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03:51 _ 06-12-2019

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Buddhism in vietnam

From the Tran Dynasty To Present

I. Buddhism during the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400):

1. Tran Thai Ton (1225 - 1258): Tran Thai Ton was a King who profoundly understood Buddhism. Besides his royal duties, he concentrated mainly on propagating Buddhism by means of constructing temples, preaching Dharma and supporting the Sangha. He wrote: "The Thuyen Ton Chi Nam" which clearly explains the principles of meditation and "The Khoa-Hu" which illustrates the four types of suffering: Birth, Old-Age, Sick, and Death. Both are the valuable sources for studying and practicing.

2. Tran Thanh Ton (1258 - 1278): Even though he was a Confucian scholar, he was very devoted to Buddhism.

3. Tran Nhan Ton (1278 - 1293): King Tran Nhan Ton had a strong faith in Buddhism. At age of 16, he left the kingdom to practice Buddhism at Yen Tu mountains, but unfortunately, his father ordered him to return to the kingdom. He then studied with Master Tue Trung, an officer that belongs to Vo-Ngon-Thong branch. In the year 1293, he abdicated the throne, and his son became the successor. King Nhan Ton finally departed the kingdom and returned to Yen Tu mountains, and took the new name Huong-Van Dai Dau Da. During this time, Buddhism was very popular.

4. Tran Anh Ton (1293- 1314): Tran Anh Ton had a deep understanding of Buddhism. He was Master Phap Loa's student. Even though all his efforts were focused on propagating Buddhism, during this time, Buddhism was unfortunately mixed with other religions. The cause was due to the practitioner's misunderstanding of Buddhism teachings and also due to external influences.

II. Buddhism during the Ho Dynasty (1400-1407) and the Minh Dynasty (1414- 1427):

The Ho Dynasty had reigned for 7 years when Vietnam was colonized by the Ming Dynasty in China. Our country was dominated by them. Buddhism during this period was in stagnant phase. In 1416, the Ming collected all the books in our country including Buddhism scriptures and brought them back to Kim Lang. They also destroyed the temples and other historic monuments. Afterward, they took advantage of Buddhism for their governing and led the religion into difficult situations.

III. Buddhism during the Hau Le Dynasty (1428 - 1527):

Buddhism was still affected by the previous dynasty so there was no significant events to be remembered.

IV. Buddhism during the rivalry between the two warlords of the North

and South region (1528-1802) During this period, many Zen branches were resurrected and some were introduced from China.

1. North Region:

Under King Le The Ton (1573-1599), the Tao-Dong branch was brought from China by Master Tri-Gia Nhut Cu who transmitted it to Master Thuy-Nguyet and Master Ton-Dien. Tao-Dong was one of the branches of Master Bo-De-Dat-Ma. During the reign of King Le Hy Ton (1676 - 1705), a Buddhist monk named Lan Giac established the Lien Ton branch at Lien Phai Temple in Ha Noi. At the same time, Master Nguyet Quang of Lam Te branch established a subbranch at Ba-Da temple. From King Le Du-Ton (1719) to King Le Hy-Ton (1737) to King Le Chieu Thong (1787), Buddhism was declining and there was no memorable events.

2. South Region:

When Lord Nguyen came to guard the Thuan-Hoa region, everything began to develop. Buddhism was popular once again. At that time, two Chinese Buddhist monks named Te Vien, and Giac Phong brought Buddhism into the region. In 1665 (the WarLord Nguyen Phuc Tan 1646 - 1667), Master Nguyen Thieu from China came to Quy-Ninh (Binh Dinh) and established Thap Thap Di-Da Temple,then to Thuan-Hoa to establish Ha-Trung temple, and finally to Thua-Thien to establish Quoc-An Temple. During the reign of the War Lord Nguyen Anh-Ton (1687 - 1691) that Master Thach Liem, Master Tu-Dung, Master Minh-Hai Phap Bao, and Master Minh Hanh Tai-Toai arrived and established Linh Mu, Thuyen Lam, Kim Tien, and Tu Dam temples. During this time Master Lieu Quan, from Phu-Yen, received religious instructions under Master Te Vien and later under Master Giac Phong at Bao-Quoc Temple. Soon after, he returned to Thuan Hoa and established Thuyen-Ton Temple.

V. Buddhism During the Nguyen Dynasty:

After the three Tay-Son brothers (Nguyen Nhac, Nguyen Hue and Nguyen Lu) unified the entire Vietnam, many temples such as Bao Quoc, Quoc An, and Tu Dam were destroyed. In 1802, after Nguyen Phuc Anh defeated Tay Son, he took over the throne and named his title Gia Long. He permitted Buddhism to be practice and to order the reconstruction of many temples. In 1815, he reconstructed the Thien Mu temple. In the 7th year of Minh Mang (1839), Thanh Duyen temple wasremodeled. Then in the 4th year of Thieu Tri (1844), the Thien Mu tower and the Dieu De Temple were built. In the 7th of Tu Duc reign (1854), the king donated public lands to all the temples. During this time, even though the royally had strong belief in Buddhism, they only worshiped to seek good fortune.

VI. Buddhism at Present:

From 1879, the French dominated Vietnam and Buddhism weakened. It had been not until the 20th Century that Buddhism flourished. Several Buddhist associations were organized. In the South, there were the Southern Associations and the Buddhist Research Foundation (1031) which were made up mainly by Southerners. In the Central region of Vietnam, there was the Annam Buddhist Studies Association (1932) which was later renamed to Vietnam Buddhist Studies Association. In the North, there existed an association named Northern Buddhist Association (1934) which consisted primarily of Northerners. In all, their main goal was to train Buddhist monks. Buddhist schools were built, and magazines were published. These specialized associations translated the Chinese sutras into Vietnamese language, improved ways of living based on Buddhist morals, and educated the youth. There were schools exclusively for monks located at Quan-Su Temple, and there were schools provided only for nuns located at Bo De Temple in the North region. In central Vietnam, there were also separate schools provided for monks and nuns such as Tay Thien Monastery, Bao Quoc Buddhist school and Dieu De. In the South, there was also a monastery named Luong Xuyen Buddhist Studies in Tra Vinh province. For spreading the Buddhist teachings, there was the Duoc-Tue newspaper in the North, the Vien-Am newspaper in the central, and the Tu-Bi Am and Duy Tam in the south. Each district and village, Buddhists organized local Buddhist committees (Chi Hoi), and Buddhist Youth Associations.

Those who initiated or led all the tasks of propagating Buddhism at this time were mainly knowledgeable Buddhist monks and scholars. In 1951, the United Buddhist Association of Vietnam was formed. Master Thich Tinh Khiet was elected to the chairman of the association. The association consisted of The Buddhist Studies Foundation, the Vietnam Buddhist Studies association and the Northernes Buddhist Association. The Geneva Treaty of 1954 divided Vietnam into two parts: North and South. The north region was controlled by the Communist Party. Under Communism, all the Buddhist activities were limited or banned. In the South, Buddhism suffered a great deal of hardships from dictatorship of the Ngo Dinh Diem Goverment. Many temples blockaded, spiritual leaders arrested, and the Buddhist flag pulled down. However Buddhist communities in the South were determined to fight for religious freedom. Several Buddhist monks and lay Buddhists sacrificed their lives for the cause. In November 1963, after the military overthrew Ngo Dinh Diem, Buddhism was free for a short period. In 1964, the Vietnamese United Buddhist Congregation was formed to replace the United Buddhist Association. The Congregation was jointed with other Buddhist branches such as the Theravada Buddhism, and the "Khất Sï". In 1966, the political situation in the South worsened, and the Buddhism, again, was politically oppressed by the goverment led by Nguyen Van Thieu. The Paris Treaty temporarily ended the war. The Treaty was signed on January 1973 by four sides: the North Communists, Mat Tran Giai Phong Mien Nam (formed and controlled by the North Communist Party), the South Government, and the United States.

After the American armies withdrew from Vietnam, the North Communist party supported by the Soviet Unions and China, broke the Treaty and brought their armies into the South. In April 1975, the Communists took over the Soth and established a totalitarian and tyrannical regime over the country. As a result, millions of Vietnamese fled the homeland to settle in different countries around the world. For that reason, Vietnamese Buddhism is now worldwide. Currently, the Communist goverment set up the Vietnamese Buddhist Association (1991) in an attempt to undermine the United Buddhism Congregation. In other foreigner countries, several of Buddhist Associations have been established to held the spiritual need of local Buddhists. In 1992, the United Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation Oversea was formed in the United State (and in other countries such as Canada, Europe and Australia) in order to propagate the Buddhist teaching and to fight for democracy and human right in Vietnam. The history of Buddhism in Vietnam as presented just provides a sketchy knowledge of what and how Buddhism contributed to Vietnam in terms of the spirittual cultivation, democracy and human rights. Due to the scope of this lesson, there are many important things left out.

Chánh Thiện

  1. Ngài Ma Ha Ca Diếp - Ma-Ha Ca-Diep
  2. Ngài A Nan Ðà - A Nan Da
  3. Ngài Nguyên Thiều - NguyenThieu
  4. Ngài Liễu Quán - LieuQuan
  5. Bốn Sự Thật Cao Thượng(Tứ Diệu Ðế) - The Four Noble Truths
  6. Mười Hai Nhân Duyên (Thập nhị nhân duyên) - The Principle of The Dependent Origination (Paticca samuppada)
  7. Tám Chánh Ðạo - The Eight-Fold Noble Path
  8. Kinh Mười Ðiều Thiện - The Sutra of The Ten good deeds
  9. Thiện Ác Nghiệp Báo  - Karma
  10. Sáu Ðộ - The Six Perfections
  11. Phép Quán Tưởng và Niệm Phật - The Methods of Meditating on Buddha
  12. Bát Quan Trai - The Eight Retreat Precepts
  13. Phật Giáo Việt Nam Từ Ðời Trần đến Cận Ðại - Buddhism in Vietnam from The Tran Dynasty to Present
  14. Tình Thần Không Chấp Thủ, Tinh Thần Tùy Duyên Bất Biến
  15. Phật Giáo Là Triết Học Hay là Một Tôn Giáo?
  16. Quan Ðiểm Của Phật Giáo Về Con Người - Vấn Ðề Tâm Vật Trong Ðạo Phật -  Buddhist viewpoint On Human Beings. About Spirit and Matter In The Buddhism
  17. Quan Ðiểm Của Phật Giáo Về Vũ Trụ - Vấn Ðề Nguyên Nhân Ðầu Tiên - Buddhism's Viewpoint ON The Universe The First Cause