Buddhist Preacher System: Promotes Buddhism in New Era
Rev. George Lin
Address: 25 Jinyan Rd. , Tianhe Guangzhou, China
Buddhism has been mainly developed in East Asia and the following countries are having the large number of Buddhist population; China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan, etc. In the remaining area small number of Buddhist population exists.
Buddhism was introduced to China about 2000 years ago, which combined with some thoughts of Taoism and Confucianism. Mahayana Buddhism became one of main Religions in China. Later on Buddhism spread into Tibet, China on 5 AD, along with local Bon Religion and Tibetan culture, which remains with its own characteristics. Buddhism has special characteristic.
Buddhism went into Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka 2500 years ago. Theravada Buddhism still preserve well.
In China, after Ming Dynasty (after 1368 AD) the emperor established the Monk Officer System (Sangha Administration System) to manage the Mahayana monks. Though Zen and Pure Land Buddhism are still popular. Buddhist thought develop less.
During Qing Dynasty (after 1636 AD), Mahayana monks only do chanting and meditation. There’s no great master. The Most Ven. Tai Xu who was a very famous monk on early 20 century has said thus;
‘Still worse than Qing Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism go down really. Now it almost died. Now the Western culture come into East Asia, Chinese academic are far behind and Buddhism is really far behind.’
On 21 century, China Economy grows fast but the growing of Buddhism seems slow. Now Buddhism is more like a culture phenomenon. Almost 40000 temples are in countryside, yet only some monks try to do some Buddhist contributions and those who take part of these events seem sincere Buddhists. Though some monks try some way and do some events, most of the participants are sincere Buddhist.
According to the online resources, in 2010 about 18% people in mainland China consider them self as Buddhists, that is about 240 million. But only 1.7% are getting the formal procedure and having the monk teachers. We can say only 23 million on mainland China are Buddhist on religious standard. Some master think the Buddhist number on religious standard are 50 million that is only less than 4 % of China population.
As mentioned above, there are about 40000 temples in China. Those who intend to be a monk seem very less. There are about 40000 Chinese Mahayana monks and nuns. Concerning its average it is one monk or nun in each temple. Many Buddhist colleges in nationwide are unable to recruit enough student.
In many other countries, there is a similar problem, only the difference on serious scale.
According to the problems above, some world Buddhist leaders suggest to have a great reform and to found Buddhist Preacher System.
Buddhist Preachers are not traditional monks. If we say traditional monks are similar to Catholic Monks, then Buddhist Preachers are similar to Christian Priests.
Buddhist Preachers will not live in the temples long time normally. They will mainly promote Buddhism on the society and on life. This way will help Buddhism reform and spreading to the whole world.
Buddhist Preachers will help Buddhism merge with modern world. Enable people to enjoy the good life while increasing life realm, Emphasis on ethical humanism, attaches great importance to the ecological environmental protection and nature more harmonious.
Buddhist Preacher System is easier to be accepted by West countries society and promote Buddhism development on the west countries. Buddhist development on the west countries, may promote the Buddhism merge with Christianity (including Catholic, Protestants, Orthodox) and west countries culture. And it may found the WEST BUDDHISM.
The following world Buddhist leaders have signed the Proposal of Buddhist Preacher System,
Most Ven. Dr. Kumarabhivamsa
Chairman of State Sangha Committee, Myanmar
His Holiness Bour Kry
The Great Supreme Patriarch of Dhammayuttikanikaya, Cambodia
Most Ven. Maha Phong Samareuk
President of Lao Buddhist Fellowship Organization, Lao
The Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhita Maha Nayake Thero, Asgiriya Maha Viharaya, Kandy, Sri Lanka
The Most Ven. Niyangoda Vijithasiri
Anynayaka Thero of Malwatta Chapter, Sri Lanka
The Most Ven. Phraphrommethee
Member of Sangha Supreme Council, Thailand
The Most Ven. D. Natsagdorj
President of Mongolia Buddhist Association
The Most Ven. Thich Tri Quang
The Deputy President of Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha