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Brazilian Senator Hoffmann Visits BMC


Brazilian Senator Hoffmann, member of the Federal Senate, Benjamin Miranda Tabak, and Representative of the Brazilian Embassy, Fabio Fanco and his wife visited the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Memorial Center on September 8th 2015. They were received by Venerable Miao Yuan, Chief Abbess of the Fo Guang Shan Monasteries in South America, Vice Abbess Venerable Jue Xuan, and Venerable Miao You from Zu Lai Temple in Brazil.

Hoffmann mentioned that the purpose of this trip was to more deeply understand the development of Taiwan’s educational system, economics, and more, as well as to seek cooperation between the two nations. She also stated her wish to visit one of the most representative Buddhist places in the world. With the recommendations of Taiwan’s ambassador in Brazil, Tsai Mang-Hung,  Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Memorial Center was chosen.

In the meeting with guests, Fo Guang Shan Monastery Abbot Venerable Hsin Pao indicated that Venerable Master Hsing Yun values the importance of education in nurturing talents. In Brazil, Fo Guang Shan Monastery has established the “Children of Zu Lai” project to aid the growth and development of future generations in the local community. Aside from providing education, a soccer club has also been established in order to cultivate the hopes and dreams of the children.

The Abbot told the visitors that “The Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Memorial Center was established in late 2011. It is serves to lead the world in remembrance of the Buddha’s merits and wisdom, and helps in self-realization of everyone’s own Buddha nature.” He also introduced the construction style of the buildings and the biggest Buddha statue in the world - the 108 meters high Fo Guang “Big Buddha.” The Abbot explained that inside the Main Hall is the Jade Buddha Shrine which houses the treasured Buddha’s tooth relic, and the Eight Pagodas on both sides of Great Path to Buddhahood symbolize Noble Eightfold Path. All designs not only symbolize, but also promote right views, right wisdom, and good deeds in Buddhism.

Abbot Hsin Pao also mentioned Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s propagation of the Four Givings, which is comprised of giving others joy, hope, confidence, and convenience, with the aim that all sentient beings, including ourselves, will benefit. The majority of South Americans believe in Catholicism, and since the Catholics enshrined Saint Mary, it is not very different from how Buddhist believe in Avalokitesvara Boddhisattva.

The guests attended joyfully throughout the whole tour and towards the Main Hall. As they walked into the Museum of Buddhist Festivals, they looked happily at the Maitreya Buddha which is positioned at the entrance; the visitors stated that Maitreya Buddha is reminiscent of Santa Claus. The visit of the Historical Museum of Fo Guang Shan gave insight to Master Hsing Yun’s contribution to Buddhism and the hardships he faced in leading both monastic and lay people in his quest to propagate Humanistic Buddhism world-wide.

Although she is from a Catholic country, Hoffmann indicated that she is interested in Buddhism, is a vegetarian, and had been to India to learn more about Buddhism. She realized that the Buddha was a human being too, showing that everyone can become enlighten and be a Buddha. She felt grateful too that she has gained a wonderful gift for her spiritual mind through this meaningful visit.

In the Historical Museum, Mrs. Fabio Fanco strongly felt Venerable Master’s presence and blessing as she stood in front of the wax figure of the Master Hsing Yun. Following her husband’s new position for three months, she used her Brazilian way to exclaim, “I love Taiwan!”

Translated by the BMC International Team

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