Wednesday, 27/03/2019 19:30

Sangha tackles wrongdoings at pagoda, considers deposing head monk

Pham Thi Yen, who has given various lectures at Ba Vang Pagoda that contain ideas unsuitable to Buddhism and social morality. Photo taken from clip by Lao Dong newspapper
Viet Nam News

HA NOI — The Viet Nam Central Buddhist Sangha yesterday announced that various activities that had taken place at Ba Vang Pagoda in Uong Bi City, Quang Ninh Province, including necromancy and paying real money to dead souls to ward off bad luck had no place in traditional Buddhist teachings.

The Sangha blamed Venerable Monk Thich Truc Thai Minh, head monk of Ba Vang Pagoda, for letting Pham Thi Yen host talks containing ideas unsuitable to Buddhism and social morality.

The head monk was responsible for these issues and all such activities should be stopped, according to the Sangha.

The activities were first reported by the Lao Dong newspaper last week.

“Venerable Monk Thich Truc Thai Minh violated regulations set by the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, harming the reputation of the Sangha and its monks,” the Sangha concluded in the announcement.

Monk Minh will have to wait to see if he is stripped of his titles according to regulations, and the Sangha has asked him for an official apology.

 Follower Yen has been banned from teaching in the pagoda and fined VND5 million (US$217) for violating cultural regulations.

Agencies are also examining whether Yen violated other State regulations and benefitted from religious activities.

Chairman of the Uong Bi City’s People’s Committee Nguyen Manh Ha confirmed that according to the local Buddhist Sangha’s Management Committee, Monk Minh was responsible for all wrongdoings that took place at the pagoda.

The Sangha spoke out against activities that took advantage of  Buddhist beliefs to gain a profit.

On March 23, the Uong Bi People’s Committee sent official documents to ask the head monk of the pagoda to stop all activities that were not included on a list of religious activities permitted by local agencies in 2019.

Ba Vang Pagoda, which was recognised as a provincial Culture History Relic and Landscape in 2007, is a popular destination for tourists and Buddhists.

The pagoda was upgraded in 1988 and 1993, and completely rebuilt thanks to private donations in 2007. — VNS



Venerable Monk Thich Truc Thai Minh, head monk of Ba Vang Pagoda in Quang Ninh Province, is being held responsible for all wrongdoings at the pagoda. Photo taken from youtube

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