2017 National Prayer Breakfast
Below is the transcript of Vajra Master Jinke Xuanlei’s speech at 2017 National Prayer Breakfast (English version):
Today, we are all gathered here on this auspicious occasion, united by our shared aspirations and yearnings for world peace, and our common concern for the future destiny of mankind, even though we hail from different countries, speak different languages, and embrace different beliefs. This gathering has filled our hearts with immense joy from Dharma.
Over 2,500 years ago, the Buddha established the Buddhist teachings in order to free all living beings from sufferings and afflictions. Buddhism ignited a beacon of wisdom and great love for humanity and added glorious chapters to the history of cultural exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations. The Buddha-Dharma is all-encompassing - it includes both worldly laws and the path to attain enlightenment, with the latter as its true purpose. It has elucidated the true reality of the universe and of life and pointed out the direction for us to overcome superstition, delusions, attachments, and prejudices. The Buddha-Dharma is the perfect wisdom, the quintessence of an extraordinary awakened mind, the suchness of the universe, the spiritual realization of all dharma, and the way to enlightenment.
Jesus had also devoted his life in teaching mankind the meanings of unconditional love, peace, and reconciliation. His dedication to bringing salvation to mankind through self-sacrifice was an extraordinary inspiration. He taught people to “love your family, friends and even your enemy” and emphasized that those who repented and mended their ways would be blessed with happiness and immortality. He brought to people God’s messages and showed them the path to heaven.
Having accompanied humankind in its development for millennia, religions have great vitality. Whatever religion it is, the fundamental doctrines are based on pure and good intentions that teach people to act in kind, believe in cause and effect, and advocate for peace. If we focus on the commonalities of different religions, conflicts will not arise due to differences in our founders and there will be no suppression of one doctrine by another. Instead, there will be mutual respect, understanding, and trust, leading to harmonious coexistence. Without tolerance for each other, our world will be forever in turmoil and our society will never be able to maintain peace and stability. Freedom of religious beliefs will never be truly realized; the moral and spiritual civilization of humanity will never be pure and advanced.
In today’s world, three-quarters of the world’s population have faith in a myriad of religions. If all of the people with faith can open their hearts to practice tolerance, mutual respect, solidarity, and friendliness, it will certainly play a pivotal role in world peace. In the interest of a bright future for humanity, we must light up the beacon of selflessness, dedication, compassion, and tolerance in our heart, and take wisdom and virtues as the guiding light to dispel the darkness of ignorance.
At present, the crises that the world faces are not financial ones, or those of shortages of food or clothing. Rather, they are crises of morality, of beliefs, and even worse, of war. In the vast, boundless universe, our Earth is like a speck of dust. All who live on this Earth are members of the same family. We should work together to eliminate hatred and hostility, to love and be kind to each other, and coexist in harmony.
Today, let us solemnly pray together:
May the people from different countries, ethnicities, and religions unite together in calling for peace, spreading the concept of peace, and sowing the seeds of peace around the world. We shall unite together to resist war, stop all violence, protect the ecological system and end poverty! World leaders and spiritual mentors of the 21st century, you all have descended on this Earth from heaven with a mission, as envoys of peace filled with great compassion and love. I look forward to seeing you promoting the development of human civilization, guiding mankind into a selfless world of great harmony and love, uniting humanity to build a spiritual civilization of shared destiny, and creating a happy and beautiful world of bliss for all!
Let the boundless love of our heart spread to every corner of the world. May there be no more hatred or hostility. May all sentient beings rejoice in the goodwill that has been brought forth by this love we share!
May peace always prevail in this world!