Friday, December 3, 2010

Buddhism Enjoys A Revival In China

by Mitch Moxley, IPS News

BEIJING, Dec 1 (IPS) - Quan Zhenyuan discovered Buddhism by accident. After the owner of a vegetarian restaurant here in the Chinese capital gave her a book about the religion, she became hooked. Today, Quan is one of a growing number of urban Chinese who turn to Buddhism for spiritual fulfillment.

"I always used to believe Buddhism is a kind of superstition, but I changed my mind completely after reading the book" called ‘Recognising Buddhism’, says Quan, 32, an executive manager at a tourism agency in Beijing. She says Buddhism has taught her how to better solve problems and cooperate with employees and clients. "Buddhism gives me peace of mind."

China, an officially atheist country, is experiencing a Buddhism revival.

In the three decades since Premier Deng Xiaoping announced the ‘Reform and Opening Up’ policy, a spiritual void has opened among many Chinese, experts say. Stressed and overfocused on careers and material gain, many of its citizens have started to look for answers in religion, none more than Buddhism, which has a 2,000-year history in China.

A 2007 survey by the Research Centre for Religious Culture at East China Normal University found that of 4,500 people questioned across 31 provinces and autonomous regions, 33 percent claimed to believe in Buddhism.

Liu Zhongyu, the research team’s leader, told Phoenix News Media that "Buddhism is the major belief among intellectuals and young people" in China. He said that more than 300 million Chinese likely believe in Buddhism. Ten years earlier, the State Bureau of Religious Affairs pegged the number at 100 million.

Liu attributed the growing interest in Buddhism to social instability, pressures and anxiety caused by the rapidly developing market economy in China.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ ‘Blue Book on China’s Religions’ said Buddhism has experienced a "golden period" during China’s three decades of reform. During this period, nationwide organisational systems have been created, conducting summer camps and public education activities.

Research by the Centre on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University in the United States, announced at the 7th Symposium of the Social Scientific Study of Religion in China in July, found that interest in Buddhism has exploded in the last three decades. About 185 million Chinese follow Buddhism today, the Centre found.

Around the first century AD, Buddhism began to spread from India to China via the Silk Road. Gaining the support of emperors and royalty, the religion’s teachings spread rapidly. Indian dignitaries were invited to teach Buddhist philosophy and many sutras were introduced in China.

Mao Zedong, who was famously hostile toward religion, did not ban Buddhism outright, but many temples and Buddhist organisations were soon overtaken by the state.

When China brutally suppressed Tibetan Buddhism in 1959, this was supported by the government-controlled Buddhist Association of China. During the Cultural Revolution, many Buddhist holy sites were ravaged, but following Mao’s death in 1976, the suppression of Buddhism and other religions eased somewhat.

Like many young urban Chinese, a man in his thirties who gave his nickname as Eddie has turned to Buddhism to find meaning in his life. Buddhism has helped him answer questions about mankind’s purpose and about what comes next, he says.

"It shows me a brand new world. It’s like a light to guide my life, it gives me hope. It makes me understand the power of now," says Eddie. "I think I’m on the right track in connecting with myself."

But Duan Yuming, a professor at Sichuan University’s Institute of Religious Studies, says that while interest in Buddhism is growing, very few Chinese can actually call themselves Buddhist. "They practice Buddhism just for peace of mind."

Still, even a cursory interest is a good thing, Duan tells IPS.

"Buddhism is a spiritual development leading to true happiness. Buddhist practices, such as meditation, are a means of transforming oneself and developing the qualities of awareness, kindness and wisdom….Chinese people today are always urgent to do things. They don’t even know how to relax. Meditation can help them find peace of mind," he says.

Over the past decades, Buddhist monuments have been erected and restored across China, and tourism to Buddhist and other religious sites has increased. In 2006, China organised the World Buddhist Forum, and the next year banned mining on Buddhist sacred mountains.

Part of the rising interest in Buddhism stems from a growing fascination with Tibet. Although the vast majority of Chinese view the Autonomous Region as an inalienable part of China, many urban Chinese think of Tibet as a romantic, rugged frontier. As a result, tourism to the capital, Lhasa, and beyond has exploded in recent years.

Duan says that the growing interest in Buddhism among the majority Han Chinese can help improve understanding of and relations with Tibet – something the exiled Dalai Lama, who fled China for India in 1959, has said himself.

He told his biographer, the author Pico Iyer: "If thirty years from now Tibet is six million Tibetans and ten million Chinese Buddhists, then maybe something will be O.K."


Shiva said...

Whats the situation of Buddhism in China today?

I hope its picking up, people need the true support Buddhism can provide and that they need today.


Anonymous said...


有关马來西亜,吉隆坡,甲洞帝沙再也 (暹寺) 三宝寺 Samnak Sambodhi Buddhist Association No.19-21 Jalan 38 Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong 52100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 所发生的纠纷, 经过阅读了,Venerable Phra Piya Thammo 和尚及叶金福律师 (Yip Kum Fook) 的双方书信之后, 再经实地旁听了觧,做为中间人,我要客观实事的说:

1.当一个和尚、初出道 (小学生),在修行, 若有缺点, 那是难免.他马华公会鹅唛區会主地席叶金福律师(Yip Kum Fook),却心眼看不顺,就电招警万到耒佛教之圣地要扣畄和尚耒耻唇出家人, 这是绝对不许可, 除非是殺人放火之大罪悪.

2.他身为马华公会鹅唛區会主席叶金福律师 (Yip Kum Fook),却反其道而行, 在佛寺不依佛法而軽视佛教的精神, 以傲慢的手段,帶领一般黑社会的人耒挑衅和尚打架, 这也是不该有、更不是佛教修行者的行为.

3.佛教的圣地, 其主要的目地, 是让眾生修佛道, 不是政治争執的地方. 他马华公会鹅唛区会主席叶金福律师 (Yip Kum Fook), 却利用佛教之圣地当政治活动的场所。如此果敢冒犯佛陀的教誨,更是大大的罪悪。

囯有囯章,彿有佛法,家有家规. 如果出家人有何不对之处, 他叶金福律师 (Yip Kum Fook), 为何不向主持和尚投?让出家人自依和尚的條规处理、却强权一味要显示他是马华公会鹅唛区会及三宝寺理事会主席, 无法无天的应用霸道手段践踏佛教之圣地.为什么。。。。。为什么.

至今, 他叶金福律师 (Yip Kum Fook),不当不歉愧,还要狡辩, 这又证明了他说一套, 做的又是另一套, 囗是心非, 所谓的两舌, 相当阴险. 身为律师, 受高深教育, 却应用如此悪毒, 横蛮无礼的作风污辱和尚, 相等于是耻辱佛教伩仰者。他叶金福律师(Yip Kum Fook)不向主持和尚投诉, 却自承英雄,电招外耒者.请问,身为將近20年的三宝寺主持和尚兼顾问,也是第一位 自筹建寺的大功臣,在大马南傳泒中,是闻名遐邇的高僧.其脸要放在那裡?同样的,要是台湾星雲大师的佛寺沙彌犯錯, 理事会没有礼貌自作主张,电招警方要扣畄其沙彌.我敢请问!星雲大师的自尊是怎样的感受?他叶金福律师(Yip Kum Fook)是后耒者,担任理会主席也不久, 竟敢应用如此,目无尊長的方式对待住持,间接的就是告大家,强迫住持和尚必远離,雀巢鸠要佔。这种用心不良, 有老千之谋, 的确令人不敢恭维。

縱观以上几项重点,我不是盲目的護持三宝, 而是要坦白的说;他叶金福律师 (Yip Kum Fook) 身受高深教育, 为律师者,本应通情达理才是,但遗憾的是, 却令人惊觉, 他厡耒就是彿书裡所讲的狡猾且残忍的此颣人。他叶金福律师 (Yip Kum Fook),利用他的专业知識, 懂得包裝自己的道德守則,以宗教为幌子手,到处募款,商业经营, 政治活动为重, 并没依循佛教宗教守则行事, 也没对人道作出任何貢献, 只不过借宗教之名捞取权和私利而己。

在此, 我奉劝, 他马华公会鹅唛区会主席叶金福律师 (Yip Kum Fook), 好自为之, 免因果報应

Anonymous said...


最近, 在网络上看了PHRA PIYATHAMMO和尚和马华公会鸱唛区主席叶金福(Yip Kum Fook, MCA Gombak)律师的双方信件, 使我的内心久久不能平伏, 良心受到很大的譴責, 不吐訢不痛快, 所以我要誠恳的説:他叶金福(Yip Kum Fook, MCA Gombak)侓师叫外来的流流氓到三宝寺(暹廟)挑衅和尚打架及电招警方人员扣捕沙彌, 其嘲笑手法, 不外是要显示其权力, 而鞏固其职位, 以达到权力就是一切, 好让住持难堪, 自动離开, 方便行事……这种举动, 已间接的表逹其含意, 住持和尚兼顾问, 都无能为力,你们这些信徒能做什么?即使告马耒西亜佛教总会又能为难什么?这种心态, 的硧令人反感, 不是一个正信佛教者应有的行为。

至今, 三宝寺的理事成员多数是其親戚, 这是实事, 加入会员需交RM100元费用,同时,必须经过叶金福(Yip Kum Fook)律师的同意,否则免談, 所以会员也不多。

马华公会鹅唛区主席叶金福(Yip Kum Fook, MCA Gombak)律师,自控制三宝寺之後,把三宝寺(暹廟)当着私人產業,聘用和尚賺钱,利用佛教的道地为政治活动埸所,而处理三宝寺的钱财也不透明?这点,值得信众追问。马来西亚地擴人多,和尚也不缺乏,为什么不用本地和尚当任住持化缘,却偏偏劳心劳神,浪费签证费,交通费? 还要烦劳梹城佛总的推荐信, 向文化不同, 而語言又不通之千哩外囯缅旬和尚求助? 为什么….为什么? 只要我们用头脑想一想,便一日了然, 不必晝虎添足。

叶金福(Yip Kum Fook, MCA Gombak )律师说:欢迎任何人如有意见,可以电话03:62762369/0122039700 Email: YIPKUMFOOK@HOTMAIL.COM 戓到其马华公会鹅唛区会甲洞三宝寺及以下地圵:NO.2,B JALAN 53 TAMAN DESA JAYA KEPONG 52100 SELANGOR, MALAYSIA.討論, 我要老实的提醒大家, 最好不要一个去見他, 因为这个人狡滑, 笑裡藏刀, 很阴险, 出家人都不放在眼裡, 連TAMAN DAYA 52100 KEPONG, KUALA LUMPUR. 众人的印度廟也敢放火燒, 利用权势把场地佔为己有, 由此可见, 他是何等的心毒? 还有现在三宝寺内, 各处都按裝计孔监视来人一举一动。

目前, 三宝寺很多信徒及当地居民, 已经对叶金福(Yip Kum Fook, MCA Gombak )律师不满, 但也不能做什么。他计划把三宝寺主席的职位轉给其子YIP JIUN HANN律师, 续承皇朝. 想近一部了觧詳情, 可上网得知。

再说, 根据前理事在网络上给叶金福(Yip Kum Fook, MCA Gombak)律师的批評, 説他懂得包裝自己的道德守则, 以宗教为幌子手, 到处募款, 啇業经营, 政治活动为重, 并没依循佛教守則行事, 也没对人道作出貢献, 只不过借三宝寺宗教之名捞取权和私利而己, 其言也不为过, 是实事。

在此, 我恳切希望, 廣大的佛教信仰者, 给予关注, 并共創義举, 弘扬佛教. 谢谢。

Mr Lim Sok Chia敬啟
Ms Yap