The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha upholds environmental protection, calling on monks, nuns and Buddhists to actively promote the spirit of respect for life, join hands with the social community to protect the environment and the safety of people. the earth.
1. ECOLOGY ISSUES GLOBAL AND IN VIETNAM
Today, the more society develops, we live in a world with many major environmental changes such as: climate change, earth temperature is warming day by day, forest, soil and water ecosystems are changing. destroyed and in danger of shrinking, environmental pollution is getting heavier, population is increasing rapidly, the pressure of industrialization and global trade is increasing… All these changes are affecting affect the development of all countries in the world, including Vietnam.
The disaster at the heart of the World is the Covid-19 pandemic, but the presence of natural disasters in 2020 combined with covid 19 makes the damage even more terrible, a record season of storms, flash floods, earthquakes , volcanic eruptions and forest fires have killed thousands of people. These include the Australian bushfires that actually suffocated 445 people, the flash floods that killed more than 150 people in Afghanistan, the 7.0-magnitude earthquake and the tsunami that killed 117 people in Greece and Greece. Turkey Look no further, in our S-shaped motherland, 2020 is an extraordinary year of natural disasters, because Vietnam has experienced a memorable year with the most unusual and fierce natural disasters of the two. decade with storm surges, historic flood peaks in a row, unprecedented severe drought, large-scale landslides that left 132 people dead and missing; The consequences of floods in the Central region cannot be calculated by numbers, how many people lost their livelihood and had to leave their homeland.
2. BUDDHA’S POINTS ON NATURAL ECOLOGY ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION
On Buddha’s Birthday in 2011, His Holiness Thich Pho Tue had the following message: “The world in general and our country in particular are facing many difficulties and harm caused by the influence of climate change. The environment, natural resources are increasingly depleted, the earth’s temperature is increasing, droughts, floods, epidemics, tsunamis, earthquakes, sea level rise… are all disasters that threaten the safety of Vietnam. human life. More than ever, I urge each of us monks, nuns, and Buddhists to understand the essence of the Buddha’s teachings on the law of impermanence, on respect for life and the organic relationship between man and nature, To join hands with the social community to protect the social environment and the safety of the earth, it is a practical work to honor the birthday of our Father Tu”.1 Vietnam Buddhist Sangha To promote environmental protection, call on monks, nuns and Buddhists to actively promote the spirit of respect for life, join hands with the social community to protect the environment and the safety of the earth.
Layman Le Van Tam also pointed out: the root of the current ecological crisis is actually a cultural and spiritual crisis, arising from human greed, hatred, and delusion. He also said that the weapon to deal with greed, hatred and delusion is the weapon of compassion and courage that the Buddha gave.
More than 2,500 years ago, a great environmentalist, Shakyamuni Buddha, reflected on the harmful effects of environmental destruction. He taught his disciples: “Come to nature like a bee that sucks honey without harming the flower”.
Buddhist concept of ecological environment
The spirit of environmental Buddhism can be clearly seen in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s statement on the development of Tibet into a nonviolent zone (Ahimsa) – “Tibet territory will be transformed into a natural park. the world’s largest natural or a sphere of ecosystems. Strict laws need to be promoted to protect wildlife and plant life; practices that damage natural resources should be carefully regulated so as not to destroy ecosystems; and the policy of sustainability will be chosen to apply in densely populated areas.” (HH The 14th Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize, December 11, 1989).
2.1 The life of Buddha Shakyamuni associated with the natural ecological environment
Every event about the life of Buddha Shakyamuni is associated with nature and plants, such as being born under the tree of No worries, attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, entering Nirvana next to two Sala trees… We clearly see the great events in Buddha’s life closely related to the natural environment.
2.1.1 Events of Birth
Buddha was born In the Lumbini garden under the Worryless tree, in a beautiful garden, flowers bloom happily, and the gentle shade covers them. In the Buddhist Sutra, the Hanh Tapi recounts this event as follows: “In the area of
This garden has green trees, nowhere to be found. There are many species of flowering trees and many species of fruit trees in line. There are also many large ponds and lakes, surrounded by many kinds of trees… Especially in the garden there is a species of tree called Balaxoa, the trunk is solid, from the trunk to the top is beautiful straight, the branches and leaves are lush. luxuriant, its leaves are both green and purple like the color of a magpie’s feathers, soft and swaying like the heavenly robes of the heavens of Calenda, its flowers have a sweet fragrance, and it is comforting to smell. Ma Ya Madam safely went under the tree. At that time, the tree, thanks to the Bodhisattva’s mighty virtue, naturally branched out of the garden and shed its gentle shade. Lady Maya raised her right arm, like a rainbow in the sky, peacefully stretched her shoulders, leaning on the branch of the Balaksha tree…”1. Buddha was born in a situation associated with nature, flowers and grass, the sky is calm, the birds are singing, the trees are shady, and precious flowers are blooming.
Buddha’s life and environment
In Buddhist literature, the description of the scene related to the Buddha’s birth event not only in history but also in legend reflects the inner concept of Buddhism, which is also a meaningful message in Buddhism. human education on environmental protection. Our life is not only limited but also includes nature, flowers, animals and the environment. Thus, people and circumstances are always in harmony with each other, without one side, the ecological balance will have problems.
2.1.2 Enlightenment Event
In the Buddha’s time, the ancient Indian society had administrative units with villages and towns, in addition, mainly dense forests. In the forests, which are often the training grounds of ascetic ascetics, they give up the noisy and hectic life and find the inner life. This is a special type of living that constitutes an indispensable ancient culture in India. The adjacent forests became an ideal place for hermits to retreat, meditate, and set up theories. All forms of human life are related to nature and plants.
Prince Siddhartha, while still in the palace, also realized the power of nature, he renounced all glory and riches, went into the deep forest, and became a hermit as a hermit. In the Buddhist scriptures it is recorded that after spending six years practicing asceticism, Prince Siddhartha realized that the purpose of cultivation was not to force the body nor indulge in enjoyment. He walked his own path, the Middle Way. Then the prince went to a forest, meditated under the Bodhi tree and attained unsurpassed results.
In the Buddha’s Life Sutra, it tells about the feelings and sharing of the Buddha towards nature and plants as a human being who has both feelings and thoughts. Sometimes even considered a tree god: “At that time, when the Bodhisattva sat down under the Bodhi tree, the deity who kept the Bodhi tree was very happy, his mind relaxed, and his whole body was indescribably happy… , immediately ordered his subordinates and relatives to protect the bodhisattva, respectfully and seriously. At that time, trees on all four sides, regardless of how big or small, all tree deities came out from the tree and came to the Bodhi tree…” 2 To the Buddha, trees still had feelings, they lived together with humans, even share the same values as humans and co-exist with humans. In the Great Chapter it is recounted that, after Buddha attained enlightenmenthe sat under the Bodhi tree to receive the Dharma bliss, as if secretly thanking him, he looked at the tree without blinking, the tree god advised two Burmese merchants to come and offer honey and rice cakes.
Lessons to protect the environment through the life of Buddha
2.1.3. The event of entering Nirvana
After he had done what he had done, the Buddha came to the city of Cau Thina, he rested in the forest, between two Sala trees, in peace and quiet. Just like when he came to earth under the tree of No Worries, now he enters Nirvana under two Sala trees. In the sutras, it is said that at this time, the forest is sad, the leaves are discolored, the branches are bent and broken like a human being, and it is uncontrollable grief.
When Buddhism in India was spread to neighboring countries, delegations of the great emperor Asoka were sent, bringing with them, in addition to the scriptures, a branch of the Bodhi tree that was brought as a gift. sacred. Wherever the Bodhi tree is planted, the shade of the Buddha Dharma is fresh. Since then, monasteries have also been built in the mountains and forests, and temples are also known as “Tong Lam” places, where trees gather together to form high mountains, increasing the harmony of the Sangha. At the time of the Buddha, there were two largest viharas, Truc Lam Vihara, which was offered by King Tan Ba-sala. Truc Lam Vihara is adorned with a bamboo forest and becomes an ideal place of practice for monks. The second vihara is the Ky Hoan Vihara.
This vihara was offered by the salaried monk Toc Lone and the crown prince Ky Da…