Ven. Master Sheng Yen Initiates New Six Ethics Campaign for Social Harmony and Peace
On the afternoon of 30 June, 2007, Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM/Fagushan) hosted a seminar at the Grand Hotel, Taipei City to launch Venerable Master Sheng Yen's new campaign on the Six Ethics to increase public awareness of the significance of ethical values in achieving peace and harmony in society.
Among the attendees of the two-hour seminar held by Ven. Master Sheng Yen were former president of the Control Yuan, Dr. Fredrick Chien (Fu Chien), former president of Acer Inc., Mr. Stan Shih (Chenglung Shih), former president of National Tsing Hua University, Dr. Chunglaung Liu, and president of the TSMC Education and Culture Foundation, Mrs. Shufeng Chang. All displayed unwavering support for the Master's aspirations to enlighten the public on the significance of ethics and moralities in life.
In a display of government support, the Premier of the Executive Yuan, Chun-Hsiung Chang, delivered the opening remarks of the seminar. He praised Ven. Master Sheng Yen's tireless and important efforts in purifying minds and promoting ethical values in Taiwan.
The Premier said that although economic success was regarded as the most important achievement in the past decade, it is an imperative for all Taiwanese to now work towards the realization of ethics and moralities in society.
Ven. Master Sheng Yen has long advocated the importance of ethics in family life as well as daily living, education, environmental protection, enterprise management and ethnic interaction. He stressed that these ethical values are not outdated but worth much stronger emphasis.
The six ethics are: Family Ethics, Living Ethics, Campus Ethics, Enterprise Ethics, Environmental Ethics and Ethnic Ethics. They are based upon DDM's vision of 'uplifting the character of humanity and building a pure land on Earth' to bring peace and harmony to society.
The Master said that 'ethics' and 'moralities' should all be treated as one, emphasizing that these ethics in society can only be realized through concrete moral practice. He further stated that a full realization of these ethics will derive from individual actions motivated by the want for public good.
Six Ethics: For a Peaceful and Harmonious Society
The family is a basic unit of society. A peaceful and harmonious family built upon 'Family Ethics' is the most fundamental component of a peaceful modern society.
Ven. Master Sheng Yen believes that selflessness should be the primary value for every member of the family as opposed to self-interest. Children should show piety toward their parents, while parents should give boundless love and care for their children in return. In addition, such values of piety and generosity should also be practiced by people in marriage and sibling relationships.
The 'Enterprise Ethics' establish the idea of partnership among clients, workforce, consumers and managers alike. The Master noted that successful stories of many entrepreneurs indicated that 'selflessness' is the key to a profitable business.
However, as former president of Acer Inc., Stan Shih asserted, "(although) selfishness is human nature…only through benefiting others can one benefit oneself."
Shih encouraged all managers to ask themselves questions such as how one can contribute to society and what sort of value can one bring to society, before attempting to profit from business dealings.
There has been increasing complaints about the breakdown of 'Campus Ethics' where teachers diverge over appropriate methods of teaching leaving students dissatisfied by its quality. As a result, parents lose confidence in the education system.
It is the purpose of campus ethics to rebuild constructive interactions between members of the education system. The Master maintained that if respect is constantly upheld, teachers, parents, and students would all be mutually rewarded in the end.
The Earth is unique and it is the Master's philosophy regarding 'Environmental Ethics' that it is our sacred responsibility to conserve the rich ecology and ensure the sustainability of resources.
'Living Ethics' compliments environmental ethics and focuses on economizing resource-consumption which is vital in the practice of environmental ethics.
'Ethnic Ethics' strives to construct a society where people readily demonstrate tolerance and respect towards those who are different in terms of religion, race, culture, ideology, political views or language.
Taiwan is originally a multicultural society, and that the number of immigrants and their children are increasing. Ven. Master Sheng Yen asserted the spirit of tolerance and respect is essential in order to ensure peace and harmony in this diverse society.
Selfishness, Hatred & Poverty: Sources of Chaos
Ven. Master Sheng Yen explained that from a Buddhist perspective the sources of chaos stem from selfishness which in turn nurtures greed, hatred and ignorance and that poverty is the absence of spiritual wealth.
Dr. Fu Chien also asserted that selfishness, hatred, and poverty are the causes of chaos in the 21st century. Prospects for the future seem dim as more young people aspire to be selfish millionaires and popular icons rather than to those who are selflessly devoted to humanitarian causes. Changing this mindset is the only cure to a brighter future.
Dr. Chunlaung Liu responded by stating that since social networks are more intricate than before, it is necessary to readdress ethical values in today's society, especially when managing relationships with other people.
Liu urged youths to properly manage interpersonal networks and to maintain a clear mind by immersing themselves in Buddhism for spiritual enrichment.
Mr. Morris Chang heralded tolerance as an indispensable element to achieve social harmony in modern society at the seminar. He encouraged people to regard happiness as the ultimate goal in life and recognize the importance of these ethical values. Without these values, neither the current nor future generations can be happy.
Ven. Master Sheng Yen and other honorable guests concluded the seminar expressing their sincere optimism about the Six Ethics campaign to the crowded audience.
(Reported by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)