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Buddhism's Role in Building Harmonious Society Discussed

Over a dozen eminent monks from Chinese mainland and Hong Kong on Saturday explored the role of Buddhism in building a harmonious society in the country.

Speaking at a symposium held in Hong Kong under the title of "Nurturing a harmonious society through Buddhism," Venerable Kok Kwong, president of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, said Buddhism advocates mercy, equality of all beings and benefiting others while benefiting oneself, which all help create harmony in society and peace in the world.

"A harmonious society" is a concept stressed by the Chinese government which refers to harmony in social relations, human relations, social atmosphere and social causes and manifests the government's determination to attach equal importance to economic and social development.

Saicang Luozang Huadan, the 6th Living Buddha at the ancient Derlong Monastery of Gansu Province, noted that as a peaceful religion, Buddhism has harmony as one of its core values. By bringing people peace in mind, Buddhism can help maintain stability in society.

Zhigong Qiongcang, the Living Buddha from the Zhigong Monastery in Tibet Autonomous Region, said a pristine land as described in Buddhism is a place where all people live in happiness and harmony. However, such a land does not lie somewhere far away, but in one's heart.

"Building a harmonious society means people all follow virtues and turn away from evils. Thus the country will be in peace, society in accord and social and natural environment both in harmonious state," he said.

The symposium is one of the serial activities of the China Tibetan Culture Week, which opened in Hong Kong on Friday morning. Other programs include a large exhibition of Tibetan cultural relics, religious rituals conducted by the Living Buddhas as well as performances of Tibetan songs and dances.

The culture week is jointly sponsored by the Information Office of the State Council, the Liaison Office of the Central Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the People's Government of Tibet Autonomous Region.

(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2005)

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