"Buddhist beliefs can connect people with different systems, Buddhist temples should get rid of over-commercialization, and Buddhist precepts help promote a harmonious world." The assessment comes from Venerable Master Hsing Yun, President of Buddha's Light International Association in Taiwan. Our reporter Han Bin had an exclusive interview with him during the World Buddhism Forum in East China's Wuxi.
1. How can Buddhism help improve relations across the Taiwan Straits?
"When the Buddha's finger bone relic from Xi'an on the Chinese Mainland was brought to Taiwan, over 5 million residents welcomed it on bended knees. No one has questioned to whom it belongs. Because under the same belief, people from both sides of the Strait are Chinese. This is what I said before, the two sides
can realize a direct link through direct Buddhist exchanges first.Just like this at Buddhist Forum, monks from both sides are very harmonious. If we can expand this kind of development, from Buddhist monks to the general public, a family-like relationship across the Strait can be easily realized," Master Hsing Yun said.
2, Poor management of Buddhist temples as well as corruption or over-extravagance have had some negative impacts on Buddhism. How is it possible Buddhism pure?
"From my point of view, I hope the government from the Mainland gives instructions to the temples and monks to follow the Buddhist doctrines through education. Buddhism makes very positive contributions to improving social morals, maintaining social order,and stabilizing public opinion. Chinese Buddhists should respect Buddhist doctrines, follow Buddhist Precepts, practice
compassion and love, morals and ethics to serve others and enjoy a lifestyle of simplicity. Temples should be a clean place to worship; they should get rid of business deals. Buddhists should focus on self-cultivation,rather than care too much about being poor," Master Hsing Yun said.
3, In which ways can Buddhism help relieve the anxieties and worries of people in today's world?
"In the current situation of technological advancement and Internet connections,
people of today become much more busy, impatient and anxious. Buddhist meditation can help create concentration, which will be of great help to them. It can help you get away from worries and hatred, and find peace and compassion.
Then you want to serve others and attain happiness for yourself and others. Lay citizens should also take up the Five Precepts, which are the basis of Buddhist morality. They are: not killing or causing harm to others; not taking the belongings or property of others; avoiding sexual misconduct, which can ruin their names; avoiding false speech, which ruins reputations; abstaining from drugs that harm the mind and body.Not harming social stability. It would be very significant to helping stabilize social order and peace, if we can promote the five abstentions of Buddhist Precepts. I have been promoting practicing Buddhism
in real life globally. The Five Precepts are named as the bottom line for human beings," Master Hsing Yun said.