Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Central Buddhist Sangha yesterday announced that various activities that had taken place at Ba Vàng Pagoda in Uông Bí City, Quảng Ninh Province, including necromancy and paying real money to dead souls to ward off bad luck had no place in traditional Buddhist teachings.
The Sangha blamed Venerable Monk Thích Trúc Thái Minh, head monk of Ba Vàng Pagoda, for letting Phạm Thị Yến host talks containing ideas unsuitable to Buddhism and social morality.
The head monk was responsible for these issues and all such activities should be stopped, according to the Sangha.
The activities were first reported by the Lao Động newspaper last week.
“Venerable Monk Thích Trúc Thái Minh violated regulations set by the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha, harming the reputation of the Sangha and its monks,” the Sangha concluded in the announcement.
Monk Minh will have to wait to see if he is stripped of his titles according to regulations, and the Sangha has asked him for an official apology.
Follower Yến has been banned from teaching in the pagoda and fined VNĐ5 million (US$217) for violating cultural regulations.
Agencies are also examining whether Yến violated other State regulations and benefitted from religious activities.
Chairman of the Uông Bí City’s People’s Committee Nguyễn Mạnh Hà confirmed that according to the local Buddhist Sangha’s Management Committee, Monk Minh was responsible for all wrongdoings that took place at the pagoda.
The Sangha spoke out against activities that took advantage of Buddhist beliefs to gain a profit.
On March 23, the Uông Bí People’s Committee sent official documents to ask the head monk of the pagoda to stop all activities that were not included on a list of religious activities permitted by local agencies in 2019.
Ba Vàng Pagoda, which was recognised as a provincial Culture History Relic and Landscape in 2007, is a popular destination for tourists and Buddhists.
The pagoda was upgraded in 1988 and 1993, and completely rebuilt thanks to private donations in 2007. — VNS