《Buddhism as an Education》

Venerable Master Chin Kung (淨空法師)

 

CHAPTER ONE  :   THE CAUSE OF OUR CHAOTIC WORLD

Today's societies in Taiwan and elsewhere in the   world are rather abnormal, a phenomenon that has   not been witnessed before either in the West or the   East. Some Westerners have predicted that the end   of the world will occur in 1999 and that Christ will return to earth for Judgement Day. Easterners have   also predicted impending disasters that are similar to    those predictions in the West,  the only difference   being the time frame, which is some twenty years   later. Some of these are ancient prophecies, which   we should not place too much importance on.   However, if we view our environment objectively, we    will realize that this worid is really in danger.

Environmental pollution has become a serious   problem and now humankind has finally begun to   understand the need for protecting our environment.   However, the problem of mental or spiritual pollution    is many times more serious than that of the environ ment. This is the source of worldly ills that not many    people realize. The Chinese have a saying, ''Education is most essential to establish a nation, train its    leaders and its people."(建國君民,教學為先)

For centuries, the Chinese   have always believed in the primacy of education, which is considered the foundation for a peaceful   and prosperous society. It provides the solution to a   myriad of social ills and leads the way to changing   one's suffering into happiness. Education has a   strong impact on the nation and its   people. Moreover, elementary school is the foundation, the basic   building block in an educational system.

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