Lotus Sutra Exhibition in Hong Kong Displays Rare Artifacts from Early Recorded History
On November 25, 2006, some 300 guests attended the opening of "The Lotus Sutra--A Message of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence" at the SGI-Hong Kong Cultural and Recreational Centre. The exhibition brought together a rare collection of artifacts, calligraphic and pictorial representations of the Lotus Sutra including historic originals and reproductions from India, Nepal, China and Japan. The organizers are: the Institute of Oriental Philosophy; SGI-Hong Kong; St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Science; and the Research Centre for Chinese Philosophy and Culture at the Department of Philosophy, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). The Edwin S. L. Cheng Research Fund for General Education and Philosophy supported the exhibition showing, the first in China.
CUHK Professor Emeritus Jao Tsung-I, one of China's preeminent scholars, and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, IOP founder, sent messages, respectively. Professor Jao remarked on the rich literary merit of the Buddhist scriptures and observed that the Lotus Sutra manuscripts are the results of the dedicated and painstaking efforts of countless unsung heroes. "They are not merely archeological artifacts but also the collective wisdom, faith and hopes of numerous individuals, and therefore the characters marked on each fragment are expressions of human life force." He expressed his appreciation for the IOP's and Soka Gakkai's work to compile and publish this precious cultural legacy bequeathed to humanity.
In his message Mr. Ikeda focused on the spirit of the Lotus Sutra, which expresses the essential equality and dignity of human life based on the universally inherent Buddha nature, elaborating that it aims to realize non-violence and peace through the bodhisattva practice of compassion.
CUHK Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor So Kee Long felt that the spirit of the Lotus Sutra exhibition accords completely with the founding principles of CUHK in uniting the traditional and the contemporary, and integrating China and the West.
The exhibition displays photographic panels of the renowned Dunhuang Murals, magnificent wall paintings of Buddhist stories discovered in the grottoes of Dunhuang, a town along the Silk Road with a major thoroughfare leading into China's capital. The exhibition will be shown at various venues in Hong Kong and Macau through May 2007.