Compilation of Speeches in Hong Kong and Other Regions

No.       Content
1 The Achievement of Individual Happiness, Family Harmony, Social Stability, and Ultimately Universal Peace through the Revival of Filial Piety and Respect——A Dharma Talk given at the 2017 Hong Kong Winter Solstice Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony
2 Education on Filial Piety, Roots of all Kindness——2017 Lunar 7th Month Ancestral Memorial Ceremony (Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia) 2017
3 The Real Benefit of Gaining Buddha’s Teaching

The Achievement of Individual Happiness, Family Harmony, Social Stability, and Ultimately Universal Peace through the Revival of Filial Piety and Respect——A Dharma Talk given at the 2017 Hong Kong Winter Solstice Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony


Respected Elders, Distinguished Guests, Fellow Practitioners, Ladies and Gentlemen, My warmest greetings to you all!


Today is the auspicious day of the Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony. We feel very delighted to see this great solemn assembly with distinguished guests from all over the world. Remembering ancestors is a fine Chinese tradition and custom which develops our filial piety and sense of gratitude. It teaches people to be grateful to their ancestors and hence cultivate their virtue. This plays a very important role in bringing social stability and world peace.


For many years, I have visited various places in many countries. Many national and religious leaders have discussed the issues of world peace with me. Some leaders even doubt whether there will ever be peace in the world! This is indeed a big issue. But how to promote world peace? It must be developed through education. People today have lost sincerity and respect. Most people are only concerned with their own interest, and never think about other people. I think this is the root cause of social chaos and international conflicts. So, where does the problem lie? It lies in the issue of education.


The earliest Chinese literature on education, Li Ji·Xue Ji says, ‘To establish a country and govern its people, priority should be given to education.’ In ancient times, sagacious kings always placed education above everything else when governing their countries and people. This wisdom is contained in the Chinese characters for education. The first Chinese dictionary, Shuowen Jiezi, construes the first character, 教 (jiao), as ‘Those at the top set examples, and those at the bottom follow them.’ The left part of the character has two crosses with a child beneath them. It shows that an adult draws a cross and a child coping it. The character tells us the importance of teaching others by one's own example. Jiao means to teach or decree. ‘Cannon of Shun’ in Shang Shu says, ‘Respectfully promote the ‘Five jiao’. The ‘Five jiao’ refers to teaching the people the five fundamental relationships and the five constant virtues. Shuowen Jiezi construes the second character of education, 育 (yu), as ‘to nurture a child and enable them to perform good deeds’. ‘Yu’ means to nurture or bear a child. ‘Yu de’ means to cultivate virtue. Therefore, when combined, ‘jiao yu’, education, means the cultivation of virtue through the advocation of ethics, morality, law of karma, and the teachings of the sages.


Chinese education in ancient time, whether within the family, in school or in the temple, was all about learning to benefit others through self-cultivation. However, over the past few decades, all we have seen are rivalry and conflicts. People fight for fame and profit, and only think of benefiting themselves but not others. The consequence of it is exactly what Mencius said to King Hui of Liang during the Warring States period, ‘When those at the top and those at the bottom fight for self-interest, the country is in great danger.’ So, when everyone in a country only strives for profit but not righteousness, the country is endangered.Clearly, without a sense of righteousness and benefiting others, even if we successfully prospered materially, we would remain anxious and suffer spiritually. We may even have to pay dearly for it.


One of the most significant purposes of holding today’s Ceremony is to enable us to recognise and feel he profound wisdom of our ancestors. It was this wisdom that created golden eras of great prosperity and stability in history. The life that our ancestors led was truly happy and fulfilling.


Reviewing the splendid 5000-year history of China, Chinese ancestors left their descendants teachings of supreme wisdom, including instruction in ethics and morality, and the teachings of the sages. Throughout Chinese history, we could see that every dynasty had enjoyed lasting peace that spanned from several decades to one or two hundred years.Where did the golden eras of great stability and harmony come from? It was from the teachings of the sages embodied in the fine traditional Chinese culture.


So, what are these age-old roots of Chinese civilization? They are filial piety and respect. Confucius said, ‘Filial piety is the basis for all virtues, and where education stems.’ The Daoist Classic, Accounts of Request and Response says, ‘Be faithful, filial and friendly, show sibling love.’ The Bubbhist scripture, The Sutra of Visualising the Buddha of Infinite Life says, ‘Provide for your parents and serve your teachers.’ All these sages taught people to fulfil their filial duties and respect their teachers. Parents are the objects of the practice of filial piety because they have done such a lot in nurturing their children. An ode in ‘The Book of Odes’ goes, ‘How sorrowful it is to think of my late parents, it was them who nurtured me with great effort.’ Hence, children must fulfil their filial duties. Teachers are the objects of the practice of respect. Our parents give us physical life and our teachers nurture our spiritual life and give us wisdom. It is said that the teacher-student relationship is as important as the parent-child relationship. A student’s respect for their teachers should be the same as that for their parents. Over thousands of years, the fundamental practices of filial piety and respect have been deeply rooted in the Chinese people. They have sustained social stability and harmony over the ages.


Today, we shall bring back traditional Chinese education. The most direct way of doing it is opening after-school classes of traditional Chinese culture, just as the ‘the Chinese language after-school class’ run by the respected lay Buddhist Li Bingnan in Taichung. These classes will cultivate sagely and virtuous talents who can continue the true lineage of Chinese culture. Meanwhile, we hope to run a special regional experiment for traditional Chinese culture. In this region, people will put into practice 5000-year-old traditional culture. There will be free education, free medical care, and a paradise for the elderly. In this day and age, people have to be shown the result of a successful experiment in order to be convinced of the wisdom of traditional culture. Without a concrete example, people will have difficulty believing it.


Due to the series of wars and social turmoil in the recent history of China, the practice of ancestral remembrance has been interrupted for many years. We feel the deep significance of resuming ancestral remembrance for reviving traditional culture and improving social practices. Therefore, in recent years we have been actively promoting resuming ancestral remembrance ceremonies for the Qingming Festival, Zhongyuan Festival and Winter Solstice. These are the basis for promoting filial piety. We also hope to resume the Confucius Memorial Ceremony as it represents reverence for teachers. True filial piety must also include reverence for teachers because the general nurturing care of teachers is the same as that of parents. Only by reviving reverence for teachers can we truly inherit the culture. Only with filial piety and reverence for teachers, can we cultivate sagely and virtuous talents. Being sagely, virtuous and of noble character is the standard for being a good Chinese. So, what makes a good person? Those who are sagely, virtuous or of noble character are good persons. Why? It is because they act on the basis of benevolence and love. They love themselves and others, and are easily contented. They are good role models for the general public. By promoting the remembrance of ancestors and reviving traditional culture and the education of the sages, we sincerely hope to cultivate sages, virtuous people and those of noble character who will pass on the true wisdom of the ancient sages and secure lasting peace and prosperity for generations to come.


Upon the occasion of this ancestral remembrance ceremony, we sincerely wish you a healthy and peaceful mind and body. May auspiciousness be upon you all. May all faiths treat one another equally and live together in harmony. May our motherland and all countries in the world have favourable weather and enjoy great stability and eternal peace. Thank you very much.



恢復孝敬 家和人樂 宇清國安 ——歲次丁酉香港冬至祭祖大典開示


  尊敬的各位嘉賓、各位大德、各位同修,大家好!

  今天是「祭祖大典」的良辰吉日。看到莊嚴肅穆的祭典會場,以及來自各地的嘉賓共襄盛舉,我們感到非常的歡喜。祭祖是中華傳統提倡孝道、報本反始的良好習俗,能達到慎終追遠,民德歸厚的功效,對於社會安定、世界和平起到很重要的作用。

  多年來,我們走過許多國家和地區,有很多國家領導人和宗教領袖,都曾經和我們討論過世界和平的問題。有些領導人甚至懷疑這個世界是否還會有和平!這確實是一個大問題。如何才能促進世界和平?必須要從根源著手。現代人失去了誠敬心,起心動念只想自己,而沒有想到別人。我想,這應該是社會動亂、國際衝突的首要因素。造成這種局面的根本原因何在?就是源自於教育的問題。

  中國古代最早的教育論著《禮記.學記》有言:「建國君民,教學為先。」古時候的聖王建設國家、統治人民,是以教育為最優先、最重要的工作。中國的文字是智慧的符號,「教」字,《說文解字》說:「上所施,下所效也。」教字左邊兩個叉,下面一個孩子,是大人打一個叉,小孩自然效法模仿打第二個叉。這個字告訴我們上行下效,強調身教的重要。教有教訓、教令的意思。《尚書.舜典》說:「敬敷五教。」五教是指五倫、五常的教化。「育」字,《說文解字》解釋為:「養子使作善也。」育有養育、生育的意思,育德就是長養德行的意思。所以,教育就是通過宣揚倫理、道德、因果、聖賢的教化,來培養世人的德行。

  古代的教育,無論是家庭教育、學校教育、社會教育,還是宗教教育,都是教導人們要自利利他。然而,我們從這幾十年來的社會現象看到,呈現在我們眼前的都是教競爭、鬥爭,爭名爭利,只知道自利而不知道利他。所造成的結果,就如同二千三百年前中國戰國時代,孟子見梁惠王時所說的:「上下交征利,而國危矣。」如果舉國之人都只講利,而不講道義,那這個國家就危險了!由此可知,只知自利而不知道義、不知利他,縱使自私自利的行為得到了滿足,然而其結果是自己失去了安全感、精神生活陷入痛苦之中,甚至要付出更為慘痛的代價。

  今天我們在此地舉辦祭祖大典,重大的意義之一,是讓後世子孫體會和認識到我們老祖宗深遠的智慧。正是由於這種智慧,才造就了太平盛世,老祖宗所過的是幸福美滿的生活。

  回顧中國五千年的燦爛歷史,老祖宗留給後代子孫無與倫比、充滿智慧的教誨,其中有倫理、有道德,有聖哲的教育。從歷史的殷鑒之中,我們能夠看到,歷朝歷代,短則是幾十年,長一、二百年,在中國歷史上長治久安的局面比比皆是。這種安定和諧、宇清國安的太平盛世是從哪裡來的?正是從中華優秀傳統文化中的聖賢教育而來。

  中國五千年傳統文化教育的根是什麼?就是兩個字:孝和敬。儒家孔老夫子說:「夫孝,德之本也,教之所由生也。」道家《太上感應篇》說:「忠孝友悌。」佛教《觀無量壽佛經》說:「孝養父母,奉事師長。」三教聖人都教導世人要孝親尊師。「孝」是以父母為代表,父母對子女有養育之恩,「哀哀父母,生我劬勞」,為人子女者不能不恪盡孝道;「敬」是以老師為代表,父母給予我們生命,老師長養我們的慧命,給我們智慧,所謂是師徒如父子,學生對老師的恭敬等同於對父母的孝敬。千百年來,中國孝、敬這兩個根的確是根深蒂固,由此維繫了幾千年的安定和諧、長治久安。

  今天我們要把中國傳統的教育找回來,最直接的辦法是辦補習班,仿照台中李炳南老居士「國文補習班」的方式,真正能夠培養出繼承文化道統的聖賢人才。同時,還希望能夠建立中華傳統文化實驗特區,把五千年傳統文化落實在這個地區,實現教育免費、醫療免費,興辦老人樂園。在這個時代,一定要做出實驗,做成功了世人才會相信,沒有做出榜樣,大家不會相信。

  近代以來,由於戰亂和社會的動亂,中華傳統文化的祭祖中斷了不少年。我們感到恢復祭典對於復興文化和改善社會風氣的重要性,所以在這些年來,積極的提倡恢復清明、中元和冬至的祭祖大典,這是提倡孝道的根本。我們還希望能夠恢復祭孔,這是代表師道。雖有孝道的根,如果沒有師道也不可,老師的恩德與父母相等,只有恢復師道尊嚴,文化的承傳才會有希望。有了孝道和師道,才能培養出聖賢君子,成聖、成賢、成君子,這是中國好人的標準。什麼是好人?聖賢君子是好人。為什麼?他們以仁愛為本,知道愛自己、愛他人,而且知足常樂,為社會大眾做出最好的榜樣。我們希望通過提倡祭祖、恢復傳統文化聖賢教育,真正為國家民族培養出匡世救民的聖賢君子,真正為往聖繼絕學,為萬世開太平!

  值此祭祖大典舉辦之際,我們真誠祝福與會的各位嘉賓,身心康泰,吉祥如意!祝福世界各大宗教平等對待,和睦相處!祝福祖國和世界各國風調雨順,國泰民安,永享太平!謝謝大家。