Talk at the hindu endowment board – March 9, 1999

Short Talks From Venerable Master Chin Kung

Honorable Members of Parliament Mr. Sinnakaruppan, Mr. Inderjit Singh, Mr. Shrinrwas Rien, respected President and Council Members of the Interreligious Organization, and respected friends.

Today, we have this valuable opportunity to visit two Hindu missions. We know that Hinduism shares a close relationship with Buddhism. The Hindus worship three great Gods. In Mahayana sutras these Gods reign over the Brahma (Purity) Heaven, Naraen (Diamond) Heaven and Mahesvara (Great Freedom) Heaven. Recently, at the Singapore Buddhist Lodge, I have been lecturing on the Flower Adornment Sutra in which these three great Gods hold very important positions.

It is commendable that Hinduism emphasizes ethics and morality, compassion, tolerance and equality. I believe that if we can foster and develop these four qualities, we will interact harmoniously with different groups, religions, and cultures. In this way we will respect and cooperate with each other, thereby creating happy and fulfilling lives.

This ideal is shared by the religious leaders of the World Conference on Religion and Peace. On March 3rd of this year, I addressed them at their meeting in Sydney, Australia. How do we bring this ideal to life? How do we help sentient beings attain true happiness? Education. As the ancient Chinese have said, “Education is most essential in building a nation and governing its people.” If we want to reach this goal, there is no better way than education. Therefore, I hope that religious leaders will focus the education of their followers on ethics and morality, compassion, tolerance, and equality, enabling these to become our common ideal.

To accomplish this, it is necessary to have a strong and effective organization to promote a stable society and peaceful world. I hope to help this organization. However, nothing can be accomplished without financial support, therefore I recommended that they set up a foundation and establish a multicultural university to bridge the gaps between people of different religious beliefs and cultures.

I hope that racial and religious groups in our world can respect and help each other, to live together harmoniously. This is what the Buddha taught us to do. Consequently, the Mahayana sutras are ideal teaching materials for multi-cultural education, for they show us how to accomplish our aspirations.

I sincerely practice the Buddha’s teachings and encourage others to do likewise whenever I give talks. That is why I visited Jamiyah two months ago and why I have come today to the Hindu Endowment Board. I hope that we can develop better understanding of each other and build a lasting friendship to cooperate in helping people to live happy and fulfilling lives.

The Buddha told us that all religions, races, that all practice methods are number one, that this is the true reality. Only when we understand this, will we live lives of harmony and equality as our wishes for an ideal world are fulfilled.

I have learned that the first Indian Halfway House established by Hindus will become operational in April and that the Singapore government has provided financial support. This action of yours is one of compassion and tolerance which we respect and admire. I would be honored to help you to fulfill your aspiration. I have learned that the president and members of the Central Sikh Gurdwara Board have pledged S$100,000. As Mr. V.R. Nathan has just said, the Sikh community is small, but their heart is big. This is most touching. The Singapore Buddhist Lodge and the Amitabha Buddhist Society would like to donate S$115,000. I hope that from this day on, Buddhists and Hindus can become closer, interacting and helping each other more and more.

Once again, thank you for your kind hospitality.