|An aerial view of the spring festival held at Ba Vàng Pagoda earlier this year. — VNA/VNS File Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha has received a report from its managing committee in Quảng Ninh Province in which Venerable Monk Thích Đạo Hiển, deputy director of the committee, wrote, “necromancy and receiving payments for sins committed in a past life have been happening at Ba Vàng Pagoda for a long time”.
On August 26, 2015, the Quảng Ninh Province’s Buddhist Sangha Managing Committee sent Document No 125/CV-BTS to the standing committee of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha and the Central Religious Affairs Department (Ban Tăng Sự Trung Ương) to ask for guidance in dealing with the matters at the pagoda, the report says.
The committee sent the same document to Quảng Ninh authorities to ask for co-ordination to solve the matters.
During its regular meetings with local authorities, committee members have more than once reminded Venerable Monk Thích Trúc Thái Minh, head of Ba Vàng Pagoda, to apply proper Buddhist teachings and follow regulations set by the Sangha and Việt Nam’s laws.
"Yet the same activities have continued to be organised at Ba Vàng Pagoda,” Venerable Monk Hiển said in the report. “Some people even held that members of the committee have envied Ba Vàng Pagoda for its success.”
A few days ago, Most Venerable Thích Đức Thiện, deputy chairman, General Secretary of Managing Committee of Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha, asked the provincial Sangha committee to meet urgently with Minh, the head of Ba Vàng Pagoda, to clarify the situation. Thiện said that if the media reports were correct, he should be fined seriously.
Today, the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha will gather to review the situation.
Concerned agencies in the province have stopped the operation of websites managed by Ba Vàng Pagoda because they do not have proper permission. The sites include chuabavang.com.vn, thaythichtructhaiminh.com, phamthiyen.com.
The sites have not been registered to use international domain names and have not been permitted as information sites.
Chuabavang.com.vn has acted as a comprehensive information site but has not been granted permission by the Ministry of Information and Communications. The same holds true for the other two sites, which also used international domain names.
On Saturday, Quảng Ninh Province’s Information and Communications Department asked the pagoda to submit the necessary documents to apply for permission for the sites.
The sites will resume operation when they have proper permissions, according to the department.
The Uông Bí People’s Committee has also sent official documents to ask the head monk of the pagoda to stop activities that are not on the list of religious activities permitted by concerned local agencies in 2019.
The unlisted activities include necromancy ceremonies and teachings by Buddhists Phạm Thị Yến and Tâm Chiếu Hoàn Quán.
The local authorities have asked the pagoda to manage lectures by monks and Buddhists published on the pagoda’s websites as well as strictly follow Buddhist teachings, State laws and regulations to ensure security and order.
Concerned agencies in Quảng Ninh are sparing no effort to clarify what the media has reported.
Last week, clips and articles published in Lao Động (Labour) newspaper and on its website showed the pagoda has hosted necromancy events and received payments for sins in past lives.
Some lectures published on the pagoda’s websites and social media have shown wrong ideology, which is unsuitable to Buddhist principles and social morality, causing concerns by public. — VNS