Talk:Buddhism in Vietnam
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Thought I'd get a discussion page going since I added some potential categories to the page. While I'm not Vietnamese myself, I do attend a Pure Land pagoda and have followed the news about religious freedom in Vietnam. It seems to me that the pagoda is an important way that the Vietnamese culture is preserved for expatriates, and info about that might be a good thing to add here. Nightngle 13:42, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
please see the discussion on religion i just added to (the top of the page) on the talk: vietnam page at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Vietnam
when i stumbled onto this page and saw what someone wrote in the top it confirmed what i thought: that the figures for buddhist followers were so low simply because the government might only consider buddhists to be the relatively small number of "practicing buddhists", disregarding the huge numbers who don't strictly follow all rites but are influenced by buddhism or visit temples.
then again i could be wrong..
does anyone have any good sources? please contribute to the discussion, this is something im very confused on.Justakemeout 18:48, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
- You're right, according to official censuses, a huge majority of Vietnamese are atheists (about 88%). However, that number is likely an underestimate since most people in Vietnam are Confucian and Buddhist even if they don't follow all the rites. DHN 19:19, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
This article ignores the Theravada Buddhism still practiced till todate by the Khmer Krom minority in southern Viertnam. Historically at some point they were the majority in South Vietnam, hence Theravada Buddism was a dominant religion in Southern Vietnam from a historical point of view too. Taprobanus 19:35, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
- Thank you for this observation, because no one "owns" this article, if you are knowledgeable about this topic, please add the appropriate section and any information or sources you have about it. Nightngle 13:44, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
"Some scholars argue that Zen (Thiền) in Vietnam is an invented tradition and that the Zen schools have played more of an elite rhetorical role than a role of practice."
Although it may be true to a certain extent that Thiền in Vietnam were and is still an intellectual rethorics, nonetheless the Thiền practices, which are the true essence, existed and sustained till today. The kings of Tran, per example, were well known practitioners, to which their recorded actions and by the way they ran the country could reveal of the extent of the practical nature of Thiền during those times.
It is also true that the "Thiền Uyển Tập Anh" is discontinuous in many places, making it a rather unreliable source by itself, but the critiques made on this text and its easy acceptance were not intended to, nor does it refute the history and the bigger role of Thiền in Vietnam. There are abundances of other evidences ranging from archeological to textual works that proves otherwise.
In all, I find that the quoted statement above is somewhat misinformed, and could potentially misleading, especially to unwary readers looking to understand a little background of Vietnamese Buddhism.
In looking at the culture aspect, I could find Buddhist ideals in every places. The karmic concept of cause and effect, to the moral guide lines, to filial piety, to Confucianism, Daoism, to etc. Buddhism is as much of acceptance as it is of coexisting. And as such there is no discrimination amongst those who are deemed to be more or less of a practitioner than others. We all know that there are a vast many levels of understanding and practicing Buddhism, according to circumstances, and we cannot expect everyone to uphold strict single standard to be deemed a Buddhist. Thus, there is much truth in saying that the majority of Vietnamese is Buddhism.
It took the Buddha many decades to build the sangha. It took many more years still for his teachings to saturate India. Vietnam have only recently stabilizing from the chaos of a major war that followed a hundred years of foreign domination. It is wonderful that the many Buddhist institution still remain strongly today. This is also a sign that Buddhism is deeply rooted in the country. Also hopeful is the growing renewed interest in modernized Buddhism in the country.
I am perplexed at how many Vietnamese here in the states devalue their own people and culture, not realizing the many qualities there existed. There's even a subtle tone of this in the main article, on how the role of religion is perceived.
These are some of my thoughts, and reactions after reading this article. What do we all feel about this. I would like to hear your thoughts, if possible. -HTK (talk) 10:32, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
- Yes, the same is often expressed with regard to Chinese Buddhism. Because some people see that the temples have ceremonies related to merit and so forth, they assume that this is all Buddhism is in the country. However, they rarely speak the language or talk to people who are Buddhists there. In China, I was surprised at how people were familiar with even the various historical translations (and even the dates of translation) of the Avatamsaka Sutra, for example. After I came to know some Buddhists there, I found that they all knew how to meditate, and recited mantras often. From what I gather, the Buddhism in Vietnam is similar, where the outside form consists of ceremonies and ritual, but monks and laypeople still do direct sutra study and meditation in private. From the Vietnamese sources I have read, it seems that the monks do have a good grasp of the sutras and the basic gist of Mahayana Buddhism. The article does seem at times to be very elitist, ignorant, and skewed toward a view that deprecates Mahayana in favor of Theravada. Tengu800 (talk) 22:00, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
As a Buddhist, I take issue with Western scholars imposing denominations upon Buddhism as if our history were comparable to Christianity's. In this article, I take issue with the contradiction between the first sentence in the Mahāyāna section - which talks about how Vietnamese practice incorporates many Buddhist practices without distinguishing sects - and the Vietnamese Buddhist abroad section which specifically says Vietnamese is the least popular. Vietnamese Buddhists do not distinguish by belief, only by the language spoken. I'm clarifying in edits now. UrbanHaiku (talk) 18:28, 2 November 2011 (UTC)UrbanHaiku