It is the inner strength of Vietnamese Buddhism that has contributed with the Vietnamese people to implement the message of building a strong Vietnamese nation, rich people and strong country, and a just and civilized society.
LTS: The editorial office of Buddhist Culture Magazine would like to introduce the article The inner strength of Buddhism in the process of national construction and development by TT.TS. Thich Phuoc Dat. This is the author’s presentation in the Scientific Conference promoting the role of monks and nuns of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in building great national unity (held in January 2022).
Researchers believe that “the dawn of Vietnamese Buddhist history is closely related to the nation’s history”, which means that in the process of forming Vietnamese Buddhist history, Buddhism accompanies and sticks with the people. Vietnamese ethnicity. It is the inner strength of Vietnamese Buddhism that has contributed with the Vietnamese people to implement the message of building a strong Vietnamese nation, rich people and strong country, and a just and civilized society. In other words, Vietnamese Buddhism, with the characteristic of dependent origination that it represents: “The strength of Buddhism in the process of national construction and development” to meet the historical needs posed to the nation. families, ethnic groups, including Buddhism.
Right from the beginning when Buddhism was introduced into our country by the way of peace culture, there has been attachment and integration with the nation throughout the history of the nation. On the other hand, the spiritual essence of Buddhism is democracy, openness, compassion and equanimity, so it is quickly accepted and deeply ingrained in the mind of the Vietnamese community, which is a peaceful and simple agricultural resident. Buddhism is identified as a spiritual and cultural entity, contributing to the unity of the whole nation, accompanying the nation in the cause of nation building, defense and national development.
In other words, Vietnamese Buddhism has always established its own position and role in the hearts of the Vietnamese people from the past to the present. In fact, right from the early years of the Common Era, our nation had to deal with the southern expansionist policy of the Chinese dynasties at that time. Over 10 centuries, their invasion policy to annex and assimilate Dai Viet did not materialize. With a tenacious will, a spirit of independence and self-control, above all a passionate patriotism, the whole nation stood up to gain independence from the Northern powers. In the journey against the expansion and assimilation of foreign invaders, Buddhism automatically became a part, a force closely linked and inseparable with the Dai Viet nation.
Therefore, Buddhism at that time was identified as a constitutive entity that created the unifying strength of the whole nation, along with the nation in the cause of nation building. According to the judgment of Mau Tu recorded in the Ly or theory at the end of the 2nd century AD, in fact the first independent state of the Vietnamese people was born and it had Buddhist attributes.
Specifically, Buddhism is defined as a path of integration, “where you can go out into society to save the people and help the country, while at home, you can worship your parents, and when you’re alone, you can use it to perfect yourself.” ” . Thus, from the beginning, Buddhism has automatically become a religion with great influence on a nation, a Buddhism whose religious life not only educates individuals and families, but also educates individuals and families. It can also be seen as a political theory to help the Vietnamese people resist the assimilation and invasion of the North in order to preserve the national cultural identity, and to protect the sovereignty, independence, and complete border of the territory. Stemming from such awareness, every Vietnamese is a Buddhist, has shaped a Buddhism of the Vietnamese community that, when we learn, we will realize that it is not like any other Buddhism around us. with distinct characteristics that make up the Vietnamese Buddhist identity.
The first intrinsic strength of Buddhism shown since Buddhism was introduced into our country until the country’s independence, it is necessary to mention that Buddhism of the Vietnamese community is always there. put their survival and development in the common survival and development of the nation. That means the Vietnamese Buddhist life always goes hand in hand with the political, economic, cultural and educational life of the country. And in fact, the Vietnamese people have spent 1,000 years standing up to fight against the assimilation of the North to survive, and Buddhism of course also directly participates in accompanying the whole nation to protect its own survival. me.
When the country gained independence, the more the nation’s sense of self-reliance was promoted, the more favorable conditions for Buddhism to develop and influence among the masses. The country is restored, the country needs to be rectified, the government needs to be stabilized, the diplomatic affairs need help, who will take on this responsibility if not the intellectuals that the intellectuals at that time were mostly is a monk. Therefore, Buddhism in this period was not only confined to the temple premises, taking care of the transmission of religion and taking care of people’s souls, but also contributed a lot of effort in the construction of the country. Thanks to the royal court of this period, Buddhism was respected, sometimes considered as the State religion and thanks to kings, nobles, and mandarins devoted to Buddhism; taste when old age to go to the temple to wear a robe, live a frugal life; There was a person who took refuge in the precepts, so Buddhism from the beginning of the Tran dynasty onwards was very prosperous.
The feudal dynasties Dinh, Former Le, Ly, and Tran all regulated the positions of Monk mandarins, assigned the rank and rank of the Sangha, and invited Zen masters of high moral virtue to serve as advisors to the court in their capacity. National monk (teacher of water). The fact that the monk Ngo Chan Luu was ordained by Ngo Quyen, Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh to become the Supreme Patriarch, conferred the position of National Master, and served as an advisor to the court; The king also bestowed the title Khuong Viet enough to demonstrate the role and position of Buddhism in the country. Zen master Do Phap Thuan is “a person who has contributed to the strategy table, representing the court to receive the ambassador of the Song Dynasty together with Khuong Viet Quoc Su, making the envoy respect” . Zen master Nguyen Van Hanh not only took on the role of an advisor to the court of the Former Le Dynasty, but also was instrumental in bringing Ly Cong Uan to the throne when the last king of the Former Le Dynasty was immoral and inhuman, making the country happy. weaken. And there are many other Zen masters who have contributed their efforts to the construction of the country such as Man Giac, Nguyen Minh Khong, Giac Hai, Vien Thong, Tu Dao Hanh in the Ly dynasty; Phu Van Quoc, Truc Lam Dai Sa Mon (Vien witness), Dai Dang of the Tran Dynasty. At this time, the dharma and the nation are one. King Ly Nhan Tong himself once said to Zen Master Man Giac that: “Even human beings incarnated in the world must work to save sentient beings. There is no such thing as a lack of need, there is nothing that does not need to be taken care of. Not only is it effective in meditation and wisdom, but it is also helpful for the state.” . Or as before, Zen master Lam Hue Sinh followed King Ly Thanh Tong to conquer Champa in 1069 . This is the immutable dependence in the spirit of Buddhism. Or like King Ly Nhan Tong once praised the virtue of Zen master Van Hanh, “Van Hanh is three sacrifices, Chan Phu ancient thunder thi. The incense of the ancient French mandarin, the historical relic of the king of the kingdom” (Van Hanh passed through the three realms, his words tested the oracle. Homeland of Co Phap village, Anti-cane town period) . Zen master Phap Bao in his stele at Linh Xuong pagoda, Ngong Son mountain, Thanh Hoa (Nguong Son Linh Ngoc is self-confident) praised and identified the hero of national salvation Ly Thuong Kiet with Buddhists as one. It is like an honor for both the nation and Dai Viet Buddhism. And there are many more examples. The foregoing is enough to affirm the great role of Buddhism in the national mission. Because Buddhism, after a long time being introduced into Vietnam, has now been “localized”. . It was this spirit that made Dai Viet Buddhism at that time have a distinct appearance and characteristics, becoming the main force directly participating in the political arena with a typical strict Buddhist organizational system. to resist the assimilation of foreign culture by the Northern forces. Specifically, Buddhism in the Ly – Tran dynasties shaped a Ly Tran Buddhist literature that was born in the flow of Vietnamese literature. And the inevitable consequence is that Truc Lam Buddhism was born after merging three Zen schools: Bhikkhuni Da Luu Chi, Vo Ngon Thong, and Thao Duong in the Tran dynasty. It is this Zen sect that has created cultural and literary values through the typical works left behind by the Zen sect. Therefore, we should not be surprised, Zen masters, Buddhist meditators speaking through their literary works raise their voices with political resonance for the interests of the nation and nation.
It is also in the difficult, arduous but very heroic and majestic struggle and development of the nation in the face of the most fierce historical moments with the enemy that talented heroes appear to shoulder the burden. responsible for the country, contributing to bringing the nation’s boat to glory. The Zen masters, Zen masters, and Buddhists themselves were the ones who directly participated in political and cultural activities through the national defense wars against the sacred Song and Mongols. Therefore, the famous Zen masters and Buddhists of this time not only contributed to the country and associated the Dharma with the nation, but also were inspired writers and poets.
Most of the works they participate in composing revolve around political issues, or different topics but still express their love for…