Vietnam Buddhist Sangha marks 35th anniversary hinh anh 1Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang, Deputy Patriarch of VBS, read a message of the Supreme Patriarch sent to monks, nuns and followers inside and outside the country. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) marked the 35th anniversary of its establishment (November 7, 1981 – November 7, 2016) at a grand ceremony in Hanoi on November 7.

President Tran Dai Quang sent a bouquet of flowers and his greetings to the VBS on the occasion.

Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang , Deputy Patriarch of VBS, read a message of the Supreme Patriarch sent to monks, nuns and followers inside and outside the country.

The message stressed that upholding the spirit of living real life and inheriting the essence of 2,000 years of Vietnamese Buddhism’s standing shoulder to shoulder with the nation, all activities and work of the VBS follow the motto: Buddhist principles – Nation – Socialism.

In the 35-year history of growth and development, the VBS has achieved many big achievements in promoting Buddhism, with monks and nuns assigned to all pagodas across the country.

The VBS has built a complete education system from elementary to university levels, with four institutes offering graduate and post-graduate training in Buddhism, supplying high quality human resource for the Sangha

The VBS has affirmed its position in the world’s Buddhist community through proactive integration efforts.

The message reminded the VBS on further promoting the tradition of supporting the nation and boosting national unity, while increasing external activities and taking care of the spiritual life of overseas Vietnamese.

Reviewing the VBS’s achievements over the past 35 years, Most Venerable Thich Duc Thien, General Secretary of the VBS’ Executive Council said the Sangha is currently managing 49,500 monks and nuns, 17,376 pagodas and monasteries.

The VBS sent 476 monks and nuns to other countries for study, 115 of them have earned Master’s and Doctor degrees and returned to the country to work for the Sangha. The VBS is now also training postgraduates at its academy in HCM City.

Charity and social security has been one of the priority tasks of the VBS, which is running 50 facilities for orphans, lonely old people and the disabled. The Sangha also funds the operation of 150 schools and 656 clinics which treat tens of thousands of poor patients.

The VBS always provides timely help to people suffering from natural disasters and flooding and actively participates in poverty alleviation through giving gifts to the poor, building bridges and roads for remote areas, promoting blood donation and raising fund to support soldiers at outpost islands.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam affirmed that throughout the course of 2,000 years, Buddhism has integrated into the life of most Vietnamese and become an indispensable spiritual need of the Vietnamese as well as an important component in Vietnam’s rich and unique culture.

Since the establishment of the SBV, Dam said, Buddhism in Vietnam has made clear progresses in all aspects, not only contributing to socio-economic development and the preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage but also helping enhance Vietnam’s position on the international stage via the successful organisation of the United Nations Vesak and the ASEAN Buddhist Conference.

The Deputy PM expressed his belief that the VBS will continue using its important position and sacred mission to spread the teachings of the Buddha to everyone and very where, so that all people will join hand in doing good deeds.

On behalf of the State, Deputy PM Dam presented the Labour Order, first class, to the VBS in recognition of its contributions to the nation and the cause of socialism construction and national protection.-VNA