China re-discovers priceless value of Buddhism
Posted on March 29th, 2015

By Senaka Weeraratna

In as much as two global religions Christianity and Islam are given leadership today by powerful countries based in the West and Middle East respectively, the time has come for the oldest of the three global religions namely Buddhism to be backed by a powerhouse to dispel the widely circulated myth that it is a weak religion sustained by relatively weaker countries in Asia despite Buddhism’s unmatched contributions to the sustaining of world peace, unqualified respect for the natural environment including reverence for the lives of all living beings and promotion of Ahimsa and non-violence as the basis of resolution of conflict.

No other country today fits the description of a powerhouse with a close association with Buddhism lasting for more than two millennia than China.  It has re-discovered the priceless value of Buddhism and the role it must play in the dissemination of Buddhism worldwide.

The 27th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) that was held in Baoji, Shaanxi Province, China from October  16 to 18, 2014, being the first occasion a WFB Conference was held in mainland China, was a clear indication of the new role that China has embarked upon. It was meant to send a strong message to the rest of the world that the China of the future will not only be a supplier of goods and services but also a source of enlightened thinking based on Buddhism.

Though there have been major upheavals from time to time in Chinese history for example the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1969), there is no gain saying that Buddhism is deeply rooted in China and is very much a part of the Chinese culture and civilization. Chinese Buddhism together with Confucius values will be a major export in the very near future. Using the country’s spectacular advancements in science and technology, Chinese Buddhism can be expected to blend with modern technology and re-focus on social engagement within China leading to its emergence as a major force in China with the support of both Provincial Governments and local governments, i.e. Municipal authorities.

China’s new leadership is no longer doctrinaire Communist.   China’s President Xi Jinping has been quoted in the world press as saying that he believed China was losing its moral compass and he wanted the ruling Communist Party to be more tolerant of traditional faiths in the hope these will help fill a vacuum created by the country’s breakneck growth and rush to get rich. Xi, who was raised in Chairman Mao Tse Tung’s puritan China, is dismayed by what he sees as the country’s moral decline and growing obsession with money. Xi has expressed the hope that China’s traditional cultures” or faiths – Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism – will help fill a spiritual void that has allowed corruption to flourish.

The WFB Conference held this month in Baoji, Shaanxi Province and for the first time in mainland China, may well be considered as a  new starting point for both Provincial Governments and the Central Government of China to foster Buddhism and it will not be a surprise if the world were to see Buddhist missionaries from China emerging very soon to spread the teachings of the Buddha all over the world in a manner similar but more ethical than Christian evangelists from USA and other western countries engaged in spreading Christianity in former colonies.

China must claim the leadership of the Buddhist world to better project its image and Chinese culture, which is rooted in Buddhism, and in addition to effectively counter aggressive foreign religious evangelism in many parts of the world. Furthermore, if there is any cultural and spiritual base that can unite Asia; that is Buddhism primarily because the other two great Asian nations namely India (birthplace of Buddhism) and Japan are heirs of a great Buddhist civilization that spread to the far corners of Asia long before the entry of foreign political and religious influences from the West.

Source: Daily Mirror

7 Responses to “China re-discovers priceless value of Buddhism”

  1. Independent Says:

    If Theravada Buddhism could transform China, hard to stop.

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    Both Islam and Christianity create adherents who look to the Middle East and the West for their guidance. In other words the spread of these religions are not conducive to the well being of host nations for they create traitors to the lands of their birth.

    These new religions create dissension, enmity, exclusiveness and cultural genocide. This is the very tool the Western Christian countries use to subjugate other nations through internal conflicts. Most of the internal conflicts in nations around the globe are associated with the spread of Christianity and Islam. It is wise for China to embrace the local fonts of wisdom – Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism for their spiritual and material upliftment.

    Moreover as the writer says it will bring more common grounds between China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Burma, India and Sri Lanka and practically all peace loving people in the world.

    World has a future with Buddhism. As it is seen all around the world Islam and Christianity are leading the world towards war, bloodshed, death and destruction!

    May Peace be upon the souls of the founders of these religions as there is no peace among their adherents.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    China re-discovers Buddhism : Good.

    But Security measures must be paramount, for both China and Lanka.

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    China re-discovers Buddhism : Good-But Security measures must be paramount, for both China and Lanka.- contradicting statement !!!

  5. samurai Says:

    Please also click on the following links:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/29/asia/china-buddhism-millenials/

    http://defence.pk/threads/china-re-discovers-priceless-value-of-buddhism.367748/

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Kumar,

    That is why I keep saying that State & Religion (any religion) ought to be kept apart. Security and religion must always be kept apart for the sake of survival as those with religions that allow killing etc will always rule over another that will not allow killing etc. To practice any religion, one has to survive first. Therefore, Security is Paramount. Laws must be upheld first to protect the country and the people, and religion should come afterwards.

  7. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Buddhism could not survive in India. Within five hundred years, Buddhism disappeared. It found better roots in China, because of Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu had created really a beautiful field for Buddhism there. The climate was ready — as if somebody had prepared the ground; only the seed was needed. And when the seed reached China it grew into a great tree. But from India it disappeared. Lao Tzu had no idea of any permanent self, and in China people have not bothered much.

    There are these three cultures in the world: one culture, called the materialist — very predominant in the West; another culture, called the spiritualist — very predominant in India; and China has a third kind of culture, neither materialist nor spiritualist. It is Taoist: live the moment and don’t bother for the future, because to bother about heaven and hell and paradise and moksha is basically to be continuously concerned about yourself. It is very selfish, it is very self-centered. According to Lao Tzu, according to Buddha too, a person who is trying to reach heaven is a very, very self-centered person, very selfish. And he does not know a thing about his own inner being — there is no self.

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