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  • Social Q&A
  • Q1. How do Buddhists view other religious groups?

    Buddhism encourages respect and understanding amongst various religious denominations. Buddhists are not forbidden to give due respect to other religious teachers, nor are they restricted to visit places of worship and attending other religious services, other than Buddhism. They can show their co-operation while maintaining their basic Buddhist principle. Buddhism advocates mutual respect, compassion and co-operation towards other religious groups so as to co-exist harmoniously and to honour each other’s differences.

  • Q2. How does one become a Buddhist?

    Any person who rightly follows and practices Buddha’s teaching is considered as a Buddhist. People wishing to identify themselves as Buddhists typically participate in a Ceremony known as Taking Refuge in the Triple Gem (i.e. the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha), relying on them to alleviate suffering and attain enlightenment.

    In accepting the path of the Triple Gem, one should also pursue further in cultivation to observe the Five Precepts which engender good conduct i.e. no killing, no stealing, no lying, no sexual misconduct and no intoxicant.

  • Q3. Are there any specific roles for the Buddhists in contributing to the temple?

    Besides the monastics, lay Buddhists are the temple's Dharma supporters and protectors. They participate in Dharma functions and activities held in the temple. They support and assist in various aspects, including money, time, talent, and effort. A temple is a non-profit organization, thus, the running and maintenance of it largely depend on the donations of devotees. Besides pecuniary support, lay Buddhists contribute by helping with the cleaning, cooking, paperwork, reception duties, etc. They also assist the Monastics with Dharma functions and organizing activities in the temple. In Chung Tian Temple, hundreds of lay Buddhists working as volunteers are regularly involved in the operation of the Temple, and many others serve during major events.

  • Q4. What are the current steps today, in order to become a Buddhist? And how has this changed from traditional ways?

    Any person can be a Buddhist. People wishing to identify themselves as Buddhists usually take refuge in the Triple Gem of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. This may take place in the form of ceremony when people commit themselves to follow the way of enlightenment (Buddha), to rely on proper views of Buddha’s teaching (Dharma) and to practice purity of mind (Sangha). Such practice has long been passed down from the Buddha and is still upheld nowadays.

  • Q5. Could Buddhists still show respect to the gods of other religions?

    Yes. In fact, it is very important for Buddhists always to show respect for other religions. The act of taking refuge in the Triple Gem means that we take the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha to be our spiritual guides and that we agree not to follow the teachings of other religions. It does not mean that we do not show respect for the beliefs of other people or for their religious symbols. Indeed, it would be a fundamental contradiction of our own beliefs for us to show anything but the greatest respect for other religions. Just as we shake hands with and show respect to the peoples of other faiths, so we may show respect toward their gods and religious symbols. Our beliefs may be different than theirs, but our respect for their beliefs should be no less than theirs.