Posted By

Tags

Auckland celebrates 50 years of Taiwan’s Fo Guang Shan

On 16 May 1967 at the Ground breaking ceremony of Fo Guang Shan, a devotee asked Venerable Master Hsing Yun, “Venerable Master, why have you chosen this place to build a temple? Even the ghosts and spirits won’t come.”

Venerable Master replied, “It doesn’t matter if ghosts and spirits don’t come, as long as the Buddha is here!”.

Someone else asked Venerable Master, “Transportation to this place is so inconvenient, why build a temple in the middle of nowhere? Who will be here for pilgrimages?” To which he replied, “This place may become the central part of Kaohsiung in the future.”

“What will the Temple be known as?” another person asked.

Venerable Master replied, “It will be known as Fo Guang Shan” or ‘Buddha’s Light Mountain’ in English. And hence we see the beginning of Fo Guang Shan.

Gradual expansion

In the last 50 years, there has been a gradual expansion of Fo Guang Shan to promote Humanistic Buddhism. We now have more than 200 Fo Guang Shan Temples around the world, and each Temple has strived to achieve its four objectives of propagating Buddhist teachings through cultural activities, fostering talent through education, benefiting society through charitable programmes and purifying human hearts and minds through Buddhist practice.

These objectives are realised through various schools, colleges and universities set up around the world, the Merit Times and BLTV, various prayer services for victims of natural calamities, and disasters and pilgrimages. No matter where we are in the world, we are all participating in the different activities.

Photo Exhibition

The Photography Exhibition (at Fo Guang Shan in East Auckland) evidences the achievements that Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order and Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) have accomplished.

I have been with the organisation for many years. From my Buddhist college days to being here in our New Zealand Temple, I have witnessed the growth of Fo Guang Shan over the years, and I am very grateful to Venerable Master Hsing Yun, who has provided me with so many opportunities to learn. With each of these opportunities, I have been able to broaden my mind, my heart and my life. Because of my participation at all these activities, my life has become much more valuable.

Auckland celebrates 50 years-Gautama Buddha WebThe future directions of Fo Guang Shan are education and playing a more active role in our local communities.  These include promoting the three good deeds and four giving activities in schools and the local community. Being active in local communities means being able to participate and support the activities of our communities and at the same time, practising Humanistic Buddhism as a way of life.

Let us all work together for the next 50 years and may the Buddha’s Light always shine upon the ten directions, and the Dharma water continuously flow towards the five great continents.

The above is a slightly edited version of the address by Abbess Manshin at the 50th Anniversary Exhibition of Fo Guang Shan held at the East-Auckland based Temple on Sunday, May 22, 2016. Among the guests (as seen in the picture) were Labour MP and Auckland Mayoral candidate Phil Goff, Counties Manukau Acting District Commander Detective Inspector Dave Lynch (second row), Police Inspector Rakesh Naidoo. In the background is the photograph of Venerable Master Hsing Yun.

 

Following is a part of a message sent by Venerable Master Hsing Yun to Dharma Protectors and Friends recently. Even after having attained enlightenment, the Buddha was still concerned about state affairs, and kings often consulted him on how to govern a country. The Buddha also eliminated wars between kingdoms with his wisdom. Abiding by the principle of showing concerns for policy without interfering in governance, I suppose I am just doing my part as a Buddhist monk to care for national and social stability, as well as public well-being.

In April, the Praise the Buddha Grand Concert was held at the Buddha Memorial Center. Gathering at the Bodhi Wisdom Concourse, more than 10,000 music enthusiasts of all ages from Fo Guang Shan branch temples across more than 50 countries and regions praised the Buddha with Buddhist hymns, presenting the beauty of a Pure Land on Earth.

Multi-religious presence

Last year, I flew to Mainland China on four separate occasions.

In the warm spring month of March, I was invited to the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015. This year, a religious sub-forum was added to the Forum, giving Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists a chance to jointly express their perspectives on the world, society, and people, which was very significant.

I offered my perspective using four points: 1) Buddhism strives for interpersonal harmony rather than conflicting interests; 2) Buddhism strives for the celebration of differences rather than insistence on conformity; 3) Buddhism strives for harmony within a nation rather than division; and 4) Buddhism strives for peaceful coexistence rather than killing and warfare.

It is heartening to see interfaith dialogue on issues such as the purification of human minds, the development of religions, and the propagation of good deeds!

 

Gautama the Buddha

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this story

Related Stories

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement