In July 2009, Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, the third in the line of Sikh religious leaders of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, invited Master Hsin Tao to the Nishkam Center for dinner. He made the following speech through this occasion.
It is a great pleasure to see you all today. I’d like to thank you for the hospitality during my stay in Birmingham, the UK. Furthermore, I truly appreciate the power of faith which brings us together. I’m the founder of the Museum of World Religions (MWR) and a Buddhist monastic, so I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts for assuming these two roles.
Buddhism is undoubtedly the greatest support and reliance for me. Buddhadharma uncovers the value and meaning of my existence in this life. The motto of the MWR is “respect, inclusivity, love”. These three qualities arose from my Dharma practice and experiences. Faith and life are not two entities. Just like a Buddhist saying goes, “afflictions are bodhi”, meaning that every time of experiencing mental affliction is a chance for awakening. In our course of life fulfillment, there are plenty of opportunities for us to approach and attain enlightenment.
Being a follower of a religion shouldn't be considerate of oneself but all mankind or beings as well. To put it another way, we need to take up social responsibility. Too many individuals have created hatred, conflicts, and destruction in the name of religion. That’s the reason why I had the thought of founding the MWR. It is my hope that to present the beauty of different faiths through the display of their religious artifacts and doctrines. It is important to learn and appreciate the beauty of one another religion. When we look at this world, we’d no longer perceive any conflicts. That doesn’t mean we’re neglecting comparison or discernment. As we learn to discern, we can discriminate between black and white; rationality and sensibility; yin and yang; positive and negative, etc. This world is turning because of relativity. Comparisons and relativity shouldn’t impose conflicts. With comparisons, we’d recognize the value and meaning of one another. We shouldn’t try to annihilate those who are different from us. Instead, we must appreciate and respect one another.
Be respectful towards every faith and difference. Let differences inspire others. Eventually, we’ll find the right direction and breakthrough for life. Sikhism rose from the conflict between Hinduism and Islam. A new pathway of peace and meaning of life emerged for those who are connected with this faith.
Likewise, we only have one planet. Without planet Earth, the beauty of diversity could not manifest. Without a good foundation, beautiful things cannot thrive. So, for our welfare and the betterment of future generations, we must join hands to create a global home with love and peace. This cannot be done alone by the MWR or Buddhism. To create a global home of love and peace, everyone needs to exert and work hard together. That’s how world peace can be attainable.
Just like Guru Nanak, he wanted to resolve the conflicts between Hinduism and Islam in the Punjab region. He wanted to pacify the pain and suffering of the local people. After receiving grace, he founded Sikhism. He peacefully transformed the harms between Hinduism and Islam.
Today, Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh adhered to the role of a religious leader. He has worked continuously in interreligious dialogues for the welfare of mankind and planet Earth.
Many spiritual leaders never forsook their enthusiasm in servicing the community because of their faith. They apply their belief in all aspects of life and servicing others. This is my relationship with the MWR. I've poured all my experiences and realization on Dharma practice into the MWR. Furthermore, the MWR functions as a platform to extend to other religions.
We need more people to join the activity of sowing the seeds of love and peace within oneself and others. This shouldn’t be limited to a tangible construction of a museum. Instead, we need to build a MWR within the mind of everyone. It should be filled with respect, inclusivity, and love. Starting now and right here, everyone could be a MWR for others. Together, we can create a global family for love and peace.
Thank you all.