World Buddhist leaders stress propagation of Buddhism

YANGON, Dec. 11 (Xinhuanet) — Leading Buddhist monks from 16 nations attending the World Buddhist Summit stressed on Saturday the need for promoting and propagating Buddhism, strengthening Buddhist unity, friendship and understanding among them and maintaining world peace and prosperity.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the three-day World Buddhist Summit here, hosted by Myanmar, the Buddhist leaders called on their followers worldwide to strive for protection, preservation and restoration of historic Buddhist monuments, sharing the knowledge of Buddhist meditation with the people of the world for sake of individual as well as for world peace.

The Buddhist leaders emphasized the need to promote Buddhist education employing modern methods and technology and establish more Buddhist centers around the world to disseminate the original teachings of the Buddha more effectively.

The religious summit, staged by Myanmar for the first time and began on Thursday, was participated by over 1,000 monks an nuns, observers and scholars from more than 30 countries and host Myanmar.

The opening ceremony was graced by Chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Senior-General Than Shwe, Prime Minister (PM) Lieutenant-General Soe Win, Lao Prime Minister Boungnang Vorachith, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Lu lay Sreng.

Observers here viewed the summit as a grand event for Myanmar during which leading Buddhist monks, researchers and scholars from across the world presented and discussed papers on a number of topics including “Universal Appeal of the Buddha Dhamma”, “Buddhism and World Peace”, “Buddhism and Its Relevance to the Present World”, and “Buddhist Meditation and World Peace”.

At the summit, common views were reached on many religious issues which contribute to enhancing understanding, friendship and cooperation among Buddhist countries.

The Buddhist leaders held that there exist unpleasant events in the contemporary world such as armed rivalry, terrorism, development gap between the poor and the rich, believing that only loving kindness, patience and forgiveness can put such fires off human beings.

Myanmar attached importance to the summit, attributing the successful sole hosting of the event to the two-year well preparation and close trilateral cooperation among the government, the people and the Buddhist monks amid withdrawal of sponsorship and assistance of the Nenbutsushu Sect of Japan, demonstrating the essence of Buddhism.

Moreover, the attendances of Lao Prime Minister Boungnang Vorachith, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Lu lay Sreng at the inaugural and closing ceremonies have shown support from Buddhist countries.

Thaksin pointed out that although multi-racial and multi-cultural societies have become the global phenomenon, racial and religious conflicts, extremism and terrorism in many parts of the world are posing one of the serious threats in the world today.

He also called for building a peaceful world through understanding, compassion, love and assistance which are the beautiful and indispensable virtues for mankind and the true noble goals of all religions.

Buddhism stands one of four main historical religions of the world with over 360 million followers. Myanmar, with about 80 percent of its 53-million population believing in Buddhism, is estimated to have more than 500,000 monks and nuns within nine sects in Myanmar which have been unified at different levels under the leadership of the government’s religious committee. For nearly1,000 years, the country has kept Theravada (Little vehicle) Buddhism pure and intact.

Observers here said that the grand world Buddhist summit will further promote and propagate Buddhism, enhance friendship, understanding and unity among the followers as well as cooperation among Buddhist countries in bringing about world peace.

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Xinhua, China
Dec. 11, 2004

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This post was last updated: Monday, November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM, Central European Time (CET)