The weeklong "International Forum on the Daodejing"
closed on April 27, 2007 with a declaration calling for
building a harmonious world through the way of Tao. It stated that
mutual respect and peaceful co-existence of different cultures,
nationalities, and religions are the foundations for this
"May the great Tao infuse the world and all under heaven live in
great peace," the declaration said.
Translated into over thirty languages and reprinted numerous
times throughout its 2,000 year history, Daodejing is one
of the most studied and well-known Chinese philosophical classics
and considered one of the most important texts in the human
intellectual heritage. It analyzes the relationship between humans
and nature, and reveals the truth of harmony in life.
The author of the text, Laozi, first delivered his lectures in
Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. To commemorate this event,
various Taoist bodies in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland decided
to organize an International Forum on
the Daodejing both in Xi'an and Hong Kong.
The forum, the first international event of such a large scale
held in 50 years, gathered over 500 Taoist leaders, scholars from
the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and Singapore as
well as people from all walks of life. They discussed Tao's
application in culture, environmental protection, management,
personal wellness, and exchanges between three main religions of
China -- Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
As the prelude of the forum, a total of 13,839 citizens recited
Daodejing together at Hong Kong Stadium on April 21,
setting a new Guinness record for "most people reading aloud
simultaneously in one location."
The forum also held the largest Daodejing exhibition in
the world, showing over 300 different editions and versions of this
Chinese philosophical classic, including the "bamboo slip" Daodejing, the earliest
edition known so far which could be dated prior to 278 BC.
"The wisdom of Tao bears great significance to building a
prosperous, stable and harmonious Hong Kong society," Jiang
Jianyong, vice chairman of China Religious Culture Communication
Association said during the forum.
Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho said such an event can
only be held at a time when the country is in prosperity and the
society is in harmony. As this year marks the 10th anniversary of
Hong Kong's return to the motherland, he wished the world peace and
Hong Kong fortune.
(Xinhua News Agency April 28, 2007)