Op-Ed: Can Cambodia
==>Saturday, 5 November 2011 on Engaged Buddhism: The Roles of Buddhism in Human Resource Development in Cambodia: Past, Present and Future by Ven. Luon Sovath, www.luonsovath.blogspot.com
In short, Buddhism is the religion of Sekha or education. Three Sekha has been exponentially repeated by the Buddha: Sila Sekha or the education of morals, Samadhi Sekha or the education of meditation, and the Panna Sekha or the education of wisdom. These 3 Sekhas is illustrated quite interesting in the Eightfold Path such as Sila Sekha is inclusive in right speech, right action and right livelihood; Samadhi Sekha is inclusive in right effort, right concentration and right meditation; Panna Sekha is inclusive in right thought and right view.
Dhamma delivery approaches of Lord Buddha stresses on three levels: Athi Kalyani or preliminary discourse (Sila), Machhe Kalyani or secondary discourse (Samadhi), and Pariyosana Kalyani or highest discourse (Panna). These three levels of discourse is comprehensive in the Viniya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka. Or at the Sutta level, these 3 approaches are Morals/Ethics, Meditation and Wisdom.
For Cambodia, human resource development is one of the factors among natural capital, financial capital and social capital.
In the past, French tried to pressure on Khmer Buddhist Sangha to serve the protectorate’s missions. But when there were perpetual struggles from the Buddhist Sangha, French protectorates agreed to open a Buddhist Institute (BI) to provide space for Cambodian Buddhist monks to learn and create an education at a systemic structure. Suzan Karpeles was the first director of the BI. Scholars have noted that BI is the substantial place for developing nationalism and movement in late decades in liberating and protecting Cambodian nation.
Somdech Chuon Nath is the key leader in reforming Cambodian Buddhism and building productive national central nationalism. His work in translating Tipitaka into simple Khmer language is a great move in modernizing Cambodia.
At the moment, the 60,000 Buddhist monks residing in over 4000 monasteries are the important agents for human resource development in Cambodia. But the lack of giving enough aids to those agents in approaching human resource missionary. If those Buddhist monks are not properly equipped with talent and knowledge, Cambodian Buddhism would be just symbol or a tool for politicians to utilize it, and the future of human resource development in Cambodia will be irrelevant.
According to the lecture organized on November 5, 2011 (10am of Cambodia Time Zone), Ven. Luon Sovath outlined important facts of Buddhism in developing human resource in Cambodia following:
– Since the Angkorean era, Buddhism and Hinduism have played important roles in developing human resource in Cambodia. The startling structure of temples and inscriptions are the evidence of building human resource for the development of this nation.
– Buddha is the awaken one. His teaching has been used in modern day such as human rights, democracy, human freedom and equality. People desire for peace, freedom and basic rights which this desiring is fundamentally deriving from Buddha’s teachings.