Oct 22, 2021 / 16:52

State President pays tribute to Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue

The 105-year-old most venerable dedicated his entire life to Buddhism since he joined a Buddhist temple at the age of 6.

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc today [Oct 22] paid respect to Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, Supreme Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), who passed away at age of 105.

 Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc pays tribute to the Most Venerable on Oct 22. Photos: VNA

Other senior officials of the State, the Government, and Hanoi also joined the delegation to the funeral held at Vien Minh Pagoda in Quang Lang Commune of Hanoi’s Phu Xuyen District one day after the passing of the Most Venerable.

“Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, Supreme Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), was a noble monk, a symbol of the spirit of national unity and religious solidarity. His life is a vivid demonstration of the cultural and ethical values of Buddhism in social life,” President Phuc wrote in the book of condolences.

“With great contributions to the country, Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue was recognized and awarded the Ho Chi Minh Medal and many other honors.”

Born in 1917 in Khanh Tien Commune, Yen Khanh District, the Northern Province of Ninh Binh, the Most Venerable was ordained at age of 6. In his religious life, the monk held different senior positions, including Deputy President of the VBS’s Executive Council, Editor-in-chief of Buddhism Research Magazine. In 2007, he was honored Supreme Patriarch, the third of the VBS.

He spent almost his life as an abbot at Vien Minh Pagoda, which was founded in 1900, one of the three largest Buddhism training centers in the 20th century.

Neither has been trained in a Buddhist school nor abroad, his religious knowledge is self-study, and his works are of great value.

The most venerable participated in the compilation, translation, and editing of works such as old-written Buddhism documents, Buddhist Dictionary, the Four Noble Truths, among others.    

Notably, he joined the farming work with his monks until age 80. 

His testament is that “As I follow Buddha, my funeral will be simple with short ceremony according to the Buddhist tradition without garland, lengthy eulogy, or wasting the time of monks, nuns, and Buddhists. If you remember me, recite the Buddha’s name and the sutras at your residence, dedicating merit for a peaceful world and life.”

Founded in 1981, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has two main Councils namely the Supreme Patriarch Council (consisting of 96 respected senior monks) and the Executive Council (having 270 members). Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue is Supreme Patriarch of the Supreme Patriarch Council, the spiritual leader. 

The VBS has 18,466 pagodas (including 15,846 Mahayana pagodas, 454 Khmer Theravada pagodas, and 106 Viet Theravada pagodas). It has nearly 54,000 monks and nuns.

The Sangha operates 36 intermediate Buddhist schools, nine Buddhist colleges, and four institutes of Buddhist education for training from the bachelor to the doctorate level of Buddhist Studies.

 Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue (1917-2021).