When Buddhism spreads to Vietnam, the Dharma, adapting to the times and the capacities of the people, consists of two traditions, the Northern and the Southern. The Southern tradition (Theravada) emphasizes everyday practical realities and swift self-emancipation, leading to the fruits of the Arahats or Pratyeka Buddhas. The Northern tradition (Mahayana, or Great Vehicle) teaches all-encompassing truths and stresses the goal of liberating all sentient beings, leading to the complete Enlightenment of the Tathagatas. With both traditions now existing in Vietnam, we can explain how Buddhism came to Vietnam.
Vietnam has a population of about 25 million inhabitants, a fifth of which is imposed of mountain tribes. It is believed that of the rest at least three fourths, that is to say 15 million are "cool or warm Buddhists," according to a very accurate term of a French author - the reason is that the "Light of Asia" spread over the country in the very early days, from the beginning of the second century of the Christian era
Evolution of architecture - A pagoda (from tamioul, pagoda, and from Sanskrit, bhagavat) is a building consecrated to the cult of Buddha, also an abode for monks. It comes from the Indian stupa. According to Thuy Kinh Chu, Indian King Asoka made people build at Luy Lau (in ancient Bac Ninh province) a stupa, which was considered the most ancient religious building on Vietnamese soil (3rd B.C.).
Buddhism is a predominant religion in Vietnam. While in this country Buddhism is no longer a state religion, ninety per cent of Vietnamese remain Buddhists. Pagodas abound here from the Gate of Nam Quan to the Cape of Ca Mau.
Is there a literary current of Buddhist inspiration specifically Vietnamese? What are the criteria to differentiate them from the other currents? There has not been unanimity of views on this question among Vietnamese researchers although they agreed that a section of Vietnamese literature, particularly under the Ly and Tran (Xth - XIVth century), has a distinctly Buddhist imprint.
Buddhist egology concurs with the Husserlian claim that the empirical ego is 'constituted'. The Buddhist 'deconstruction' of the ego will not, however, pace Husserl, permit the pronoun 'I' to refer to a purported extra-linguistic entity. The insights here distilled from the unique mode of self-reference functional within the Vietnamese language secure for us an unmistakable confirmation of the Buddhist thesis and have profound consequences for the philosophical problems surrounding the existence and nature of the self and the existence of other minds.
Before considering the Zen-Pure Land union as introduced to Vietnam through the Thảo Đường school, let us survey the Vietnamese Buddhist scene from the Ddinh (969-981) to Tran (1225-1400) dynasties when Buddhism developed from a national religion to a nationalist religion before merging with aspects of Taoist and Confucian beliefs characteristic of the unification of the three religions following the decline of Buddhist influence in the Late Trän dynasty.
In May 1967, a young South Vietnamese Buddhist woman named Nhat Chi Mai penned a series of letters to the combatants in her homeland and the president of the United States and then immolated herself in an attempt to stop the conflict in her nation.
Introduction : Dr. Robert Topmiller is a teacher at the University of Eastern Kentucky and an historical researcher. Giac Ngo Readers has known him in 1996, when he came to VN to collect material for his doctoral thesis " Lotus unleashed, The Buddhist Pease Movement in South Vietnam 1964-1966". Finally, his research has been completed and been submitted successfully receiving destictions for his work. This interview was made in Vietnam while we recently toured collecting information towards a further publication on the Buddhist Nuns and their contribution to the Peace Movement.
Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường, nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.
May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland, Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below, may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma, the Land of Ultimate Bliss.