FGS News

30 Lost Relics Donated to NCHA, Marking the Largest-Scale Donation of Buddhist Relics from Taiwan in Recent Years

Albert lin March 26, 2024 Taiwanese Buddhists have verified that a batch of Buddhist relics scattered overseas belong to ancient temples in Shanxi Province, China. With efforts from various sectors, a total of 30 colored sculptures dating from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) have successfully returned. On March 25th, these relics were donated by the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua, at a ceremony held in Beijing, to the National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA). This donation ceremony, held at the National Museum of China (NMC) on Monday, marks the largest-scale donation of Buddhist relics from Taiwan in recent years. Li Qun, head of the NCHA, presented a certificate of appreciation, which was accepted by Most Venerable Hsin Bao. photo/ Chiris Chang The donation ceremony was held at the National Museum of China (NMC), with 12 distinguished guests presiding over the opening ceremony, including Song Tao, head of both the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council; Sun Yeli, minister of Ministry of Culture and Tourism (China); Li Qun, head of the NCHA; Pan Xianzhang, deputy director of Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council; Liu Yuzhu, head of the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation; Venerable Yen Jue, Preisdent of the Buddhist Association of China; Most Venerable Hsin Bao, head abbot of Fo Guang Shan Monastery; Dharma Master Hsin Tao, founder of Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society; Venerable Tzu Jung, Acting President of Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA) World Headquarters; Dr. Charles Kao, founder of Global Views - Commonwealth Publishing Group; Venerable Shou Yu, the founding abbot of Ten-Direction Buddhist Community; John Wu, Legal Affairs Officer of BLIA World Headquarters. Song Tao met with Most Venerable Hsin Bao. photo/ Chiris Chang In order to express gratitude to the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua, Li Qun, head of the NCHA, presented a certificate of appreciation during the donation ceremony, which was accepted by Most Venerable Hsin Bao on behalf of the association. Song Tao also met with representatives of the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua after the donation ceremony. The United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua, pointed out that this batch of Buddhist colored sculptures consists of a total of 30 pieces, including 9 Buddha seated statues, 1 Buddha Nirvana statue, 5 Bodhisattva standing statues, 3 Buddha disciple statues, and 12 head statues of Arhats, Wei Tuo, Bodhisattvas, and Buddha disciples. These artworks fully utilize realistic, abstract, and exaggerated artistic techniques, presenting traditional Chinese art. They are almost identical to the colored sculptures in Xiaoxitian, Xixian County, Shanxi Province, in terms of subject matter, sculpture techniques, painting styles, and stylistic features, even the state of weathering. The United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua, stated that the purpose of this donation of relics is to promote consensus on the protection of precious cultural relics across the Taiwan Strait. Song Tao met with representatives of the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua after the donation ceremony. photo/ Chiris Chang John Wu, representing the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua, delivered a speech, stating that "cross-strait peace" and "revitalizing Buddhism" were the two most concerning matters for Venerable Master Hsing Yun, founder of Fo Guang Shan Monastery, in his later years. He emphasized that this Buddhist cultural relics donation is not only about the exchange of art and artifacts between the two sides of the strait and the Buddhist community, but also about a deep exchange of emotions and spiritual civilization. He expressed hope for closer interaction and communication across the strait, accumulating mutual trust and goodwill, and promoting the compassion and wisdom of the Buddha. This, he emphasized, represents the highest realm and greatest contribution of Buddhist cultural relics donation. Head statues of Arhats. sphoto/ Chiris Chang Most Venerable Hsin Bao, head abbot of Fo Guang Shan Monastery, stated in his speech that in March 2016, Venerable Master Hsing Yun returned the Northern Qi dynasty's Buddha head to Beijing, and the "Universal Shining of Buddha’s Light: the Sacred Reunion - Presentation Ceremony of the Buddha’s Head Statue to Youju Temple" donation ceremony took place at the National Museum of China. At that time, Venerable Master Hsing Yun said, "There will be many more antiques and cultural relics returned in the future." Now, on the anniversary of Venerable Master Hsing Yun's passing, the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua, has fulfilled Venerable Master Hsing Yun's promise, demonstrating the spirit of "learning from the past to create the future" in Taiwan's Buddhist community. Most Venerable Hsin Bao pointed out that the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua, dispatched 200 people to escort the 30 lost relics back to the mainland. This not only allows Buddhist relics to return to their roots but also hopes to bring an opportunity for peace, harmony, and unity across the Taiwan Strait. It is prayed that the compassion of the Buddha enlightens all directions, illuminates the universe, and protects all beings. It is also hoped that the exchanges and interactions between the two sides can realize the wish of Venerable Master Hsing Yun for "Oneness and Coexistence" across the strait. Buddha seated statues. photo/ Chiris Chang Sun Yeli, Minister of Culture and Tourism (China), stated in his speech that eight years ago, Venerable Master Hsing Yun escorted the Northern Qi Buddha head, which had been lost overseas for 20 years, back to its homeland, setting a precedent for cross-strait cooperation in protecting Chinese culture. Now, once again, cooperation across the strait has enabled the return of 30 lost relics. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism will conduct research and organize exhibitions to allow the public to share in the achievements of cultural heritage protection. Relics donated by United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua. photo/ Chiris Chang Song Tao expressed that the outstanding traditional Chinese culture is the spiritual root and belonging of compatriots on both sides of the strait. Eight years ago, when Venerable Master Hsing Yun donated the head of the Shakyamuni Buddha from the Northern Qi period to the NCHA free of charge, it was a major event in cultural exchange at that time. Now, precious cultural relics collected by compatriots from Taiwan have been donated to the NCHA through the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua, once again writing a touching chapter. Song Tao said, "the magnificent Chinese culture is our common foundation, pride, wealth, and soul," and he hopes that both sides of the strait will continue to strengthen cultural exchanges and work together to protect Chinese cultural relics and heritage. Bodhisattva standing statues. photo/ Chiris Chang


Toronto Buddha’s Light Scouts Launch Winter Clothing Drive for Diabetes Research Support

FGS Toronto January 31, 2024 In a bid to provide warmth to those in need and support Diabetes Canada, the Toronto Buddha’s Light Scouts have initiated a winter clothing drive. The "Three Acts of Goodness, Four Givings Clothing Dive " running from January 13th to 21st, calls on BLIA Toronto Chapter members and community residents to participate. The clothing drive achieved significant success, coordinated by the Venture Scouts, collecting 8 large boxes of clothing. This collective effort symbolizes the repurposing of quality garments for a noble cause. Despite facing the coldest week of the winter season, BLIA members demonstrated unwavering commitment by generously donating unused yet well-maintained clothing. Collection boxes, stationed beside the main gate, quickly filled with clothes, hats, shoes, handbags, and suitcases, highlighting the community's compassion and solidarity. Despite frigid temperatures, the Toronto Buddha’s Light Scouts remained dedicated to organizing the donated clothing. Their unwavering commitment highlights the collective effort to make a meaningful impact within the community. photo/FGS Toronto Undeterred by temperatures plummeting to minus 20 degrees Celsius, the Venture Scouts dedicated two consecutive weekends to meticulously organizing the donated clothing. Even amidst exam pressures, the scouts remained steadfast in their commitment to social responsibility, seamlessly coordinating logistics and outreach efforts. Through their proactive engagement, the Buddha’s Light Scouts demonstrated the Scout spirit of embracing challenges and embodying the Buddha’s Light values of "Three Acts of Goodness, and Four Givings."  Beyond providing tangible support to the community, the winter clothing drive serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of compassion and unity.


Gratitude Abounds at TAG School’s Fall Closing Ceremony

Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple January 31, 2024 Hsi Lai Temple’s TAG School held its Fall closing ceremony with nearly 200 teachers, students, parents, and friends gathered together, Dec. 17th. Abbot of Hsi Lai Temple, Ven. Hui Dong, the superintendent Ven. Yi Shan, and Vice President Connie Yip of the BLIA Los Angeles Chapter shared in the excitement as many of the students were acknowledged for their remarkable progress, excellent performance, and perfect attendance. A Heartwarming “thanks” to the teaching staff. photo/Jonathan Thang Abbot Ven. Hui Dong expressed his heartfelt joy in witnessing all the students’ successful completion of the semester. He wished that their studies of the "Three Acts of Goodness" and "Four Givings" would continue to fuel and to inspire them in their future personal growth, and he encouraged each one to strive to become an outstanding individual. In an era marked by conflicts and animosity, the expansion of knowledge and of wisdom will help to elevate an inner awareness of peace that will benefit oneself and contribute to creating a more harmonious world. TAG School Guiding venerable – Ven. Hui Cheng expressed gratitude to all the parents for their continued support and extended deep appreciation to the diligent teachers, teaching assistants, and volunteers. This gratitude-filled gathering would surely propel everyone present to carry the "Three Acts of Goodness" back home and spread Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s aspiration to share Buddhism with others through education. Ven. Hui Cheng, TAG School's guiding venerable, extends gratitude to all the supportive parents, and dedicated teachers, teacher assistants, and children. photo/Jonathan Thang  


Cardinal Mario Gretch visiting FGS Mabuhay Temple

Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple January 31, 2024 On January 28, 2024, His Eminence, Cardinal Mario Gretch, visited the Fo Guang Shan (FGS) Mabuhay Temple in Manila, Philippines. This concludes his visit to the different churches as part of his trip to see the bishops, officials and lay people of the Catholic faith and in celebrating the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization. He was invited by Venerable Miao Jing when they met at a gathering in the Pope Pious XII Catholic Center, Manila. The Cardinal obliged a visit to the temple and said that his visit to the temple is a meaningful conclusion of his trip to the Philippines. The Cardinal obliged a visit to the temple and said that his visit to the temple is a meaningful conclusion of his trip to the Philippines. photo/FGS Mabuhay Temple Head Abbess of FGS Mabuhay Temple said that FGS mission directed by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (VMHY) focus on educational and cultural developments; which organized children camp, musical theater, language classes. VMHY’s one stroke calligraphy has raised fund for Good Seeds Scholarship in Guang Ming College (GMC) which has offered 10 years of free education in the Philippines. VMHY promoted respect and coexistence in interfaith relations, and many Buddhists are major in Catholicism and minor in Philippines. FGS advocating Three Acts of Goodness (TAG) and Four Givings as daily practices amid of universal value for betterment of humankind. Head Abbess introduced Venerable Master Hsing Yun who understood the importance of equality and entrusted female disciples to serve abroad. Head Abbess said she was grateful for the presence of his eminence as Vatican has also received FGS Head Abbott and Humanistic Buddhism delegation last year.

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