Encyclopedia > Hoa Hao

  Article Content

Hoa Hao

Hoa Hao Buddhism is a religious tradition founded in 1939 by Prophet Huynh Phu So, a native of the Mekong River Delta region of southern Vietnam. Adherents consider Hoa Hao a continuation of a 19th century Buddhist ministry known as Buu Son Ky Huong ("Strange Perfume from Precious Mountains," referring to the That Son range on the Vietnam-Cambodia border). The founders of these traditions are regarded by Hoa Hao followers as living Buddhas, destined to save mankind from suffering and to protect the Vietnamese nation.

Hoa Hao claims approximately two million followers throughout Vietnam; in some provinces near its Delta birthplace, as many as 90 percent of the population practice this form of Buddhism. An important characteristic of this sect is its emphasis on peasant farmers, exemplified by the old slogan "Practicing Buddhism While Farming Your Land." Farm life is considered to be the most conducive to religious practice and self-improvement. Patriotism and willingness to defend the homeland are valued.

Hoa Hao also stresses the practice of Buddhism by lay people in the home, rather than focusing primarily on temple worship and ordination. Aid to the poor is favored over pagoda[?] building or expensive rituals; religious and social ceremonies are ideally simple and modest, and are not to include the food offerings, divination services, and elaborate wedding and funeral customs found in some manifestations of Southeast Asian life. These are viewed as a waste of money which would be better spent helping the needy.

In the Hoa Hao home, a plain brown cloth serves as an altar, at which the family prays morning and night. Separate altars are used to honor ancestors and the sacred directions. Only fresh water, flowers, and incense are used in worship; no bells or gongs accompany prayers. A believer away from home at prayer times faces west (i.e., toward India) to pray to the Buddha. Adherents are expected to attend communal services on the 1st and 15th of each lunar month and on other Buddhist holy days.

External links



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
French resistance

... and Odette Sansom. He worked with traitor Henri Dericourt[?]. In January 1 1942 Jean Moulin parachuted to Arles with two other men and radio equipment and ...

 
 
 
This page was created in 24.1 ms