts and wars, terrorist attacks and the

    like," the 19-year-old monk said.

    The living Buddha called on people in the modern world to do

    more beneficial deeds and serve others.

    "The reason for all the adversity lies in people's mind - many

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    people are deluded regarding the causes of suffering and

    happiness, feel discontent, lack of compassion," he said.

    "Sutras tell us: Good is rewarded with good, evil with evil. Weshould now guide and encourage people with the law of causality to

    serve others with beneficial deeds," he said.

    "Only if we carry forward the philanthropic moral spirit, will

    everyone be guided to do good, and not to harm others; can

    everyone bear love and mercy, benefit all sentient beings and

    protect the environment, so as to enable people to enjoy a

    harmonious and happy life," he added.

    Calling for achieving harmony among different Buddhism sects,

    he said, "different sects within Buddhism should respect each other

    and coexist in harmony," he said. "In order that Buddha Dharma

    can live on and flourish, we should foster more outstanding talents."

    Panchen Lama's English speech received applauses and

    appreciation from the participants in the forum.

    "The 11th Panchen Lama's wonderful English speech has joyfully

    shocked the Buddhist masters and cultural elites present at the

    forum," said Master Xue Cheng, vice president and secretary

    general of the Buddhist Association of China (BAC). "He has a

    good command of the Chinese, English and Tibetan languages."

    "The Buddhists from English-speaking countries who I talked

    with shortly after his speech have highly praised his English

    proficiency," said Xue.

    "His good command of English shows his endeavors and the

    care from the Chinese government," he added.

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    "Since English is an international language, the 11th Panchen

    Lama's speech in English this time will definitely impress the

    world," said Shi Yongxin, abbot of China's famed Shaolin Temple.

    "He appeared very mature and moderate," Shi added.

    "As far as I know, the 11th Panchen Lama learns the Tibetan

    language and Buddhism knowledge in a very assiduous way," said

    Jalsan, BAC Standing Member of Council of Directors.

    "Three years ago, he delivered his speech at the First World

    Buddhist Forum in Tibetan while now his English is very fluent,"added Jalsan, also president of the Buddhist Association of Inner

    Mongolia. "It shows that he had made great progress."

    "I myself is a follower of the Tibetan Buddhism and we disciples

    of the Tibetan Buddhism pin great hopes on him," he said.

    "His English speech is very commendable," said Professor H.

    Abeygunawardena, Vice Chancellor of University of Peradeniya in

    Sri Lanka. "His learning English embodies China's policy of

    religious freedom."

    "Since I do not speak Chinese and Tibetan, I'd prefer that he

    continues to deliver speech in English," he said. "So what get lost

    in translation will be minimized."

    After the morning session of the forum concluded, the Panchen

    Lama joined about 1,000 monks and believers in experiencing a

    traditional, unique ritual of eating lunch that was once observed by

    Chinese Buddhists in everyday life.

    The five-day forum will be held in two parts. The first part will be

    held from March 28 to 29 in Wuxi. The participants will move to

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    Taipei by four direct charter flights on March 30, where the second

    part of the forum will be held from March 31 to April 1.

    During the five-day event, the participants will discuss how tobetter preserve Buddhist music and the Tripitaka, considered the

    encyclopedia of Buddhist culture. They will also talk about the

    relationship between Buddhism and science, public welfare,

    environmental protection and other topics.

    Exhibits of Buddhist relics, porcelain, crafts, photos and