Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Khanh and Nguyen Thuy Giang
Although not a moral doctrine, the original philosophies of Buddhism taught people to know the cause of suffering and the way to free suffering through the process of good direction.
In terms of ethics, Buddhist ethical philosophy is considered as a way of life, a way of life, a philosophy of life, a way of cultivating body and mind to realize the truth of life, towards Nirvana, and finding children. way out of the worldly misery. However, that liberation does not have to rely on an outside force, but we have to do it ourselves, as the Buddha said: Be yourself a lamp to illuminate yourself, create your own refuge. lean on, and don’t rely on anyone but yourself.
Before the introduction of Buddhism, in Vietnam, there was a rich culture with indigenous beliefs. One of the reasons why Buddhism is easily accepted and has a lasting vitality in Vietnam is because it contains the content of human outlook that is suitable for the mind and cultural identity of the Vietnamese people. Since its introduction to Vietnam over two thousand years ago, Buddhism has integrated into the national life not only in a period, an era but throughout a long historical period. Through many feudal dynasties, the relationship between Buddhism and the state was always strengthened because they coexisted and developed, there was never a dispute between the ecclesiastical authority and the world power. Therefore, Buddhism is not only deeply ingrained in spiritual life but also in national culture, including Vietnamese morality.
Right from the time when Buddhism was introduced into our country at the beginning of the Northern domination period, Buddhism proved its superiority, helping the local people find a new ideology to counter the Confucian ideology of feudalism. China at that time. Buddhist ideas have gradually ingrained in the Vietnamese mind, encouraging the people to resist the feudal yoke of the North and successfully carry out a series of resistance wars to protect the country’s sovereignty. Therefore, Buddhist ethics has become the living morality of Buddhists and a large number of social classes, from kings, Zen masters, mandarins to the masses. According to Professor Tran Van Giau, in the table of traditional values of Vietnam, patriotic thought is the leading moral and spiritual value, formed in the process of building and defending the country of our people. The first and most obvious expression of patriotism is the spirit of national independence, the sense of demanding autonomy, freedom and equality for the country. Patriotism is also reflected in the bravery, indomitableness of the enemy, willingness to sacrifice personal life to protect national independence.
As we all know, in Five PreceptsBuddhism forbids killing, in fact, it is forbidden to kill people, it is forbidden to kill other living beings intentionally, and at the same time, it always upholds and respects life. benevolent. However, Buddhism’s compassion is associated with Tri, Dung, that is, distinguishing good – evil, right – wrong and daring to fight for justice. Therefore, “excepting violence” to save people and save the nation is not a wrong thing to do. Buddhism is based on the motivation and purpose of actions to distinguish good from evil. Furthermore, in the opinion of Bodhisattva preceptsSeeing the victim but not saving is also a violation of precepts, so being ready to fight foreign invaders to save the people and liberate the nation is considered a good and benevolent act. As one author wrote: “Great goodness, great virtue, timely and appropriate, at this moment is to save the nation and homeland from the disaster of foreign invasion. Because of that great good, that great virtue, Buddhists are willing to take swords on horses, ready to violate the precepts (forbidden to kill), kill one person to save thousands of people.
In the context of boiling water, the Buddhists cannot dogma and mechanically embrace the precepts without killing sentient beings including enemies and invaders who kill their compatriots. It is impossible for a small good for an individual to forget the great good for the nation, here breaking the precepts is in the spirit of breaking the law. As patriotism, there are many similarities:
The Buddhist philosophy of life has been mixed with Vietnamese patriotic thought, since then, the spirit of compassion and charity has been expressed into the spirit of humanity. According to Professor Tran Van Giau: “Although Buddhism does not have patriotism, Vietnamese Buddhism separates from patriotism and has no value.”  In terms of philosophy of life, the Buddhist philosophy of life is also quite close to the thought and soul of Vietnamese people, especially the spirit of humanity, morality of compassion, and the spirit of peace. This spirit of loving people as if you love yourself has turned into a popular proverb among the people, such as “Good leaves cover torn leaves”, or “Disturbation covers the mirror price, people in a country must love each other.” … In addition to the principle of Compassion, Vietnamese people are also deeply influenced by another principle in Buddhist teachings, which is the Four Ancestors, including the grace of parents, the great teacher, the grace of the nation and the grace of sentient beings. In the doctrine of the Four Graces, parental grace is considered the most important and has a very profound influence on the feelings and ethics of the Vietnamese people, which is consistent with the traditional lifestyle and ethics of the Vietnamese people.
In general, historically, Buddhism entered our country peacefully. Buddhism also does not cause confusion or negation of the spiritual values, customs and traditions of the Vietnamese community. Therefore, Buddhism easily penetrates and penetrates deeply into the minds of Vietnamese people. The relationship between Buddhist ethics and traditional Vietnamese ethical values is a two-way relationship: Buddhism affects traditional culture and ethics, and vice versa, economic bases and conditions. – Indigenous society has created many characteristics of Vietnamese Buddhism. It can be said that Buddhist ethics has really been deeply rooted in national traditional morality, deeply affecting people’s psychology, lifestyle, customs and habits.
Vietnamese people accept Buddhism not only in terms of the philosophical content contained therein, but more importantly, in good moral conduct. They absorb Buddhism not as an ideology with sublime teachings but things that are very close to their thoughts and feelings, deeply human. Buddhism, therefore, from exogenous factors has spread widely, gradually integrated with the national culture, strongly influencing the lifestyle of each person and becoming an endogenous factor contributing to promoting the movement of Buddhism. movement and development of the traditional Vietnamese ethnic community.
1. Nguyen Hung Hau, Outline of Vietnamese Buddhist philosophy. Volume 1, Social Science Publishing House, Hanoi, 2002. 397.
2. Trau Van Giau, Buddhist Ethics in Modern Times, Ho Chi Minh City Publishing House, 1993, 15.