Compilation of UNESCO Speeches

No.       Content
1 Furthering Religious Education, Promoting Stability and Peace
2 Fostering Respect and Love for Parents and Ancestors and Promoting World Peace——Speech at the Global Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony at UNESCO
3 Education is Foremost in Creating Peace——Address at the Association of Master Chin Kung's Friends at UNESCO
4 How to Enhance Efficiency in Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogues —With the Experiences Gained by Using “the Four All-Embracing Methods” to Promote Social Harmony and Acceptance.
5 How the Education of Love Fosters Everlasting Peace
6 Harmony is Most Precious: Everything Begins with our Minds——2018 Thrice Buddhist Yearning Service for World Peace
7 Passing on the Torch to Perpetuate Multicultural and Inter-faith Harmony——2018 UNESCO International Peace Conference Closing Remarks

Furthering Religious Education, Promoting Stability and Peace


Respected Director-General Madame Bokova, President Mr. Wannamethee, Ambassadors and Delegates, religious leaders and representatives, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, My warmest greetings to you all!


This year’s UNESCO peace conference has been extraordinary. We have paid tribute to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in remembrance of his remarkable contribution to the sustainable development of humankind. We have listened to the presentation on concepts of The Governing Principles of Ancient China and the experience of practising the teachings in the canon that transcend time and space. We have discussed the close relationship between multi-faith education and harmony. We have studied how to resolve conflicts and promote peace through multi-faith education, as well as the relationship between different faiths and that between faith and the environment. We have performed together a Global Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony to pay tribute to the ancestors of all ethnic groups – the first of its kind at UNESCO. We have listened to the report on traditional culture and water crystals, and to the World Fellowship of Buddhists’ practical experience in propagating Buddhist education and promoting world peace. Such a rich and diverse agenda reflects that this year’s International Peace Conference has made considerable progress in examining theories and practical experience of promoting world peace. This Conference has been particularly fruitful!


Towards the end of the Conference, I would like once again to stress the importance of ‘loving all as one entity’ in religious education. Moreover, when implementing religious education, we must ‘place righteousness before self-interests’. At the same time, with an understanding of the law of cause and effect, we will be able to ‘fulfil our duties contently without competing with others’. Then, I would like to give a few examples of applying religious education so as to prove its feasibility.


Loving All as One Entity


As I said previously, religion is the principal education, important teaching, and revered transformation for humankind. It is therefore an indispensable universal education for humaniity. At the core of all faiths in the world is found benevolence, compassion and universal love for all. The root of benevolence, compassion and universal love is that we are one entity, just like the organs, limbs and bones of one’s body. When our teeth accidentally bite our tongue, the tongue will not take revenge on the teeth because they belong to one entity. When our left hand is injured, our right hand will naturally caress the left hand without any reason other than they are one entity. Similarly, when we understand that all other beings and we are one entity, our love and compassion is, as a consequence, unconditional and we will love all beings equally. This is the true mind. When we uncover our true minds, what is embedded in our self-nature such as purity, equality, enlightenment and compassion will manifest naturally.


The sacred texts of all religions and faiths share similar records of people who would naturally give a helping hand at the sight of others suffering. As the Chinese saying goes, ‘We feel the same suffering when we see others suffering from hunger; we feel as if we are ourselves drowning when we see others drowning.’ This sense of compassion is innate in human nature. It is what we call ‘conscience’ (true mind) and it is also referred to as ‘loving all as one entity’ or ‘divine nature’. If we can bring forth this ‘conscience’, each one of us will become a sage, a person of virtues or noble character. However, our conscience can be easily overwhelmed by materialistic desires. Consequently, we become selfish and can do things that benefit ourselves while harming others. This is why we need religious education to guide people to goodness, to transform their mindset. Religious education consists of the teachings of ethics, morality, causality and sages. The ultimate goal of religious education is to bring people back to their innate good conscience, to loving all equally as one entity and to return to the divine nature. At that point, we and the divinity will be as one, we will become a sage, and will live in a heaven of utmost purity and goodness.


Placing Righteousness before Self-Interests


In practice, to return to loving all as one entity, we must place righteousness before self-interests. The Chinese character ‘義’ or ‘righteousness’ means proper behaviour that abides by the teachings of ethics, morality, causality and sages.


Selfishness is the root cause of all problems in the world today. Mencius, an ancient Chinese philosopher, clearly saw this problem 2,300 years ago. Mencius once visited King Hui of the Liang state. When the King saw Mencius, the first thing he asked was, ‘Sir, you have traveled from far to reach here. What benefits and advantages can you bring to our country?’ Mencius gave him a very good reply. He said, ‘Your majesty, why must you only talk about benefits while there is benevolence and righteousness?’ Mencius was unwilling to talk about benefits and advantages. He said, ‘If the whole nation, from the king to the ordinary people, is pursuing benefits and advantages, the country will be in jeopardy!’


This is the case not only for a country but for a family as well. If the husband, the wife and the children of a family all fight for their own interest, this family will no longer be a family. In a society where people only care for their own interests but not righteousness; where people go against ethics, morality, the law of causality and the teachings of sages for the sake of self-interest; then they will only be friends when there is benefit to be gained, but they will be bitter enemies when their interests are conflicting. They are allies when their interests are aligned; they destroy one another when their interests are in conflict. In this kind of society, everyone lives in anxiety and misery regardless of being rich or poor. Such social ethos will lead to endless disasters!


To reverse such a decline, we must restore religious education, cultivate righteous minds and foster the mentality of placing righteousness before self-interests. Only by placing righteousness first and putting self-interests second can we awaken our conscience. Then, we will deeply appreciate that only by abiding by ethics and morality can we live with peace of mind, that only by abiding by the law of cause and effect can we change our destinies, and that only by learning from the teachings of the sages can we elevate ourselves spiritually and obtain eternal happiness. Only by doing this, can we restore our conscience, our love for all as one entity and our innate divine nature.


Fulfilling Our Duties Contently without Competing with Others


Among the four types of universal education mentioned above, the education of causality is of particular importance but it is also an aspect that is most neglected. An old Chinese saying goes, ‘Good deeds bring about good fortune and bad deeds result in misfortunes.’ The law of causality was widely accepted by people in ancient times. However, many people in the modern days are short-sighted and are blinded by profit and desires. They often expect instant results and do not believe in the law of cause and effect. However, the law of cause and effect is the law of nature that governs the working of all things in the universe. It still takes effect even if people do not believe in it. ‘It is not that there is no consequence, but it is just a matter of time for the cause to take effect.’ Over a sufficient period of time, those who do good deeds and those who do bad deeds will inevitably experience good and bad consequences respectively without exception.


For example, everyone wants to have wealth, intelligence and wisdom, good health and long life. However, we must know the reasons for and methods to gaining all these. A ‘cause’ requires appropriate conditions to produce the associated result. It is certainly not something that we can obtain by force. The giving of wealth results in gaining wealth. The giving of teachings brings us intelligence and wisdom. The giving of fearlessness rewards us with good health and long life. These constitute the relationship between cause and effect. If we can continue giving and abiding by the teachings, then we are bound to obtain these three kinds of good fortune.


In regard to wealth, the amount of wealth a person can obtain in this lifetime is closely correlated with the amount of wealth he or she had given away in the current and previous lives. Therefore, destiny does exist. As the Chinese put it, ‘Every sip of a drink and every bite of food that you take are all predetermined.’ What is meant to be yours will eventually be yours. What is not meant to be yours will never be yours no matter how hard you fight for it. Good fortune is obtained by cultivating oneself and not by winning in competing with others. Competition not only brings us no benefit but also harms ourselves. Once we understand this principle, our minds will be at peace and we will fulfil our duties contently without wishful thinking. We certainly will not put ourselves in danger and break the laws for the sake of gaining wealth.


Although each one of us has our own destiny, it is not fixed. Destiny can be changed. If a person never does good deeds but always does bad deeds, his or her good fortune will soon be exhausted, followed by endless disasters and misfortunes. On the contrary, if a person does his or her best to end all wrongdoings and cultivate good deeds, his or her destiny will improve progressively. He or she will overcome disasters and misfortunes quickly and enjoy long-lasting good fortune.


With a clear understanding in the relationship between cause and effect, people will naturally place righteousness before self-interests. It is because they know that being righteous is the cause of good fortune and will naturally attract good fortune, whereas competition and fights are the cause of misery and they are bound to attract miserable results.


There is a story in Chinese history about ‘fulfilling one’s duties contently without fighting with others’. It later became a famous opera. The Six Feet Lane was produced based on this story to encourage people to practise the virtue of yielding or forbearance. It took place during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty, China. The main character was Zhang Ying, a high-ranking mandarin in Beijing at the time. He was always respectful and cautious when interacting with others and handling matters. One day, his family back in his hometown had a dispute with his neighbour, the Wu family, over the boundary of their houses. Neither side wanted to give in. Even the local official could not solve it. So, the head butler of the Zhang family wrote a letter to Zhang Ying to report the matter. However, Zhang Ying only replied with a poem which goes, ‘Sending a letter over a thousand miles merely for a wall. Giving away three feet, what harm is there? Standing there tall and steady is still the Great Wall, but the First Emperor of the Qin is no longer there.’ As a result, the Zhang family willingly gave away three feet. The Wu family were deeply touched by what the Zhangs had done and also gave away three feet. Therefore, there was a six feet lane between the houses of the two families. This is how the opera ‘The Six Feet Lane’ came about.


After Zhang Ying had passed away, the Zhang family continued to enjoy blessings and produced many talents for generations. Across the Ming and the Qing dynasties of almost twenty generations of the Zhangs, about 1,000 descendants of the Zhangs were xiucai (who gained an rough equivalence of an undergraduate degree), 26 jinshi (who gained a doctorate degree), 89 juren (who gained a master’s degree) and over 700 gongsheng (who gained a bachelor’s degree) and guozijian (students of the Imperial Academy). The Zhang family enjoyed great prosperity. Both Zhang Ying and his son served as prime ministers in the same period and were conferred with special titles by three emperors of the Qing dynasty after their death. Descendants of six generations were appointed as hanlin (the elite of scholars directly serving emperors). All these achievements were closely related to the Zhang family’s traditional practices of fulfilling one’s duties contently without competing with others and of cultivating virtues and accumulating merits.


This story provides very important morals which resonate well with the theme of this Conference: If we choose rivalry, conflict, and war, the human race will suffer from never-ending disasters. If we abandon rivalry, conflict, and war, the human race will enjoy boundless good fortune and joy. This theme is entirely in line with the doctrines of religious education and the law of cause and effect. It is worthwhile to propagate this message widely for the purpose of guiding people to goodness.


Success Stories in Implementing Religious Education


1. The Education Centre of Traditional Culture


I established an education centre of traditional culture in my hometown in 2005 to promote ethical and moral education, the education of the law of causality, and the teachings of the sages to its 48,000 citizens. Within three months, we achieved remarkable results. Disputes between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law were less common and the families enjoyed greater harmony. Disputes between neighbours virtually disappeared and the neighbourhood restored harmony. The residents no longer left rubbish strewn everywhere and the whole community became clean and tidy. There was less shop-lifting reported and the shops enjoyed peace. Divorce rates and crime rates significantly decreased and the whole town was in harmony and enjoyed an auspicious atmosphere. There was a tourist who visited the town and left his wallet in a taxi. The taxi driver was very honest and handed in the wallet to the local police. After the owner of the wallet retrieved his wallet, he was very delighted and wanted to give the taxi driver a significant amount of money as a gesture of gratitude. But the driver declined the offer and said, ‘You don’t need to give me money. I just did what I should do. If it had occurred previously, I would have taken the money and would not return it. But ever since I learned the teachings of the sages, I understand the principles of being a proper person. I must not take any money that I am not entitled to. So I returned the money to you. I am not the only one who would do so, for every taxi driver in our town would do the same.’ Through this example, we can see that people who have received the universal education will indeed be able to restore their innate good consciences, to place righteousness before self-interests and to fulfil their duties contently without an urge to compete with others. And this is the most auspicious and joyful way of life.


2. Moral Lecture Seminars


A ‘Moral Lecture Seminar’ takes place over seven days in a quiet environment so that attendees can put down all their tasks, calm their minds, and concentrate on receiving traditional cultural education in ethics, morality, cause and effect, and the sages’ teachings. Such intense study brings about a significant result. In a span of seven days, the wicked stop committing bad deeds and restore the goodness in them; the violent re-discover their gentle nature; the greedy discard their greed; those who treat their parents badly learn to love and respect their parents; those who are on the verge of divorce restore good relationships. Many people achieve a significant positive change to their life values. All of these fully demonstrate that human nature is innately good and that people can be taught to retrieve the goodness in them, as long as they have been given the right direction. The importance of religious education is once again affirmed.


3. The Happy Enterprise


A ‘happy enterprise’ puts into practice the four types of universal education. Its staff members receive education in groups at fixed schedules. A ‘happy enterprise’ is a company that puts staff happiness and customer satisfaction first, not profit making. The whole company is like a big loving family in which the boss is the parent and the staff constitutes the family members. They care for, look after, and cooperate with each other and love all as family. As such, the profit of the company is automatically on the increase even though no one stresses on profit; many problems pertinent to running the company automatically vanish, even though no one stresses on solving the problems.


4. Unifying the Religious Groups in Singapore


In 1999 we brought together the nine major faiths in Singapore by using Buddhism’s Four All-embracing Methods which in effect are four types of methods for handling public relations: 1) Give unsparingly and foster closer interpersonal relations. 2) Speak kindly, be sincere, and care for and respect each other. 3) Perform good deeds that benefit others. 4) Promote friendship and co-operation, and work together for a common cause. Followers of the nine major faiths learn from one another’s doctrines, attend one another’s major activities, often come together for dialogue, and have truly become one big loving family. The Singapore government was very pleased with the achievement and gave special praise for it. It had a very positive influence on the social stability in Singapore.


5. Fostering Religious Cohesion in Toowoomba


In 2002 I established the Pure Land Learning College Association in Toowoomba, Australia and started to work on bringing true collaboration among religious groups and ethnic groups. Every Saturday evening we hold a ‘Friendship Dinner’ where delicious vegetarian food is provided. Everyone is welcome to attend for free. Cultural shows are performed during the dinner. Using the Friendship Dinner as a platform, diverse religious and ethnic groups communicate and learn from one another, and strengthen their friendship. In Toowoomba there are also activities such as the Youth Learning Camp, mutual visits of one another’s religious sites, regular forums among religious leaders, and the representatives of different faiths giving talks regularly on their religious doctrines for radio and TV programs. . . . Moreover, the representatives of different faiths in Toowoomba have collaborated with religious representatives from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, etc. to select 360 excerpts from the most essential teachings from their respective sacred texts and compile them into a set of books titled ‘Scriptures 360’ to facilitate learning for everyone. Between 2013 and 2016, the delegates from Toowoomba consecutively reported their achievements in harmony at UNESCO’s annual peace conferences. In March this year the UNESCO ambassadors representing nine countries visited Toowoomba and were deeply impressed by what they saw in the city. They concluded that Toowoomba has truly put into practice the ideal of harmony and has indeed become a model city of peace and harmony.


Conclusion


The famious British historian, Dr. Arnold Toynbee, once said, ‘Historically, religion came first and science grew out of religion. It is my expectation that science never will supersede religion.’1 From his words we can tell that religious education is indispensable to humankind.


I have engaged in bringing together religious groups and promoting religious education for almost twenty years. My experience tells me that religious education can truly resolve conflicts and promote stability and peace. The key is that there must be frequent communication among different faiths to gain better understanding of each other and strengthen friendship. Only by doing so can we truly achieve the desired effect. Hence, for many years I have hoped that someone will establish a religious university to train talents for religious education of different faiths, and to provide an opportunity for practitioners of various faiths to study together, to interact and learn from one another.


Now, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is prepared to offer a new doctorate degree in Harmony, which is a programme inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales. I would like to invite the leaders of all faiths to recommend a total of 25 PhD students. In addition to delving deeply in the studies of their own faith, they will also learn from the teachings offered by other faiths. In a few years’ time, we hope to establish a religious college and later even expand it to a religious university to train preachers of different faiths. Then, the graduates will give talks on classic religious texts via the Internet and television networks to reach people all over the world. This is a great mission! I hope that the younger generation will be able to carry on and propagate the ideals contained in religious education, furthering the unity of true friendship among religious groups to benefit the whole of humanity. This will be the most outstanding contribution that religious education can bring to the world.


Lastly, I sincerely wish that religious education would spread across the globe and bring about social stability, happiness and world peace! May peace, good health, auspiciousness be with you always, with the blessings of infinite wisdom and long life! Thank you very much.



發揚宗教教育  促進安定和平


  尊敬的教科文組織總幹事博科娃閣下、世佛聯主席宛納梅提先生、各國大使代表、各位宗教領袖、各位嘉賓、女士們、先生們:大家好!

  今年教科文組織的國際和平會議是一個非常特殊的聚會,我們紀念已故泰國國王普密蓬.阿杜德陛下,懷念他對人類可持續性發展的貢獻;我們聆聽了古今治國寶典《群書治要》的理念與實踐經驗;我們探討了多元宗教教育與和諧的密切關聯;我們了解了多元宗教教育如何化解衝突、促進和平,以及宗教之間的關係、宗教與環境的關係;我們共同祭祀了世界各族的祖先,這在教科文組織是一項創舉;我們聆聽了傳統文化與水結晶的報告;我們聆聽了世佛聯弘揚佛陀教育與促進世界和平的實踐經驗。如此多元而豐富的內容,顯示本次的國際和平會議,在促進世界和平的理論與實踐方面,有了長足的進展,成果也特別豐碩。

  在本次會議即將結束之際,我想再次強調宗教教育當中「一體的愛」的重要性;以及在實踐當中,必須「重義輕利」;同時,基於對因果法則的了解,所以能夠做到「安分不爭」;然後,我想舉出落實宗教教育的案例,來證明其可行性。

  一體的愛

  誠如我之前所說的,宗教是人類主要的教育、重要的教學、尊崇的教化,是人類不可或缺的普世教育。世界各宗教的核心都是仁慈博愛,而仁慈博愛的根源是因為大家是一體的,如同身體的五臟六腑與四肢百骸一樣。當牙齒咬到了舌頭,舌頭不會去報復,因為它們是一體的;當左手受傷了,右手自然會去撫慰左手,不需要任何理由,因為它們是一體的。同樣的道理,了解到無量的眾生跟我們自己是一體時,我們的慈悲就是沒有條件的,能夠平等的愛護一切眾生,這就是真心。當真心流露出來時,清淨、平等、正覺、慈悲這些性德就自然現前。

  在各宗教的典籍裡,都有類似這樣的記載:看到有人遭遇苦難的時候,自然而然就會體會對方的痛苦而伸出援手,所謂「人饑己饑,人溺己溺」。這種惻隱之心,是人性當中本來具有的,這就是所謂的「良心」(真心),也就是「一體的愛」,也就是「神性」。將這種良心發揚光大,人人都能成為聖賢君子。但是人們的良心容易受到物質欲望所蒙蔽,而變得自私自利,做出損人利己的行為,所以就需要宗教教育來教化人心。宗教教育的內容包括倫理教育、道德教育、因果教育和聖賢教育。而宗教教育的終極目的,就是使人回歸到本性本善的良心、回歸到一體的愛、回歸到神性,那時,人就與神合而為一,就是聖賢,就生活在純淨純善的天堂當中。

  重義輕利

  回歸一體的愛,在實踐方面,必須做到重義輕利。所謂的「義」,就是正當的行為,乃是依循倫理教育、道德教育、因果教育、聖賢教育去實踐的行為。

  自私自利是當今世界種種問題的根源。中國古代聖哲孟子在二千三百多年前,就已經看清楚了這個問題。有一次孟子去拜見梁惠王,梁惠王問他:「老先生,您從老遠的地方來到我的國家,能給我們帶來什麼樣的利益?」孟子回答得很好:「王何必談利呢?還有仁義啊!」孟子不願意談利益,他說:「上下交征利,而國危矣。」如果一個國家,從領導人到老百姓都在爭奪利益,這個國家就很危險了!國家如此,家庭亦然,如果家庭中夫妻、父子、兄弟都在互相爭利,那麼這個家就不成為家了。

  如果人們只重功利,不講道義,為了滿足自私自利,背棄了倫理、道德、因果、聖賢的教育原則,有利可圖時就是朋友,利益衝突時就是敵人;有利可圖就聯手,利益衝突就消滅對方,這樣的社會,人民無論貧富,都生活在不安、痛苦之中,這樣的風氣真的是禍患無窮!要扭轉這種頹勢,就必須振興宗教教育,端正世道人心,提倡重義輕利。將道義放在第一位,利益放在次要的位置,人才會清醒,才會深刻了解:遵循倫理道德,人才活得心安理得;遵循因果法則,人才能改造自己的命運;學習聖賢教育,人才能提升自己的靈性,獲得永恆的真實快樂。如此落實,人才能恢復良心、恢復一體的愛、恢復神性。

  安分不爭

  在前述四種普世教育當中,因果教育特別重要,但恰恰是最受忽視的環節。「善有善報,惡有惡報」,這樣的因果法則是古人普遍接受的一種觀念。但是現在人目光短淺,又利欲薰心、急功近利,往往不相信因果報應。然而,因果法則是宇宙間運行的自然規律,不會因為人們不相信就不產生作用。「不是不報,時候未到」,只要經歷足夠長的時間醞釀,善惡報應會分別顯現在作善和作惡者的身上,絲毫不爽。

  舉例而言,財富、聰明智慧、健康長壽是每個人都希望得到的,但必須知道獲得它們的原因和方法。具備了因,加上種種適當的助緣配合,才能得到果,這不是強求所能得到的。財布施得財富,法布施得聰明智慧,無畏布施得健康長壽,這是它們的因果關係。如果能夠堅持,按照這樣去布施,這三種福報都能得到。

  就財富而言,一個人今生能得多少財富,跟他今生與過去生所做的財布施密切相關。所以命運是存在的,所謂「一飲一啄,莫非前定」,該是你的,終究你會得到;不該你得到的,你怎麼爭也爭不到。所以福報是修來的,不是爭來的;爭,不但對自己沒有好處,反而會傷害自己。了解這個原理,人的心就安了,就會安守本分,不會作非分之想,更不會為了發財而違法亂紀、鋌而走險了。

  雖然每個人都有自己的命運,但是命運不是定數,而是可以改變的。如果一個人毫不行善,而是不斷造惡,那麼他的福報與好運很快就會消耗完,接著來的是無盡的災難與厄運;反之,如果一個人努力斷惡修善,那麼他的命運就會愈來愈好,災難與厄運會很快度過,福報與好運會綿延長久。明瞭這樣的因果關係,人自然會重義輕利,因為他知道,注重道義所修的是福報的因,將來自然會感召福報;爭奪是受苦的因,將來必定會感召苦果。

  中國古代有個安分不爭的故事傳為佳話,後來編成《六尺巷》的戲劇,勸勉人落實禮讓的美德。這個故事發生在清朝康熙年間,故事的主人翁是當時在朝廷擔任高官的張英,他一生為人處事以「敬慎」為懷。有一次,張英的老家與鄰居吳家,為了住宅基地的問題發生爭執,彼此不肯相讓,地方官員也勸解不了,於是張家的總管寫信派人送到京城,向張英報告這件事。張英回答給家人只是一首詩:「一紙書來只為牆,讓他三尺又何妨?長城萬里今猶在,不見當年秦始皇。」於是張家人主動退讓了三尺;吳家見了深受感動,也退讓了三尺,於是兩家之間留出了一條六尺寬的巷道,這就是「六尺巷」的由來。張英之後,張氏家族世澤綿延、人才輩出,明清兩代近二十世,族中秀才以上功名者近千人,其中進士二十六人,舉人八十九人,貢生、國子監生七百餘人,呈現了「父子宰相」「三世得謚」「六代翰林」的光榮景象。凡此種種,都與安分不爭、厚德載物的敦厚家風息息相關。

  這個故事給予我們很重要的啟示,正與我們本次會議的主題相應:選擇惡性競爭、鬥爭、戰爭,人類有受不完的災難;放棄惡性競爭、鬥爭、戰爭,人類有享不盡的福報。這完全符合宗教教育與因果法則,值得大力宣導,普令世人覺醒。

  落實宗教教育的案例

  一、傳統文化教育中心

  二OO五年,我在自己的家鄉成立傳統文化教育中心,向小鎮的四萬八千居民宣揚倫理教育、道德教育、因果教育、聖賢教育。三個月的時間就成效卓著:家庭裡婆媳紛爭解決了,家庭和睦;鄰里之間的紛爭沒有了,鄰里和睦;社區大家不再丟垃圾了,社區整潔;商店不再有人偷竊,商店安寧;離婚率和犯罪率都大幅度的下降,小鎮祥和。有一個外來的人將錢包遺失在出租車上,出租車司機拾金不昧,將錢包送到警察局。失主得到錢包之後非常歡喜,取出很大的一筆錢來酬謝司機,但是司機拒絕接受。司機說:您不用給我錢,這是我應該做的;如果是從前,我會把錢包裡的錢佔為己有,不會還給您,但是我自從學習了聖賢教育之後,知道做人的道理,不應取非分之財,所以我把錢包還給您——不止我會這樣做,我們小鎮上每個出租車司機都會這麼做。從這裡可以看到,接受過普世教育的人,確實能夠回歸本善的良心,做到重義輕利,安分不爭,這才是最吉祥的人生。

  二、道德講堂

  這裡所謂的「道德講堂」,是指提供安穩的食宿環境,讓人放下一切牽掛與干擾,七天的時間裡,專注於學習倫理教育、道德教育、因果教育、聖賢教育。如此的密集學習,效果非常顯著:七天之內,惡人改惡向善,暴戾的人變得和善,貪婪的人戒除貪心,忤逆的人變得孝順,婚姻面臨破裂的人和好如初……許許多多人的人生價值觀產生了重大的正面轉變。這充分顯示人性本善,人是教得好的,只是沒有遇到正確的指導而已。宗教教育的重要性再度得到了肯定。

  三、幸福企業

  企業落實四種普世教育,員工定期輪流學習。企業以員工的幸福與顧客的滿意為目的,不以賺錢為目的。整個企業就是一個相親相愛的大家庭,老闆是大家長,員工都是家人,彼此互相關懷、互相照顧、互助合作,發揮一體的大愛。如此,雖然不強調營利,結果企業的利潤自然不斷增長;雖然不強調解決問題,結果企業的許多問題自然消失於無形。

  四、新加坡宗教團結

  一九九九年,我們在新加坡團結九大宗教,用的是佛教的「四攝法」,也就是四種公共關係法。第一個「布施」,多送禮、多請客,拉近人與人之間的距離;第二「愛語」,講真正對別人有幫助的話;第三「利行」,做真正對別人有利益的事情;第四「同事」,具有共同的理想,從事共同的事業。九大宗教互相學習彼此的教義,互相參加彼此的大型活動,時常聚會交流,真正成為相親相愛的一家人,新加坡政府非常歡喜,特別加以表揚,這對新加坡的社會安定起到很好的作用。

  五、圖文巴宗教團結

  二OO二年,我在澳洲圖文巴市成立「澳洲淨宗學院」,開始做團結宗教、團結族群的工作。我們每週六舉辦溫馨晚宴,準備美味的素食餐飲,免費招待任何願意前來聚餐的人。晚宴上還有餘興節目表演,也有宗教教義的分享,在這個交流的平台上,大家互相認識,加深友誼。圖文巴也舉辦青年學習營,參觀各宗教的活動場所;宗教領袖定期聚會研討;各宗教代表固定時間在廣播電台播講宗教教義。圖文巴各宗教代表與新加坡、馬來西亞、香港等地區宗教人士一起,從各自宗教聖典裡粹選精華三百六十小段,合集成為《宗教經典三六O》,方便各宗教人士互相學習彼此的教義。圖文巴有志之士共同發起,希望將圖文巴構建成全世界第一個「多元文化和諧示範城」。從二O一三年到二O一六年,圖文巴代表團連續四年在教科文組織匯報和諧的成果。今年三月,教科文組織九個國家大使代表訪問圖文巴,印象非常深刻,認為確實是落實了和諧的理念,做出了和諧的榜樣。

  結語

  英國歷史哲學家湯恩比博士曾說:「歷史的發展是先有宗教,然後科技再從宗教中衍生出來。科技從未能夠替代宗教,並且我預計,它永遠不能替代宗教。」由湯恩比博士這段話中,我們可以了解,宗教教育是人類不可欠缺的。

  我從事宗教團結與宗教教育將近二十年,經驗告訴我,宗教教育確實能夠化解衝突,促進安定和平。關鍵在於宗教之間必須時常交流往來,增進彼此之間的認識與情誼,才能真正達到效果。因此,多年以來我一直期望有人能夠成立宗教大學,培養宗教教育繼起的人才,讓這些人才在一起學習,互相交流與觀摩。現在,英國威爾士三一聖大衛大學準備設置「和諧博士」學位,請各宗教領袖推薦二十五位博士生,既深入學習自己宗教的教義,同時也聆聽其他宗教的教義。幾年之後,希望成立宗教學院,乃至進一步成立宗教大學。從這裡培養出來的各個宗教傳教師,將在網絡電視台講解宗教經典,讓全世界人都能收聽。這是一個非常偉大的計畫!希望有新一代的年輕人,能將宗教教育的理念發揚光大,進一步團結各宗教,造福全人類,這將是宗教教育對世界做出最傑出的貢獻。

  最後,虔誠祝願宗教教育普遍全球,帶來社會安定、人民幸福、天下太平!祝願在座的各位身心健康、六時吉祥、光壽無量!謝謝大家!