Speech at the Opening Ceremony at the First World Buddhist Forum
The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu
April 13, 2006
Revered Buddhist Masters,
Honorable Guests and Friends,
I am very pleased to be here at the First World Buddhist Forum. This is the first world Buddhist meeting China has ever held and is a great event for Buddhists around the globe. It is also a happy event for the people from all walks of life who work for world peace and pursue world harmony. As a living Buddha in China’s Tibetan Buddhism, I would now extend my warm congratulations on the convocation of the forum in this scenic city of Hangzhou.
Buddhism is a worldwide religion that has a far-reaching influence. Since it was introduced to China over 2,000 years ago, Buddhism has become an important part of Chinese culture. All the three Buddhist sects are worshiped in China. As part of Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism that consists of Exoteric Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism has large numbers of firm believers in Tibet and other parts of China and from Tibetan and other ethnic groups. Thanks to the blessings of Buddha, all the three Buddhist sects coexist and develop in China as equals and respect one another. Chinese society provides a favorable environment for Buddhist belief. I sincerely hope that this grand forum will enhance the unity between Buddhists and between Buddhists and non-Buddhists. I also hope that it will promote the unity and exchanges among the Buddhist communities in all regions and all countries so that they will show mercy, work in the interest of others and jointly fulfill the social obligations and the peace mission of Buddhism.
Since the birth of the Buddha Sakyamuni, with its vast expanse of wisdom and power, Buddhism has relieved the mind of ignorance and ignited the lamp of wisdom. Historically, Buddhist masters have performed meritorious deeds in promoting Buddhism and the wisdom of human race, which demand my respect. Defending the nation and working for the people is a solemn commitment Buddhism has made to the nation and society. For thousands of years, Tibetan Buddhism has observed the fine tradition of loving the nation and Buddhism. It is particularly worth mentioning my predecessor the 10th Panchen Lama made outstanding contribution to unity of the country and the solidarity of the people. In this new era we need to shoulder the historical responsibility of defending the nation and working for the people. I am convinced that as they transformed their character, all living beings will certainly be on the right track to a harmonious, stable, and peaceful world.
Finally, I would like to say my prayers:
May Buddhism last forever and the world enjoy lasting peace.
May my country enjoy prosperity and our people happiness.
I wish you the best of good luck. Ta shi de leg.