President Ho Chi Minh and Buddhism


The image of Uncle Ho in my mind is that of a brilliant Bodhisattva with a lot of good virtues. He understood deeply and fully the thoughts and feelings of all strata of people.

He did everything for the happy life of human beings ... With my personal experience, I also find that when I follow Uncle Ho, my mind is brighter and my heart is purer. And, all Vietnamese people when following a path lit up by his intelligence and morality, will surely create many “legends”.

On the occasion of the 30th founding anniversary of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), the Sangha Central Committee’s Cultural Board hosted seminars and collected outstanding articles by Buddhist dignitaries, monks and nuns as well as religious scholars and researchers to publish a book entitled “President Ho Chi Minh and Buddhism”. This is a good and useful book for those who study President Ho Chi Minh’s thought and morality, especially his thought on religion in general and Buddhism in particular.

The book was initiated with an understanding that one of the main factors that have made achievements of the VBS over the past 30 years is the policy of the Party and State toward Buddhism.  And the person who laid the foundation for that sound religious policy was President Ho Chi Minh.

The Party and State’s trust in Buddhism has to be reinforced by the country’s long history in which Buddhism always goes together with the nation, ups and downs. President Ho Chi Minh’s father, Mr. Nguyễn Sinh Sắc, was a Buddhist researcher of profound knowledge and a patriotic intellectual who had close relations with Buddhist dignitaries. Thanks to his father’s teaching, Uncle Ho also took deep interest in Buddhism. This was demonstrated in many historical documents, his speeches on Buddhism and his meetings with Buddhist dignitaries and believers.

The book “President Ho Chi Minh and Buddhism” consists of 31 articles featuring President Ho Chi Minh’s sentiments and viewpoints toward Buddhism that the authors got from their experiences in the religious life as well as their meetings with Uncle Ho. The book provides readers with an insight into Ho Chi Minh’s thought on Buddhism, his deep understanding about the traditional religions of the nation as well as standpoints, guidelines and policies that Uncle Ho, with his deep comprehension, talented and sound political views, turned into preeminent contents in the Constitution and decrees, and during his revolutionary life.

Through the typical articles such as: "Three times of meeting Uncle Ho" by late Most Venerable Thích Đôn Hậu, "One meeting I have never forgot" by Most Venerable Thích Minh Châu "A Great Honor" by scholar Nguyễn Đình Chi, "President Ho Chi Minh’s image and morality always attract Buddhists," by scholar Tống Hồ Cầm, among others, we love and respect President Ho more and more for his simplicity, sincerity and profundity in behaving towards Buddhist dignitaries.

When reading “President Ho Chi Minh and Buddhism”, readers can explain why Uncle Ho is an example and a strong driving force for the noble sense and action of our entire Party, army and people, including Buddhist dignitaries and followers, making them united in protecting and building a socialist country of Vietnam.

Reading the book, readers can also get better understanding and more faiths as Most Venerable Thích Minh Châu said: "More than forty years have elapsed, looking back on the not very flat path of life, I believe that my love towards Uncle Ho since I was small has been one of the flames that make my heart always warm and my mind always bright in the career of serving the religion and the nation.

The book is not divided into chapters and sections as usual but gathers articles in topics: President Ho Chi Minh’s thought on Buddhism; the policies of the Party, State and President Ho Chi Minh on Buddhism; President Ho Chi Minh and the work of mobilizing Buddhist monks, nuns and followers; President Ho Chi Minh’s morality and personality; and memories of meetings with Uncle Ho. These make readers access the articles naturally as if they are witnesses. The book is a valuable document featuring President Ho Chi Minh’s thought on Buddhism, written for the first time by Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and believers in Vietnam.

The book was published by the Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House in September, 2011. We would like to introduce the book to readers./.

Scholar Yen Son