Oct 29, 2015

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 11 Comments


The people’s Committee of Vinh Phuc Province has built the Temple of literature at the cost of 217 billion. At that time in Chau Doc City of An Giang Province, an overseas Vietnamese offered a Śarīra of 150 tael of the 24K gold, causing fever among the pious worship since then.

van mieu

The Temple of literature in Vinh Phuc Province costs 217 billion VND

day chuyen vang

a Śarīra of 150 tael of the 24K gold, causing fever among the pious worship since then.

Back to the story in Vinh Phuc Province, when getting asked why only the Confucius was worshipped but not other distinguished Vietnamese scholars, educators, physicians such as Chu Van An, Mac Dinh Chi, Nguyen Trai, Mr. Van Ngoan Quynh – the Vice Director of the local Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism was “dumbfounded”, and tried to pull through saying that the Province would decide who to worship after the whole works was completed.

Who to worship is probably a sensitive issue because it depends on one’s devotion. The Vietnamese normally worship their ancestors and teach the descendants that they should remember their roots and show their gratefulness to the national founders who have protected and reconstructed the country through the History. The Chinese tends to deify their National Heros. That explains why Kanu, the Holy Mother of the Realm can enjoy the common field with the Divinity while they are just the ordinary people. Vietnamese ourselves are also influenced by their culture.

According to the Buddhism point of view, those who take refuge in Dharma, the Buddhist or monks do not worship Gods, Angels, Demons and animals. It’s Buddha’s teachings that “Worship who worthy of worship, respect who worthy of respect. That’s the true blessedness (Sutra “The thirty seven ultimate blessedness”). Reading the sutras, we can see the word “worship” in Buddhism is different from the “worship” people tend to do today. So what is different?

Those who take refuge in Dharma, the Buddhism abbots or monks do not worship Gods, Angels, Demons or animals

Worship with offerings relates to materialized statues, images, pictures and photos. During the Proper Dharma Age lasted for 500 years since The Buddha led the Buddhist clergy for teachings and salvation, there were no statues paintings, picture worshipped. This age is called “Firm Meditation”. Then came the Age of “Dharma Statue” of 1000 years, where the relics of the Buddha, Buddha images and personal articles, were presented at every monastery, pagoda for worship. This age is called “Solid Caitya”. The Dharma Ending Age following lasted for 10,000 years and was called “Solid Struggle”. Nowadays, according to the Buddhism calendar we are in the Dharma Ending Age. However, it’s undoubted that Dharma is the Truth and it never degenerates and can be seen, as the Sun always shines. If one gets blinded or he is in a dark cave with East back, then how he can enjoy the sunlight?


People enshrine and decorate the images of the Buddha, The Bodhisattvas, and the Patriarch with the best materials, by the largest sizes

One of the particular traits of the Dharma Ending Age is that people appreciate their “worship” rather than who they “worship”. People enshrine and decorate the images of the Buddha, The Bodhisattvas, and the Patriarch with the best materials, by the largest sizes. They scramble for the record of Spirituality of materials which are rough elements whereas Buddhism sees mind and karma as the quintessential elements.

sung kinh dao su

“The Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion” – Agvaghosha

“Worship” as it nowadays is neither wrong nor bad but originally worship also includes honor and respect. That means consciously “to cast a statue” of boundless devotion to the Buddha, Bodhisattvas, Saint, Patriarch, Masters etc Since then Buddhists, Buddhist followers get the tendencies of mind towards the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, which was called Right Mindfulness. Such monument can be hardly damaged, as many times of Dharma Calamity where temples, monasteries, monuments were destroyed, but the spirit the Detachment, the Bodhicitta, the Emptiness remains immortal. Therefore, it is no coincidence the Agvaghosha authored a “brainchild” named “The Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion”. Here we understand the word “devotion” as “worship” is different from the word “worship” that many people practice nowadays. .


The fondness of learning roots from operational mechanism of education in the country, the pedagogical scientific innovations that gain effectiveness after testing, improvement of teacher image in the eyes of students through the salary system and educational incentives


thi trang nguyen

“worship” cannot be taken as a mean of affecting consciousness of people, especially the youth

Back to the “worship” at Temple of Literature in Vinh Phuc, who to be put into the worshiping statues is not the core issue. The most essentials is the fondness for studying, the shining examples of politeness and reason are deeply ingrained in the minds of today’s youth. For this, “worship” cannot be taken as a mean of affecting consciousness of people, especially the youth. The fondness of learning roots from operational mechanism of education in the country, the pedagogical scientific innovations that gain effectiveness after testing, improvement of teacher image in the eyes of students through the salary system and educational incentives. It would be unfair if an athlete athletics was rewarded billions, while the educational thesis that have high practical value and the scientific pedagogical proposals which can be applied to the education field …  are considered unworthy of such rewards and propaganda ….Therefore, do not blame the younger generation who only “worship” because of fear, only “worship” because they want to pass the exam, to earn a degree. From the bottom of their heart, the “worship” embodied “respect or honor” just means an honorific words, let alone” worship” by devotion.

Back to the aforementioned issues, the worship at the Temple of Literature is a spiritual category, so it can hardly affect fondness for education which belongs to the education category. Upon that, using translational isoforms, it can be inferred that considering the spiritual activities of Buddhism, “worship” is more important with “respect and honor” not with the offerings to the Divinity. There has never been any works written about how to worship to achieve the spiritual effect but the teachings of the Buddha in the “Thirty-seven ultimate blessedness”, the writings of Saint from which the “foundation of Enlightenment” was built (the teachings of Saint Ma Ming), and many other books of Buddhism. Being true Buddhists, we should understand what to do in the spiritual activities of this worship?

Take the right understanding to find the answer

Dear Guru Rinpoche, please concentrate my mind on the Buddhism!

Dear Buddhahood, please don’t let me lose my way into a poor externalist!

Dear my Guru, on a par with any Buddhahood, please pay attention to me!

Phuoc Thanh Village, 19th June 2015


Translated by Ho Thi Quynh Trang.

Original Vietnamese post: THỜ NHƯ THẾ NÀO? CÚNG HAY KÍNH?

  1. thu trang says:
    Kính Thầy

    Con đọc bài này rồi ah
    Om mani padme hum

  2. Mật Thiệu says:
    Mô Phật!
    Con đã đọc xong bài này rồi thưa Thầy.
    Con cầu nguyện cho sự trường thọ và sức khỏe của Thầy,Cô vì sự nghiệp giáo hóa chúng sanh hữu duyên.
    Cầu mong tất cả chúng sanh tỉnh thức với trạng thái giác ngộ.
    Om mani padme hum.
  3. Mat Dieu Hang says:
    Paying homage to the noble Guru,
    I have read the translation of your discourse into English by Ho Thi Quynh Trang. The translation helps me read the Guru’s teachings again.
    I understand that I revere the image of the Buddha as a gesture to the greatest, wisest, most compassionate. The worship of the Buddha really means paying veneration and devotion to him and what he represents, and not to the stone or metal figure.
    The image is a visual aid that helps me to recall the Buddha in the mind and to remember his great qualities which inspired me. I should use the statue as a symbol and as an object of concentration to gain a peace of mind. When I look upon the image of the Buddha, I put aside thoughts of strife and think only of peace, serenity, calmness and tranquillity. The statue enables the mind to recall this great man and inspires me to follow his example and instructions. In my mind, I feel the living presence of the Master. This feeling makes my act of worship become vivid and significant. The serenity of the Buddha image influences and inspires me to observe the right path of conduct and thought.
    I understad that I never asks for favours from the image nor do I request forgiveness for evil deeds committed. I try to control my mind, to follow the Buddha’s advice, to get rid of worldly miseries and to find my liberation.
    In Tantric Buddhism, Guru is considered as the central one who represents to Buddha, Dharma and Shanga. The quickest way for any practotioners to get a peace of mind and attain the enlightenment is to make Guru devotion. Only by making Guru devotion, can the practitioners learn how to make renunciation, bodhichitta, and emptiness which are three principal aspects of the path. On the other hand, the Guru provides the practitioners with suitable methods to cultivate and help the practitioners change their poisoned minds into the pure minds gradually, which help the pratitioners become a Buddha in the future.
    Thank you for your valuable teachings.
    Thank Ho Thi Quynh Trang for your good translation.
    May our Guru and Dakini live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings free from sufferings and its causes.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.
  4. Mật Phước says:
    Mô Phật
    Mật Phước rất hoan hỷ với thiện hạnh dịch bài giảng từ vị Thầy từ tiếng Việt sang tiếng Anh của Hồ Thị Huỳnh Trang.
    Kính Bạch Thầy
    Là một người Phật tử nói chung hành giả Mật Tông nói riêng, niếu đã được quy y nơi Tam Bảo là không thờ Thiên, Thần, Quỹ, Vật. Và chỉ thờ những bậc đáng thờ, kính những bậc đáng kính, như Thầy, Phật, Pháp, Tăng và nên xây tượng trong tâm của mình .
    Con cầu nguyện sức khoẻ và sự trường thọ của Thầy, Cô.
    Cầu mong tất cả chúng sanh uống được tinh tuý cam lồ.
    Om Ah Hum.
  5. Mật Diễm says:
    Kính bạch Thầy !
    Con đã đọc bài này rồi Thầy ạ .
    Mật Diễm cám ơn Hồ Thị Quỳnh Trang đã vịch bài viết của Thầy sang tiếng anh để giúp những bạn đọc hữu duyên với ngôn ngữ này hiểu biết đúng hơn về (thờ cúng) khác với( thờ kính)nhầm lợi mình lợi người.Cầu mong tất cả chúng sanh tỉnh thức
    với trạng thái giác ngộ .
    Con cầu nguyện sức khỏe và sự trường thọ Thầy Cô vì lợi lạc chúng sanh .
  6. Mật Ngã says:
    Mật Ngã hoan hỷ với Hồ Thị Quỳnh Trang đã dịch bài viết của Thầy từ tiếng Việt sang tiếng Anh, để từ đó nhiều người hữu duyên có thể đọc hiểu được chánh kiến, chánh pháp của Đức Phật, Thánh Tăng cổ đức…thông qua sự truyền tải của vị Thầy.
    Cầu nguyện cho chúng sanh có thể đọc hiểu chanhtuduy.com và thực hành đúng theo quỹ đạo chánh pháp. Om Ah Hum!
  7. mật chi says:
    Mô phật
    Mật chi xin tán thán thiện hạnh của bạn Hồ Thị Huỳnh Trang đã dịch bài viết này sang tiếng anh để có nhiều có duyên tìm đọc
    Qua bài viết này đã giúp con khắc sâu hơn lời dạy của Thầy về thờ những bậc đáng thờ kính những bậc đáng kính, là người con phật con sẽ xây dựng việc thờ kính Đức Phật sùng kính vị thầy trong tâm mình bằng ba yếu tính xả ly, bồ đề tâm, tánh không
    Om ah hum
  8. Mật Ngữ says:
    Mô Phật
    Mật Ngữ vô cùng hoan hỷ và tán thán thiện hạnh của Hồ Thị Quỳnh Trang .đã dịch bài viết của vị Thầy sang tiếng Anh.
    Cầu nguyện cho tất cả chúng sanh uống được tinh tuý của cam lồ.
    Om Mani Padme Hum
  9. Mật Tuệ Phúc says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!
    Con xin Quy y Đạo Sư, Quy y Phật, Quy y Pháp, Quy y Tăng cho đến khi giác ngộ tối thượng.
    Con cầu xin Bổn Tôn thông qua sự vận chuyển của vị Thầy gia hộ cho chúng sanh, mọi người trong gia đình con được hanh thông thế sự.
    Hỡi Đại sư Liên Hoa Sanh xin hướng tâm con về Phật Pháp,
    Hỡi các Bậc Toàn giác đừng để con lạc vào tà đạo thấp kém,
    Hỡi vị Thầy từ bi cùng với các Ngài chẳng khác xin để tâm đến con!
    Om Mani Padme Hum!
  10. marta irene guagliana says:
    DEAR GURU : The Guru represents the Budhha , Dharma y Sangha.It is the quisckest way to achieve peace of mind  and to achieve enlightenment is the devotion to the Guru .Only with devotion can practitioners learn to make the renunciation ,Bodhichita and emptiness that are the three fundamental aspects of the way and thanks to the Guru we can change our poisoned minds in pure mind ….gradually helps us to become future Buddha…Thank you for your valuable teaching ….that all sentient beings are free of suffering beings are free of suffering and its causes .That the Guru can have health and live many years for the benefit of all sentient beings. OM MANI PADME HUM
    • Mật Diệu Hằng says:
      Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Marta Irene Guagliana sang tiếng Việt như sau ạ:

      “Kính bạch Thầy!

      Thầy đại diện cho Phật, Pháp, Tăng. Sùng kính vị Thầy là cách nhanh nhất để có được tâm bình an và đạt được giác ngộ tối thượng. Chỉ cần thực hành sùng kính Đạo sư, hành giả sẽ cùng một lúc thực hiện được ba tinh yếu giác ngộ: xả ly, bồ đề tâm và tánh không. Nương tựa vào Đạo sư, chúng con có thể chuyển hóa tâm ô nhiễm thành tâm thanh tịnh…và dần dần giúp chúng con trở thành một vị Phật trong tương lai.

      Con cảm ơn Thầy vì những lời dạy quý báu.

      Cầu nguyện đau khổ của tất cả chúng sanh được lắng dịu.

      Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì sự lợi lạc của chúng sanh.

      Om Mani Padme Hum”

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