Buddhism in Vietnam
Buddhism is perhaps the most popular religion in Vietnam and is mainly of the Mahayana tradition. The exact date of the introduction of Buddhism into Vietnam varies, but it is most likely around 189 under the Christian era. It comes from the North from Central Asia and via the Southern routes from India.
Vietnamese Buddhism has a symbiotic relationship with Taoism, Chinese and indigenous spirituality. Buddhists in Vietnam mostly belong to three forms of Mahayana Buddhism – Zen Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism and Vajrayana. In fact, the combination of Pure Land and Zen Buddhism has taken over Buddhist life in Vietnam. Monks and nuns mainly follow the Pure Land method while the common people prefer Pure Land Buddhism. While Mahayana Buddhism flourishes in Vietnam, the number of followers of Theravada Buddhism is substantial.
Photo: @ phapphuckamala.vn
The most prominent feature of Vietnamese Buddhism is the integration of Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian traditions. Religion reflects the rituals, beliefs, and conceptions of all three faiths in a balanced way. Although some people do not believe that the different schools of Buddhism are incompatible and cannot be practiced together, the Vietnamese practice them without problems and without contradictions.
Although Vietnamese Buddhism does not have a strong centralized structure, the attainment of merit is the most common and essential practice in Vietnamese Buddhism in the belief that self-liberation occurs with the aid of the Buddha. help of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Buddhist monks often chant and recite the names of the Buddhas.
There are many famous Buddhist temples and pagodas in Vietnam, and here are five of the most famous. Famous for its unique architecture, “One Pillar Pagoda” is located in the west of the capital, on Ong Ich Khiem Street, Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. “Bai Dinh Pagoda”, 95 km south of Hanoi, in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province, is the largest Buddhist temple complex nearing completion in Vietnam.
Bai Dinh Pagoda. Photo: @ yves.raro
The temple that is considered the oldest in Vietnam is Dau pagoda in Thanh Khuong commune, Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province. Thien Mu Pagoda is a historical temple in Hue city, Thua Thien Hue province and also the tallest pagoda in Vietnam with seven floors. Finally, Perfume Pagoda in Huong Son commune, My Duc district, former Ha Tay province (now Hanoi) is the site of a religious festival that attracts crowds of pilgrims from all over Vietnam.