Chapter seven: Multilateral exchanges, reaching out to the world

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Shi Huikong     Time:2015-03-14 21:23:56
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Master Xuecheng believes that the development of Buddhism is closely interrelated with the fate of China. China's development is dependent on the rest of the world, just as other nations depend on China. With China's development, Chinese culture will spread to the world, so will Chinese Buddhism.

Master has earnestly participated in promoting friendly exchanges among religions and cultures both home and abroad. On behalf of the Chinese Buddhist community, Master has led delegations abroad to visit, observe, give lectures and teach the Dharma on more than one hundred trips. He has left his footprints in many countries and regions, including India, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, the United States, Canada, Switzerland, France, Spain, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Egypt, and China's Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Master believes that the development of Buddhism is closely interrelated with the fate of China. China's development is dependent on the rest of the world, just as other nations depend on China. With China's development, Chinese culture will spread to the world, so will Chinese Buddhism.

At a cross-strait Buddhism exchange seminar, Master said, "Buddhism is facing the Eastern and Western collisions on science, politics, economics and cultures, etc. Buddhism also confronts the necessity of self-construction. The position of Buddhist education in the 21st Century is an important affair that cannot be ignored by the Buddhist communities. Discussions, studies and exchanges at different facets, levels and forms out of the perspective of cross-strait Buddhist education, will bring positive influence to the development of Buddhism on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Buddhism will work to bring harmony to society, acting as a catalyst for the purification of people's minds." 


Giving a speech at the 2nd Cross-StraitSeminaron Chan Studies. October 23rd, 1999

In 1991, the 25-year-old Master Xuecheng visited Sri Lanka, Nepal and a few other countries. Initially, many people did not believe that such a young monk could be an "abbot". They were convinced only after a round of "research". During the visit, the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka had a cordial meeting with the young Chinese "eminent monk". In November 1994, Master visited Thailand, escorting the Buddha's tooth sharira.

On November 29th, 1995, Master and many Tibetan monks attended the world-renowned stately ceremony at the Jokhang Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet, where the Gold Urn Lot-Drawing Ceremony confirmed the 11th Panchen Erdeni's reincarnation. The CCTV News Broadcast reported this historic event that evening, which caused a sensation among Buddhist communities across the country. Master attended the grand ceremony as one of the ten representatives of the Buddhist communities in China and the only representative of Han Buddhism, becoming the first monk of the Han ethnic group to attend such a ceremony in all of history. In December 2005, on behalf of BAC, Master visited Tibet to attend the 10th anniversary celebration of the enthronement of the 11th Panchen Erdeni. He was the only monastic representative of the Han ethnic group.

In May 2004, Master was invited by the Japanese Arigatou Foundation to lead a Chinese religious delegation to Geneva and attend the 2nd World Forum on "The Global Network of Religions for Children". There he made a keynote speech entitled "Let Different Religions and Denominations Join Hands to Create a Better Tomorrow for Children".


Attending the 2nd World Forum on "The Global Network ofReons for Children", in May 2004

In July 2004, Master led a delegation to visit Sri Lanka again and was cordially received by President Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. This visit promoted friendship and mutual exchange of Buddhist culture between the two countries.

In February 2005, Master was invited by the Multicultural Association of Indonesia to attend the First International Conference of Multi-religious Education on Peace and Harmony in Jakarta on behalf of China Committee on Religion and Peace. He made a keynote speech entitled "Let's Make Our World a More Harmonious and Beautiful Place with the Existence of Many Religions". During the visit, Master was cordially received by Suslio Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia. From November 16th to December 6th, 2005, Master led a Chinese Buddhist delegation to Indonesia again to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Indonesia. They attended the Dharma Assembly for Transmitting Three Platforms of Complete Precepts. It was the first time that the Three Platforms of Complete Precepts were transmitted in 500 years in Indonesia.


From November 16th to December 6th, 2005, Master led a Chinese B uddhist delegation to Indonesia

From April 13th to 16th 2006, Buddhist Association of China and China Religious Culture Communication Association successfully co-sponsored the First World Buddhist Forum in Hangzhou and Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province. Master worked whole-heartedly and conscientiously from the preparation to its successful ending. At this grand gathering, Master delivered a speech entitled "A Harmonious World Begins with Our Minds". He said, "The Buddhist Association of China and the fourfold assembly of Buddhist disciples at large seek to build a harmonious society in China. We hold on to the principle of embodying the universal love in the traditional Chinese culture, 'When one wishes to establish himself, he helps others to establish themselves first; what one wishes to achieve for himself, he helps others to achieve first.' We sincerely appeal to all Buddhists, 'A harmonious world begins with our minds', though we may be from different countries, ethnic groups, or sects. Let's unite with people all over the world and work together to build a harmonious world of long-lasting peace and common prosperity."

On May 6th, 2006, Master was invited by the Government of Thailand and Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University to lead a delegation to Thailand and attend the 3rd United Nations Day of Vesak International Buddhist Conference. From August 26th to 29th of the same year, Master was invited to Japan to attend the 8th World Assembly of Religions for Peace where he gave a speech entitled "Sharing Religious Wisdom, Enjoying Peace and Safety" on behalf of the religious community of China. He said, "We pray that the world's religions join hands to make religion a beacon of human spiritual life, leading the boat of human beings to bypass the rocks of raging violence, veer from the erroneous areas of social injustice, polarization of wealth, ecological deterioration and confrontation of civilizations. Let man reach the other side of the shore where the ideal is real; where it is secure, auspicious and peaceful; where people treat others as they would like to be treated themselves. Let the world share religious wisdom, enjoy peace and safety!"

On October 26th of the same year, Master led a Chinese Buddhist delegation with over 120 people to Japan to attend the 9th China, Korea and Japan Buddhist Friendly Exchange Conference held in Kyoto. On behalf of the Chinese delegation, Master made a speech entitled "Same World, Same Action and Aspiration".

From February 5th to 12th, 2007, Master led a Chinese Buddhist delegation of more than 70 people to Bihar, India, to attend the inaugural ceremony for the Xuanzang Memorial Hall upon completion of its renovation. The ceremony included representatives from both Indian and Chinese governments and Buddhist communities. At the ceremony, Master was the presiding monk of the ceremony who took and offered incense. He said, "We hold this grand gathering to sincerely commemorate Ven. Master Xuanzang. We cherish our memory of this friendship ambassador between Chinese and Indian peoples and strive to deepen our friendship. This ceremony will promote the development and prosperity of Buddhism, strengthening the goodness within human minds and advancing world harmony." On February 27th, 2007, Master welcomed President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, at Lingguang Temple, Beijing. On May 22nd, Master was invited by the Thailand - China Buddhist Culture Research Center of Thailand, the Buddhist Association of Thailand and the Day of Vesak Organizing Committee of the United Nations to lead a delegation to Thailand. They attended the Thailand-China Art Exhibition "The World of Buddhist Paintings" and the 2007 United Nations Day of Vesak activities.


Hosting the inauguration of Xuanzang Memorial Hall upon completion of its renovation, India.February 12th, 2007

Editor:Catherine
Tags:multilateral exchanges, Multicultural Association

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