8th Global Conference on Buddhism passed resolutions against violence in Buddhist countries and bombing in India

From the Buddhist Channel:

Singapore — Delegates from Singapore and overseas attended the two-day 8th Global Conference on Buddhism, held in Singapore on 6 and 7 July 2013. Drawing on the presence of 1,200 delegates from the various Buddhist traditions, the Conference culminated in the passing of two resolutions concerning the on-going violence against Muslims in Buddhist countries, and the bombing of the MahaBodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India on 7 July 2013. The resolutions were a response from the Buddhist community towards these international incidents, and passed with an overwhelming majority of more than 95% voting in favour.

Resolution on the violence against Muslims in Buddhist countries

“We hereby wish to inform our Muslim brothers and sisters that as Buddhists, we are deeply concerned by the violent treatment of Muslims at the hands of people claiming to be Buddhists.

Islam is a religion of peace and Buddhism a religion of non-violence. These are ideals for all mankind, regardless of differences in beliefs and customs. We call upon the leaders of the Buddhist and Muslim communities to condemn all acts of violence and to use their influence to encourage all to be gentle and act with compassion. We also call on governments to take firm measures against murder, assault, arson, rape and other acts of violence and incitement to violence, and take the appropriate action against offenders, whatever their social status.”

Resolution on the bombing in India

“We are deeply saddened but we forgive those responsible for bombing the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya.

You may damage the most important temple in Buddhism but you will not destroy our faith in forgiveness and compassion. “

“Buddhism is a religion of compassion and wisdom,” said Ms Angie Chew Monksfield, organising chairperson of the Global Conference on Buddhism and President of Buddhist Fellowship, said: “While we are saddened by the violence in Myanmar and the bombings in India, we recognise that the only lasting solution towards such acts of violence is forgiveness. The resolutions are a concrete way of demonstrating our commitment to peace. We hope that these resolutions will contribute towards resolving the conflicts in a peaceful and effective manner.”

Datuk Dr Victor Wee, President of Buddhist Gem Fellowship Malaysia, said: “I am heartened to see Buddhists from all traditions using this opportunity to engage each other on current issues of critical importance. We have discussed and passed public
resolutions on these two issues, based on the Buddhist principles of kindness and wisdom.”

The Conference included topics and presenters such as “Search Inside Yourself” by Mr Tan Chade-Meng of Google, “Challenges to Buddhism: Taking the Buddha Seriously” by Professor Richard Gombrich of Oxford University, and “Buddhist Bioethics in Medicine and Research” by Dr Ho Eu Chin.

About the Organiser of the Conference – Buddhist Fellowship

Buddhist Fellowship is a non-sectarian English speaking Buddhist group that focuses on the learning of the Buddha’s Teachings and the practice of meditation. It has over 5,000 members and has been a dynamic force in the Buddhist community in advocating modernization and bringing issues into the open for discussion and resolution.

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12 thoughts on “8th Global Conference on Buddhism passed resolutions against violence in Buddhist countries and bombing in India

  1. You are really not adaptive, aren’t you.

    You may damage the most important temple in Buddhism but you will not destroy our faith in forgiveness and compassion. “

    Such are the words of talker… Be sure, that you keep your resolves. You will not easy match the Boddhisattva and I guess you will fall apart even when somebody would take your ipod.

    But its really always a good help to see all this freaks talking on the costs of others and polish their reputation. You guys should really spend some times outside of you palace to get Samsara a little bit known. It is more then disgusting to see all those guys in pinstripes wasting money (=lifes). I would invite them to stay some month in some ghettos and battlefields without cellphones and credit cards.

    If anybody has the possibility to throw some corpse into the “talker” crowd, please do it. They might start to realize that they are just foolish talkers.

    We also call on governments to take firm measures against murder, assault, arson, rape and other acts of violence and incitement to violence, and take the appropriate action against offenders, whatever their social status

    Even to yammer after protection, will not change your past deed. Does this sentence mean that the Budparionazis call for death penalty? So much to the first quote… “you will not destroy our faith in forgiveness and compassion.”

    Idiots.

  2. Friend Sujato,

    I have an offer for you. In December, I guess might have “finished” the useless work in the internet realm.
    What if you try to switch to Buddhas path, leave home and house behind you, give up the corrupt relations and the burden to cause fault after fault, donate you unrighteous gained possession to the Sangha. Pic up your alms bowl, and your three robes (you can take shoes with you, I am sure else would be to hard) and come to Cambodia. Then I will show you (or better give you just the possibility) how to do the Dhammayietra, the path of truth and how it actually really works. We can walk form here trough Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan.. till Europe. It will take us about 6 till 18 month, depending on the winds. Not that you will have found the way to peace and the truth, you will be also authentic at least and be sure, nobody of those talkers will ever be interested any more on your talks, as you would no more able to cheat people and they actually don’t like to know the way to peace.
    No money, no credit card, no social insurance, no passport, no community support, no “right”, just kamma and training in skillful behavior, one meal, and rest where ever you find your self at the evening.
    If you feel afterwards the desire to write a book about the walk of truth, you may do. That would be somehow the final exam. Oh yes, and don’t invite the attached, lovers and slaves to participate, they will not only harm them selves, but also others when they face “reality” and effects not able to penetrate them. And no “Peace” banners. They are not needed as soon as you have developed some amount for your self. You would not like to cheat people, not attained for your self yet.

    Do you have the “nuts” or better some faith in Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha to leave the house and walk for the truth? Do you know Ven. Punna?
    Might be that nobody will know you later on if you excel the task. A lot to scarify. Another possibility would be, to seek for a good nissaya and spend some rain to developed the basics. Maybe a better.

  3. Bhante,

    Thank you for sharing these resolutions from the 8th Global Conference on Buddhism. I’m not sure who the delegates are, but I think they got it exactly right in their “Resolution on the violence against Muslims in Buddhist countries.” Islam is a religion of peace, Buddhism is a religion of non-violence, and those who are committing violence against Muslims are not Buddhist, but “people claiming to be Buddhists.”

    By the way, there are currently seven monks going around the United States creating sand mandalas for world peace. Right now, they are in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can see photos of what they’re doing here: http://lslk.org/?page_id=1131

    • You mean like the Dali Lama, short before 9/11 did in the twin towers? Was really effective yes. I would suddenly invite such people. If peace would be build by playing with sand and making nice pictures, we would have the solution.
      Actually those people mostly have this or that kind of found raising and improper livelihood. “Peacemaker” is a good job, believe me. You can make real good money as long there is no peace and you would really have trouble if there would be peace.

      I need to think on a Buddhist teacher who said something like “I really would not have an idea where to put all my love if there would be no need for it. I don’t like to live in such a world.”

  4. Bhante, thank you for posting the balanced and skillful response offered by the conference. It’s easy to get caught up in the stream of public sentiment, but we need to continue upstream and be voice of reason and compassion, of the Dhamma.

    • No vice needed to make a gift and a unite voice makes others fear.

      Five faultless gifts

      “There are these five gifts, five great gifts — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. Which five?

      “There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans…

      “Furthermore, abandoning taking what is not given (stealing), the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking what is not given. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the second gift…

      “Furthermore, abandoning illicit sex, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from illicit sex. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the third gift…

      “Furthermore, abandoning lying, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from lying. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fourth gift…

      “Furthermore, abandoning the use of intoxicants, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. And this is the eighth reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing; to welfare & to happiness.”

      AN 8.39

      Hard work, not many swift to such but rather like to have a voice and identification. I really do not know what a stream of public sentiment should be, that seems to be a very individual stream to have such a cognition. Maybe such stream of public identifications and assuming have much to with the appearance of ideas of a stream of public sentiment. How ever, Buddha knew why he never taught to nourish such streams. Might it in this or that direction. They are fundamental based on conceit.

  5. Sri Lanka: Who’s behind anti-Muslim violence?

    http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/sri-lanka-whos-behind-anti-muslim-violence/

    The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has shocked the world and drawn attention to rising Islamophobia in Asia. Now Muslims in Sri Lanka are under dire threat as well.

    The similarities with Myanmar are striking and foreboding. Buddhist monks are at the forefront of the rising hatred, the government is taking sides against Muslims and attacks have begun.

    Full scale violence is threatening to break out to create another catastrophe for Muslims in the region. There have already been a series of attacks on mosques and Muslim places of work.

    Hard line, ultra nationalist groups led by Buddhist monks such as Buddhist Strength Force (BBS) and Sinhala Echo preach the same message as those of the Buddhist Rakhine in Myanmar: “Muslims are taking over, they are building too many mosques and are trying to destroy our culture.”

    • Buddhist monks are at the forefront of the rising hatred

      I think that Buddhist monks disrobe themselves once they promote hatred and advocate violence.

      As the resolution above says, they are nothing more than people claiming to be Buddhist. At the very least, they are people whom the Buddha would not recognize as members of the Ariyan Sangha.

    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for the comment. While I agree with the dangers posed by the upsurge of hardline, extremist Buddhist nationalist and anti-Muslim groups, it is important to not substitute one enemy for another. The enemy is greed, hatred, and delusion. These are found in every community. There are plenty of Buddhists within these countries, in fact a very large silent majority, who abhor violence. The Burmese Sangha recently ruled against the infamous 969 movement, so the voices of sanity and peace are there. The crucial thing is to mobilize the silent majority, get them to speak! It would be terrific, for example, to organize a grassroots, Avaaz-style campaign, to get Buddhists internationally to condemn the violence. Any takers?

    • The Burmese Sangha recently ruled against the infamous 969 movement, so the voices of sanity and peace are there.

      This is great news. The 969 movement twists the qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha into a club with which to justify hate and aggression. May the Burmese Sangha and the very large silent majority who embrace non-violence remain steadfast on the path.

  6. It is good to see that the Global Buddhist Community, or at least those elements in attendance at the conference, have chosen a more peaceful path.

    To Johann… I understand that you feel your path is correct and I respect that. However I sense a definite tone of “my way is the right (and therefore only) way” to how you write. I am sure that your experience has given you insight, I would ask that you also respect the experience and insights of those about you. It is easy for your sharing of experience to be perceived as arrogance.

    Also, in response to your disagreement on the point of the sand mandalas I wish to add… that though the mandalas in themselves hold no “mystical” powers… the people watching them being created, and those making them, I am sure, found peace of mind and attentiveness in the moment. In my experience, intention is everything.

    I would prefer people, in their own way, to express thoughts and actions of compassion, rather than add to the overwhelming oceans of suffering that we see around us everyday. On the news, in papers, on the internet, in family life, in the workplace. Any act of compassion, and mindfulness, is precious.

    On your point on the five faultless gifts, under the topic of “lying” or unskilful speech…

    “Furthermore, abandoning lying, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from lying. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fourth gift…”

    Is that not a call to mind what you say, how you say it, not only in speaking, but in all forms of communication? It (as I understand it, does not concern only lying, but gossiping, making false accusations and also making assumptions) would then seem appropriate to ask you to remain mindful in the manner in which you speak to (and of) people on this forum.

    Since, and I say this speaking only from what I have experienced since first posting here, you seem to make a lot of assumptions about people you do not know. Your language also seems, and maybe it is only me that has seen it as thus, somewhat condescending of how other people are walking their path. We are not all you, we have our own “path of truth” to walk. We each have different upbringings, and different lessons we’ve had to learn.

    Whilst I am sure you have plenty of valuable lessons to impart, I ask only that you do so with mindful consideration of other people’s feelings.

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