Thích Nhật Từ

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Thích Nhật Từ
TT. Thich Nhat Tu phat bieu trong le be mac Dai le Vesak 2014.JPG
Thích Nhật Từ in 2014.
TitleDharma master, Spiritual leader
(Pháp sư)
Trần Ngọc Thảo

(1969-04-01) April 1, 1969 (age 53)
SaiGon, Vietnam
Religion Buddhism
School Mindfulness Meditation
Founder of the Buddhism Today
Lineage43rd generation (Lâm Tế)
8th generation
EducationD.Phil. in Philosophy
Known forSpirituality
Other namesThầy (teacher)
Temple Giac Ngo Temple
Senior posting and

Ven. Thich Nhat Tu or Thích Nhật Từ (釋日慈) in Vietnamese (Saigon, 1969) is a Vietnamese Buddhist reformer, an author, a poet, a psychological consultant, and an active social activist in Vietnam. [1] He is committed to propagate Buddha's teachings through education, cultural activities and charitable programs in order to benefit the individuals and the society at large. [2]



Ven. Thich Nhat Tu was born in 1969. After completing secondary high school, he became a novice at 13 years old, under the spiritual guidance of the late Most Ven. Thich Thien Hue at Giac Ngo Temple and received full ordination in 1988. He has been the Abbot of Giac Ngo Temple since 1992, and is the founder of Buddhism Today Foundation in 2000. He is also the Abbot of Huong Son temple (Ha Tinh), and Vo Uu temple (Thu Duc). [3]

In 1992 he went to India for higher education and got his MA degree in philosophy in 1997 from Delhi University and D.Phil. degree from Allahabad University in 2001, respectively. [2]

Ven. Thich Nhat Tu has authored more than seventy books in Vietnamese and English on Buddhist philosophy and applied Buddhism. He is editor-in-chief and publisher of Buddhism Today Books Series (more than 200 volumes on different subjects have been published in Vietnamese to meet the needs of researchers and practitioners). He is also author and editor of Buddhism Today Dharma Talks Series (more than 2000 VCDs and audio CDs on Buddhamdharma as taught by Ven. Dr. Thich Nhat Tu have been produced by the Buddhism Today Association for the general public). He is editor and publisher of Buddhism Today Dharma Music Series (more than 100 CD albums have been published). [4]

He is also editor and publisher of the Vietnamese Tripitaka in MP3 format (The recording of the Vietnamese Sutta Pitaka translated from the Pali by Thich Minh Chau and that of the Mahayana tradition translated from the Chinese by various Mahayana scholars, the Āgamas, and Vinaya Pitaka. The Abhidharma is being carried out. The first mp3 edition of Sutta Pitaka came into existence in May 2006 for celebrations of Buddha Jayanti and has been placed on one of its websites, [5] for downloading to both Macintosh and Windows computers. It is available for free distribution and non-commercial purposes. [6]

Since 2002, he has extensively given public Dharma talks to Vietnamese communities, domestically as well as internationally, such as America, Australia and Europe. He is organizer and moderator of A Fortnightly Retreat for about 1500 practitioners at Pho Quang Temple, HCMC. [7]

He is also actively engaged in the inter-religious dialogue and promotion of peace and harmony. He is committed to propagate Buddhist teachings through education, cultural activities and charitable programs in order to benefit the society at large. [2]

Ven. Dr. Thich Nhat Tu currently serves as deputy rector of the Vietnam Buddhist University, deputy chair of the National Department of International Buddhist Affairs (National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha), Vice Director of Vietnam Buddhist Research Institute, vice chair of National Department of Buddhist Education, vice chair of National Department of Dharma Propagation and editor-in-chief of Buddhism Today magazine and Vietnam Buddhist University series. [4]

Education and conference

In spite of being born in the period when the country was still in difficulties with after war consequences, all Buddhist schools were forced to close, he was fortunate enough to be trained under respected Buddhist leaders in Vietnam in the 20th century, namely Thich Minh Chau, Thich Thien Sieu, Thich Duc Nghiep, etc... Thanks to their teachings and training, when still a Samanera, he was already rich in knowledge of Theravada and Mahayana sutras. He got a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1994, University of Pedagogy; Master of Philosophy in 1997, Delhi University; Doctor of Philosophy in 2001, Allahabad University. [8] [9]

Thich Nhat Tu has attended and contributed papers at international Buddhist conferences such as the International Conclave on Buddhism and Spiritual Tourism (New Delhi), Fo Guang Shan International Monastic Seminar (Kaohsiung), the Fourth World Buddhist Summit (Bangkok), Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education Conference (Taipei), the First World Buddhist Forum (Hangzhou), the 23rd General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (Kaohsiung), the First International Buddhist Conference (Kandy), International Buddhist Conference during United Nations day of Vesak (Thailand, 2007–2013), the Asian Zen Conference (international seminar on Meditation and Zen, Hong Kong), International Conference on Dharma – Dhamma (Sanchi/ Bhopal, India), National Conference on Buddhist Education (Hanoi), the International Conference on Buddhism in the New Era (HCM), International Conference on Multi-ethnic and Multi-language Asia, and others (HCM), etc. [10]

He was international conference coordinator of United Nations Day of Vesak conference 2008 and 2014. He was convenor of several national conference on philosophy and Buddhism co-organised by Vietnam Buddhist University, Vietnam Buddhist Research Institute and HCM University of Humanities and Social Sciences. [3]

He has been appointed as the International Organising Committee member of the UN Day of Vesak Celebration 2006–2012 and vice chair, international secretariat of the UN Day of Vesak Celebration 2007, Bangkok, general secretary of UNDV in 2008 and again deputy general secretary of UNDV 2014. [11]

Honorary doctorates

In appreciation of his excellent contribution to Buddhist education, his works on Buddhist academic research and leadership in international Buddhist community, several universities have conferred upon him Honorary Doctorates as follows:

International Awards and Recognitions

Vietnamese Government Awards and Recognitions

National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Awards

Promotion of the Buddhist culture

Since 2002, Thich Nhat Tu set up a Buddhist Music Club in Ho Chi Minh city, with the participation of many famous songwriters, singers and actors to propagate the Buddhist philosophy and practice for general public. He is the editor and publisher of more than 150 CD, VCD, DVD of Buddhist music since 2002. [18]

Being a secretary general of Cultural Department, HCMC Buddhist Sangha (2002–2007) and chairman of the Cultural Department of HCMC Buddhist Sangha (since 2012), every year he organises many Buddhist cultural performances at Lan Anh theatre and Hoa Binh theatre. On top of that, many Buddhist exhibitions, calligraphy, and arts have been organised by him too. [19]

He wrote Follow the Footsteps of the Buddha in India and Nepal, a book that bought the inspiration for the VTC1 Television to accompany him to India to make documentary film about Buddhist pilgrimage in India and Nepal. [19]

Charity for the poor and jail inmates

He is an active social activist and charity fundraiser to help the poor, the old, children, homeless and those suffered from natural disasters, etc... He formed Buddhism Today Charity Group in 2000 to sponsor hundreds of eyes operation a year, donating to Social Support Centers, Retirement Houses, Orphanage Houses, Youth Education Centers, and cancer patients in many hospitals in Vietnam. [20] [21]

He has conducted meditation retreats for thousands of inmates in several rehabilitation facilities and correctional facilities in South Vietnam, such as Tan Hiep (1200 inmates), Chanh Phu Hoa (1000 inmates), Phu Nghia (400 inmates) and Ba Ria Vung Tau (800 inmates). [22]

On February 5 and April 23, 2007, a total of 1850 “long-term” inmates of K.20 Prison, a security jail in Ben Tre Province, and on May 1, 2010, a total of 5500 inmates of Son Phu 4, Thai Nguyen city, under his guidance, have observed vegetarianism and mindfulness practice as a path to inner freedom. [23] [24]

The Buddhist Youth Club

He took part in the foundation of The Buddhist Youth Club in 2006. He promoted the youth activities in South Vietnam in 2010 in which there were 4,000 young Buddhists from 24 cities and provinces to participate in the Buddhist Summer Camp in Dai Nam Theme Park, Binh Duong Province. [25]

Nowadays his model of Buddhist Youth Club has been applied by many provincial Buddhist Sanghas to propagate Buddhism and organise retreats for lay followers, as well as giving exam consultation every year., [26] [27]

The Dhamma Door

In hundreds of his Dharma talks, Ven. Thich Nhat Tu urges monks, nuns, and lay people to practice the original teachings of the Buddha, in which The Four Noble Truths (sufferings, origin of sufferings, cessation of sufferings, and path leading to cessation of sufferings) and The Noble Eightfold Path are the central doctrine of all Buddhist traditions, a conceptual framework for all of Buddhist thoughts, instead of being influenced by the Chinese Buddhism. [28]

According to Ven Thich Nhat Tu, there is no such of 84,000 Dharma doors as stated by Chinese schools. In original Buddhism, there is no second Dharma door except threefold learning Discipline, Meditation, and Wisdom. Chinese Dharmas only focus on a few sutras, and tend to ignore all other teachings of the Buddha, as a consequence it is not comprehensive enough to help people cure sufferings completely. To him, 10 Dhamma Doors of China, 14 Dhamma Doors of Japan, and 4 of Tibet are only two parts of The Noble Eightfold Paths which are Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. Dharma doors propagators have ignored Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, and Right Effort. That is why none of the Dharma Doors is comprehensive. [29]

He urges Vietnamese Buddhist monks, nuns and lay followers to come back to the traditional Buddhism, maintain and propagate Vietnamese Buddhist culture in Vietnam, not to let it be influenced by Chinese traditions which have rooted in Vietnam in the past 2,000 years. He calls for a traditional Vietnamese chanting and writing. In Vietnam, all should be chanted and written in Vietnamese language so that everyone understands and follows the Buddha's teaching appropriately, as the full transition of Chinese tradition has deteriorated the initiatives and growth of Vietnamese Buddhism. [30]

United Nations Day of Vesak 2008 and 2014 in Vietnam

The greatest contribution of Ven. Thich Nhat Tu to the public relation of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha is successfully calling for the celebration of UN Day of Vesak (UNDV) [31] (United Nations Day of Vesak) 2008 and 2014 in Vietnam. As the deputy secretary of International Organising Committee (IOC) of United Nations Day of Vesak in Bangkok, he drafted the charter of UNDV, and introduced Le Manh That to IOC of UNDV. As a result, in late 2007, Le Manh That was appointed by IOC as chairman and Ven. Thich Nhat Tu as secretary general of UNDV in 2008, hosted by the Government of Vietnam at National Conference Center, Hanoi, Vietnam.

UNDV 2008 has attracted 550 Buddhist leaders and representatives from 78 countries to attend, while UNDV 2014 attended by 1100 international participants from 95 countries. In 2008, it was one of the 10 biggest events of the country, also a historical record in Vietnam. [32] [33] [34]

UNDV in 2008 and 2014 proved an amazing spectacle of religious and spiritual festivity, with thousands of Buddhists from the world to spread Buddha's message of peace, love and harmony. [35]

He successfully called for the celebration of World Buddhist Summit in Vietnam in 2010, in the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to conflicted views between VN Buddhist Sangha and World Buddhist Summit Organisation. It is believed that Thich Nhat Tu is of Vietnamese Monks who has been able to being a bridge between National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and international Sanghas. Thanks to that VN Buddhist Sangha has gained its reputation internationally. [36] [37]

Buddhist books by Thích Nhật Từ

I. English books

II. Books on applied Buddhism

III. Buddhist chanting books translated by Thich Nhat Tu

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