What kind of organization is the Buddha's Light International Association? Is it a religious group? Cultural institutions? Education group? Or a charity?
What is its core idea? What is Humanistic Buddhism all about as promoted by Master Hsing Yun?
Today, The five Bhikkhuni will be representing Buddha's Light International Association to answer all the above questions at the Equality forum of the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
They are consist of Buddha's Light International Association's General Secretary, Venerable Jue Pei, Deputy Secretary of Canada, Venerable Yong Gu, Deputy Secretary of Europe, Venerable Man Qian, Deputy Secretary of Asia, Venerable Jue Cheng and Deputy Secrety of South Africa, Venerable Jue Kai. On March 15th, they will be at the the New York City Event Center venue of the United Nations Headquarters to present at the "Empowering Women and Girls: Arts, Culture and Social Change" Seminar. They will talk about how Master Hsing Yun propagates Buddhist teachings, education, culture and charity events through the establishment of Buddha's Light International Association. Also, they will show how the concept of equality, equal rights, harmony, and peace as emphasized by Master Hsing Yun has been brought out through that various activities that have been implemented.
Since 2003, Buddha's Light International Association officially became the member of United Nation's Non-Governmental Organization. This is the very first time that Buddha's Light International Association represented by five Bhikkhuni presenting Buddhism on the international stage at the Annual meeting Equality forum of the Commission on the Status of Women.
More than 200 non-governmental organization representatives from different countries and sectors attended this forum and interacted with the Venerables on site. The reaction is very inspiring.
Venerable Jue Pei was the first to speak with the representatives and said that Buddha's Light International Association is an organization that emphasizes on the equality of all living beings. While everyone are enjoying the benefits of technology and globalization, Buddha's Light International Association has not neglected the social issues such as gender inequality, racial discrimination and poverty.
She also said that Equality is the main core concept of Buddhism. In order to achieve equality, Buddha's Light International Association will put a lot of effort to overcome the serious issues.
She stated the Buddha's Light International Association provides assistance to places in need around the world through humanitarian aid. It emphasizes on long term assistance, ensuring the children in poor areas have access to education and is also committed to solving the problems faced by women and children.
She emphasized the founder of Buddha's Light International Association, Master Hsing Yun, is not only a religious teacher, but also an educator and practitioner. He is devoted to Buddhism. Buddhism that embraces life, solves life and death, and fulfills life. "The equality he advocates not only respects cultural differences and different beliefs but also cultivates self-confidence through encouraging one to develop his own talents with each individual's talents thereby allowing everyone to realize the value of life."
Venerable Jue Pei said, "Every speaker represented today is a woman. We each continue to promote the concept of Humanistic Buddhism in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe. In our hearts, the mission of peace should be irrespective of sex. We must implement the idea of equality. Women should bravely realize their dreams, and then undoubtedly tell other female friends: Yes, I can!"
The other speaker, Venerable Yong Gu introduced Buddha's Light International Association to the participants and gave an overview of Buddha's Light International Association's rescue activities that took place in various countries such as Africa, Paraguay, India, Nepal, the Philippines, and Myanmar.
She said, as Master Hsing Yun have said: "Education is the ultimate charity, and education alone can change the fate of humanity. Therefore, the Buddha's Light International Association is actually an "educator."
Venerable Jue Cheng from Asia introduced Master Hsing Yun and his ideas. She said that Master Hsing Yun advocates equality and equal rights, harmony and peace, respect and tolerance. She said that if the world can practice these ideas, the world will become a better world.
The Venerable Man Qian from Europe talked about "Humanistic Buddhism." She said that Humanistic Buddhism values the implementation of Dharma in life and allows others to benefit from it. In addition, she also explained the core values of the Buddha's Light International Association and the importance of education.
Lastly, Venerable Jue Kai from Africa brought four girls from Nan Hua Performing arts academy to do a live performance and explained to the participants the origin of the Tianlong team.
The enthusiastic performances of the four girls won warm applause from the attendees. While enjoying the performances, the attendees also listened to stories about how the encounter with the Buddha's Light International Association have changed their lives which touched everybody who attended.