The General Conditions of Buddhism in the Rural Area

发布日期:2018-03-23   字体大小:   

Buddhism ha satisfied the demand of faith among the populace and the level of their faith are also the foundation and starting point of our Dharma work.

Since Buddhism was introduced to China almost two thousand years ago, the fundamentals of Buddhism have already penetrated the vast majority of our country’s rural areas. Shaolin Temple can be considered an exception in that it is a large monastery and also a famous tourist attraction. Therefore, there are quite a large number of believers and visitors. For the vast majority of the “non-tourism” temples and monasteries, the believers are largely made up of nearby villagers. Typically, the literary level of a rural area dictates the level of its constituents’ faith. The truth is, the living conditions in the rural areas have improved compared to the past but still a far cry from the “modernization” that scholars talk about. In facing the mass of believers in the rural areas, we have no way to expound on the great Mahayana tenets, such as “Prajna (wisdom), Dharmata (the true nature of phenomena), the Three Sastras (Treatises)”, which are suited for those with Mahayana capacity, and forcing such attempts would go against the Dharma propagation principle of “teaching according to the level of the student and in line with the true teachings.” Although the level of faith of Buddhist believers in the rural areas is not very high, their faith in Buddhism is sincere and very deep. They believe in the Three Jewls, in Cyclic Existence in the Six Realms, in Karma (cause and effect of doing good and bad deeds), in reaching the Western Pure Land by chanting Buddha’s name, in the power of the vows of Buddhas and Boddhisattvas. We as monks have a responsibility to fulfill their faith. Buddhism emphasizes equality of all sentient beings, and wherever there are sentient beings and wherever we are needed, that is where we will go. The truth is, through their faith in Buddhism and daily practice, the rural believers really do receive true benefit. Their mind has something to rely on and they find peace. This is the gift that Buddhism can offer to believers, and it is exactly this kind of daily benefits that bring about inner peace and solace to the minds of the believers. The benefits of Buddhism follow the degree of believer’s expection and the level of their cultivation in daily practice, which is the same for any religion. The above-mentioned is the general conditions of Buddhism in the rural area. (From Shaolin Temple in My Heart)

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