Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Are there many Buddhists in Fiji?

from w
The Dalai Lama is visiting Australia at present and was in our city yesterday speaking at two meetings - one in the Arena, the other at the Buddhist temple not far from town. He put on a sun viser when the sun got in his eyes at one of the meetings. I didn't go this time, but last time he came to Geelong I joined the thousands who saw the Dalai Lama when the ceremony was held at the Geelong Football Stadium. A very simple but impressive experience.

Some of the things he said this trip certainly sounded like universal principles that could well apply to a small nation like Fiji. Are there Buddhists in Fiji?

The above photo is of the Dalai Lama blessing a little girl who is the daughter of one of my writing friends.

Some excerpts from the local paper:

The Dalai Lama told people that inner values counted most for humans.
``Inner values, sense of community, sense of responsibility, sense of affection, sense of concern for the rest of society,'' His Holiness said.
``Human compassion brings us together.''
Compassionate minds were more balanced minds and helped people live healthier lives with stronger immune systems.
``Some scientists even say hatred is eating our immune systems,'' the Dalai Lama said.
``Wherever I go I'm always telling people that in order to be happy _ happy person, happy family, peaceful society _ that they should pay more attention to inner values.''
His Holiness endorsed religious harmony through understanding.
``All of the major traditions have some potential to help humanity become more compassionate, with more loving kindness, so there is common ground,'' he said.
``Therefore it is very important to think of differences in the philosophical field.''
Many faiths were different but with the same aim. Like medicine they suited different purposes for different people and during his journey of the past few decades he had acknowledged and embraced them.
``Some Christians consider me a good Christian,'' he said.
``Some Muslims consider me a good Muslim.''


Wilson said...

Yes!! :D

I heard there's a buddhist temple opposite USP, in the road that starts beside Fattys Shop. Its on the top floor of a 3 story house.

So there are buddhists here...albit korean ones.

One of my closest friends from primary school was a buddhist. He was a sri lankan :)

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I do like the variety of religious experience, the cultural differences. A little bit of Buddhism certainly would be nice at the camp in Nabua eh?

mayvelous said...

No proper Buddhist temple in Suva yet. The temple Wilson mention is Tao temple which is a branch of two main streams of Buddhism. I'm of Theravara stream which mainly practice in South East Asia. Those of East Asian, Chinese, Tibet, Korean, Japanese follows Maharyana stream. (the spellings might be wrong) Taoism branched from Maharyana Buddhism.

Anyways, yes, there are Buddhists in Fiji though they are very few.

Anonymous said...

Thats interesting, what is the predominant religions in Fiji? Christian and Muslim?

Mark Bowness

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Mark, most Fijians are Methodist Christian and there are some Indian Christians. Then there are Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. Maybe a small group of Bahai and others.
There's not much happening though in interfaith dialogue. ECREA does a good job about religion and society, etc. By the way the Methodist leaders have set the cat among the pidgeons now with their recent statement to the Interim Admin. military.

Anonymous said...

Interesting mix. I got to meet the Minister on Mali, really nice guy, I think his name is Marika too. The tribe members also loved the Diwali celebrations.

Mark Bowness

Mike said...

Are there any small groups practicing Zen meditation in Suva?

Anonymous said...

[quote] mayvelous said...

Taoism branched from Maharyana Buddhism. [unquote]

Totally incorrect, Mayvelous. Taoism did not branch from Buddhism. Lao Zi, considered to be the founder of Daoism/Taoism, was contemporary with Buddha Shakyamuni. Buddhism & Daoism have existed beside each other in China for centuries & each has influenced the other.