Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Speech of the Multi-Faith

Speech for the Opening Ceremony of the Multi-Faith Centre at Griffith University Given by Venerable Master Chin Kung
23 May 2002

Respected Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, religious leaders, ladies and gentlemen: Good Morning.

I have heard the prayers of twelve representatives from different faiths. I was deeply moved by their words, the words of loving peace.

Today our world is filled with natural disasters and man-made disasters. Our situation is critical. Therefore, it has become crucial to unite all religions and ethnicities.

About one year ago, when Mr. Uri Themal told me that Griffith University planned to build a Multi-Faith Centre, I was deeply touched that Griffith could do something so great for our world. All of us should do everything possible to bring the aspirations of this project to fruition.

There are many wise people in the world who wish to help eliminate disasters and reach world peace. Humanity has longed for peace for millennium, yet lasting peace has yet to be realized. Cruelty, conflicts, and wars are increasing. Why? This is a profound and extensive problem.

We are all religious followers. We deeply believe that there is only one God. He has incredible wisdom and ability, and can help all beings in the universe who are suffering.

The Universe is an extended family, like a city where we live. The Milky Way is like the community in which we live. The Earth is like our immediate family. Therefore, all who live on this Earth are one family. God will manifest in various identities to give countless forms of guidance to meet the needs of beings in different areas. In China, he manifested as Confucius, Mencius, Lao-Tzu, and Chuang-Tzu. In India, he manifested as Brahma and Buddha. In the Middle East, he manifested as Jesus and Mohammed. His incarnation is omnipresent and supreme. The image of his incarnation may be different, but his teachings are the same.

"God loves all people." God loves everyone regardless of their nationality, race, faith, or culture. Jesus taught "Love." Buddha spoke of "Compassion." Muhammad taught "Mercy." Therefore, when we carefully observe the religious scriptures, we find the world's religions are based on "Compassion and Love." Then why do we not yet have peace? It is because of our lack of sincere lovingkindness.

Through the teaching of many religious scriptures, we can conclude that God guides us to be leaders, parents, and teachers for all sentient beings. Especially important is the role of parent and teacher. To provide the best example, we should care for all beings as parents care for their children and as teachers guide their students.

We know we must resolve conflicts in order to attain peace. Where do conflicts come from? They come from the family. In today's families, we see conflicts between husbands and wives, between parents and children, and brothers and sisters. When these conflicts are carried into society, there are conflicts between employers and employees, leaders and subordinates. Then, there are fights among ethnic groups and countries, and this is the cause of our disasters today.

But the deepest conflict can only be spoken of by the saints, we ordinary being would never be able to speak of this. As the Buddha said, it is the conflict between the true nature and our habitual human nature. In other words, it is the conflict between the benefit of others and self-benefit. All the sages and saints have taught us to give up selfishness, to care for others, society, and all beings in the universe. Doing this, we will be the messengers of God, the disciples of God.

We definitely cannot underestimate the importance of each of our thoughts. The reality is that the vibration from our thoughts will spread throughout the universe in an instant. Therefore, to eliminate conflict in order to promote peace, we must start from awareness of our every thought.

Although I have not been in Australia for long, many of the people whom I have met and been touched by are messengers of God, and successors to Buddha.

I hope that through this Centre, many religious leaders and followers can learn from one another, encourage one another, respect one another, and work together to bring not only bring happiness to Australia, but also to bring peace and harmony to the whole world and well-being to all people.

Yesterday, when I read the three-year proposal for the Centre, and then when I visited here a few days ago and saw the new building, I felt very happy. Today, as I listen to the heart-felt wishes from each religious leader, I am very thankful for their aspirations. We shall do our best to promote world peace and harmony as well as well-being for all human beings to accomplish great kindness and virtue.

Finally, I hope people of diverse ethnicity and faiths will not isolate themselves from others but will, instead, communicate with one another. The Chinese say that when people come together, they will develop close ties. Only through communication will all of our problems be solved. Misunderstandings and conflicts come from a lack of communication. It is necessary for all people, religions, and nations to foster closer ties through contact, exchange, and dialogue. This is the only path to the resolution of misunderstandings and to peace.

Even when I was young, I was convinced that religions provided the best social and sacred education. Last month, on a visit to Japan, I saw a master who is 97 years old. He told me that the founders of all religions of the world are the manifestations of Guan Yin Bodhisattva. So we are one family. If we truly understand this, how can different religions not work together? They will unite. When different faiths and ethnic groups can work together, world peace can be attained, society will be stable, and the welfare of people will be fulfilled.

In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to the Griffith University, and especially to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for their work to unite and guide all faiths to unite as one family. I offer my best wishes for good health, happiness, and good fortune to everyone.

Thank you.


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