Monks at Bang Long Pagoda present gifts to students at the ceremony (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – Vietnamese people in Laos paid homage to Most Venerable Thich Trung Quan, one of the greatest overseas Vietnamese monks, at a ceremony at Bang Long Pagoda in Vientiane on March 26.

The memorial service at Bang Long Pagoda – the centre of Vietnamese Buddhism in Laos – was attended by Most Venerable Thich Thanh Dam and Thich Quang Tung from the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung, Lao monks, and Vietnamese expatriates.

Addressing the event, Most Venerable Thich Tho Lac, the fifth leader of Bang Long, said the pagoda was built in 1942 by Vietnamese people. Thich Trung Quang was the fourth leader of the pagoda and also the first person to disseminate the Mahayana Buddhism in Laos. He also had great influence on Vietnamese Buddhists in Europe.

Thich Trung Quan (real name Vu Thanh Quat) was born on June 9, 1918, in Nam Dinh province. From 1969 to 1978, he opened many training courses on Buddhism at Bang Long while building and being the spiritual leader of about 10 pagodas across Laos. The pagoda became a destination for a number of people during that time, thus becoming the centre of Vietnamese Buddhism in Laos

In mid-1978, Most Venerable Thich Trung Quan left for Europe to popularise the Mahayana Buddhism and establish Hoa Nghiem Pagoda in Paris, France. He also set up many other Buddhist temples in other European countries.

He also spent time on translating and writing books on Buddhism with more than 20 publications in total. He passed away on April 1, 2003.

Also at the ceremony, representatives of Bang Long Pagoda presented gifts to disadvantaged Vietnamese and Lao students who had good academic results in Laos.-VNA