RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD—UNITE!
this, the atomic age, men devote their energies to building death
machines. In homes, in schools, and among nations the quest for power
and domination has turned the basic values of society upside-down. The
struggle even extends to the world's religions.
In the article which follows, Professor Hsieh Ping-ying, noted scholar, writer. Professor of Chinese Literature at Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, and Corresponding Advisor to Vajra Bodhi Sea, expresses herself on the topic of "religion" which, unlike "politics' may be discussed to achieve the goal of resolving mutual differences. Translated from the Chinese, this article first appeared in Chia Yin Magazine, #140. We are pleased to present it to Western readers.
——Bhiksuni Heng Yin
Religions of the World—Unite!
--By Professor Hsieh Ping-yin
"...It is my opinion that the world's religions should not quarrel, but should unite in a common purpose, for their basic goals are alike: they all encourage men to do good, to reform society, and to rid it of evil elements. They purify society and the minds of men, destroying offense and crime in order that the world may know joy, prosperity, and progress. There should be no enmity, envy, or strife between men, but only friendship, sympathy, and mutual aid. That all of mankind be filled with kindness, justice, peace, and good fortune, is the ideal of all religions and their basic aim. Because they encourage men to do good I feel that the different paths of all religions lead to a common destination. Although men are of different faiths, their final goals are alike.
Although I number Buddhists, Christians, and Moslems among my friends, there has never been discontent. In our talks we often say that, unlike politics, religion is not the place for that fierce competition in which one party excludes the other and only one can be victorious. There should be freedom of religion. What does it matter to what faith my friends, associates, or family belong, as long as they do not obstruct me?
We also agree that others should not interfere with us and that we should not interfere with others. If everyone dedicated himself to truth, goodness, and progress for mankind, what further clashes could there be? Needn't we only rid ourselves of hatred and hostility?
Nevertheless, five years ago a Christian friend of mine suddenly stopped associating with me because she saw that I had a small Buddhist reliquary which contained a porcelain image of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva in my home. When she saw it, she was displeased, and every time she came to visit she brought along one or two pamphlets in an effort to convert me. But I was already a Buddhist, having taken refuge with the Triple Jewel. Not only did I not want to change religions, but I felt that one should respect not only one's own religion, but all o-Kher religions as well, and not simply declare, "My religion is good and yours is superstition." In fact, anyone who sincerely devotes himself to his faith may unwittingly appear to be "superstitious". Do not misunderstand the word "superstition" as a derogatory term. It may be a commendable one, indicating that one is a loyal and genuine disciple whose faith has reached that level of firm unflinching sincerity, which will never change.
everyone thought, "My religion is good, but all the others are
nothing but idolatry, demonism, and superstition," there would be no
peace in the world, but only mutual ridicule, slander, and contention with
no day of rest.
friend had no excuse for avoiding me for five years. Not long ago, when I
met her on the street she was still as warm and friendly as ever. I was
extremely happy to see her and accompanied her to her doctor's appointment
while we chatted and caught up on the last five years of news.
She agreed with me that our friendship of over twenty years should
not be severed simply because of religious differences.
also remember five hears ago when Father Chang Chin Hung, a Catholic
Priest, asked me to teach a class in literary composition. "But I am
a Buddhist," I said.
does it Matter?" he replied, "We are all working for world peace
and for the welfare of mankind..."
So! This good Priest was later killed in an automobile accident and just thinking of it makes my heart ache. I can't write anymore, just these few words...
July 18, 1971
--Translated by Bhiksuni Heng Yin
Solid Gold Summer Sessions!
During the summer of 1972 The Sino-American Buddhist Association, Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery, and Vajra Bodhi Sea Publications will jointly sponsor three separate Sutra-Study and Meditation Sessions, each five weeks long. During these sessions daily explanations of major Buddhist texts will be made. Complementing the Sutra study will be approximately five hours of meditation every day in addition to the chanting of Sutras and mantras. The dates for the three sessions follow:
First Session: June 7th—July 13th, 1972
Second Session: June 14th-August 18th, 1972
Third Session: August 19th-September 22nd, 1972
There is no better way to introduce yourself to Buddhism and the path of cultivation than by attending one of these sessions. Following the instructions of Sakyamuni Buddha, the combination of Sutra study, meditation, and recitation will bring about a deep understanding of both the principles and the practice of the Buddhadharma.
For further information call or write the Sino-American Buddhist Association, Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery, 1731 15th Street, San Francisco, 94103. Telephone: (415) 621-5202
Calligraphy in this issue; Cover: English, Kuo Chao Eberle; Chinese, Lee Kuo Ch'ien. Chinese texts in the issue by Li Kuo Wei.
2999 CALENDAR OF BUDDHIST HOLIDAYS
August 21 Great Strength Bodhisattva’s Birthday
August 23 Ullambana Festival
1 Nagarjuna Bodhisattva’s Birthday
7 Earth Store Bodhisattva’s Birthday
7 Birthday of the Great Master Hsu Yun
September 10 Birthday of the Great Master Hui Neng, The Sixth Patriarch
September 29 Dipankara Buddha’s Birthday
21 Anniversary of the Great Master Ch’ang Chih’s Attainment of
22 Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua Left the Home Life
23 The Great Master Ch’ang Jen Left the Home Life
25 Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Left the Home Life