strategic management in disseminating buddhism
of thai Buddhist missionary monks
Phra Soravit Duangchai,Ph.D.
Lecturer, Faculty of Education
Mahachulalongkornrajvidyalaya University, Thailand.
The research on A Study of Concept and Principle in Disseminating Buddhism of Thai Buddhist Missionary Monks in the United States of America is a survey research with the objective in spreading the concept in disseminating Buddhism from Tipitaka, studying the concept, goal and the way of disseminating Buddhism of the Thai Buddhist missionary monks in the United States of America, including the study of problem and obstacle in disseminating Buddhism. For collecting data, the researchers use the questionnaire and interview in collecting data from the people such as a group of administrators of the project of overseas Thai missionary monks, consisting of the General Assembly of the Thai monks, the office responsible for training the Thai missionary monks and from 100 Thai missionary monks who are performing their duty and used to perform their duty as missionary monks in the United States of America. The data collecting has been done by way of random. The data analysis is used by the mixture of both quantitative and qualitative research.
Keyword: Strategic Management, Disseminating Buddhism, Missionary Monks
Buddhism is an important organization of Thai society since Sukhothai period. Thai Sanghas played the important roles of the society in both fundamental level of teaching the Dhamma to make the people understand and take the Dhamma to practice in their daily life for living together in peace and such as the Four Sublime State of Mind (Four Bramma Viharas), Four Principles of Service or Sangahavatthu, Five Precepts, Five Ennobling Virtue, Moral Shame or Hiri and Moral Dread or Otappa (Conscience) and the higher level of Buddhist principles can be taken to practice for developing their mind to go beyond suffering such as Vipassana Meditation. So, the Buddhist doctrines is the most useful and benefit to take the human-beings in present time in happiness excessively than other religions in the teaching for helping the people adjust themselves up to the salvation for never coming back to rebirth again. Then the Dhamma propagation can be assumed as the most valuable thing as the proverb said by the Lord Buddha before sending the disciples to wide-spread the Buddha Dhamma that “Go forth, O Bhikkhus, for the good of the many, for the happiness or the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good, for the happiness of gods and men” For the propagation of Buddhism in abroad, it is performed by the most able ones but it is not perfect successful mission. It is maybe because of the problems of strategy till facing the other problems and obstacles. Someone is a good preacher and teacher but cannot stay for the successfulness because there is still some factors of the problem. The mission of the Buddhist Missionary or Dhammadhutas is so delicate, moreover, the satire-words that they can teach only Thai people by take us to compare with the Buddhist Missionary of Tibet, Japan even if Sri Lanka who get the successful in the propagation in other countries (PhraDhammakosajarn, 2549:221)
From the problems and obstacle above, the researcher emphasized that it make the effect directory to the Buddhism and in directory to the solidarity and good understanding between the persons who believe in Buddhism and other religion in other countries. If we cannot make the good understanding to each other, it will be lead to the bad result to Buddhist society, alienation in the culture, faith or belief. The more estrangement the more bad result to the Buddhist society in the matter of the conflict in group cannot be taken to the peacefulness of the world. The researcher takes the U.S.A. because U.S.A. is superpower country that consisted of many races, many cultures and most civilized country that Thai temples established in every state for 67 temples proximately and 500 Buddhist missionaries performed their mission inside. The data-survey and data-analysis from the sampling group can be taken to understand all the problems and obstacles obviously.
The research’s tools and Methodology
The research of “Strategic Management in Disseminating Buddhism of Thai Missionary Monks” is a Survey Research with the aim to analysis the concept in propagation of Buddhism in Tri Pitaka by study the concept aim and strategy performed by the Buddhist missionary monks in U.S.A., the problems and obstacles of the propagation. For the data-collection in the research, the researcher performed by questionnaire and interview’s form of the sampling group of the group of the executive team of the Thai Buddhist Missionary in other country such as Thai Sangha’s Assembly, the organization of Buddhist Missionary Training and 100 Buddhist Missionary who ever worked the missions in U.S.A. by unintentionally group sampling. For the data-analysis is taken in mixed of quantitative and qualitative form.
The Result of Research
The result of research is found as follows:
1. Concept, method and goal of disseminating Buddhism of the missionary monks are based on the principle of the Buddha’s teachings, preaching Dhamma suitable for the time and place, reasonability, preaching Dhamma with loving kindness, focusing on providing benefit to the listeners. Preaching Dhamma is neither because of desiring the offerings nor preaching Dhamma by the swagger. The objectives of disseminating Buddhism of overseas Thai missionary monks are for the benefit, support, happiness of the people who are Buddhists and non-Buddhists , focusing on developing the efficiency of the people in living their own life, using the principle and the teachings of the Buddha as the guideline for the others by not performing the carelessness in their life, being the center of hearts and the activities of Buddhist people in the United States of America in relation to the dissemination i.e., dissemination of Buddhism in their own place by organizing the activity in the temple such as activity in practicing meditation on the important days of Buddhism and the nation, Dhamma preaching, speech delivering, article writing, and premises arranging for religious ritual etc. and dissemination of Buddhism outside the temple such as Dhamma preaching in the educational institute, public and private agency located outside the temple, using communication technology, radio and television or organizing the activity concerning the Thai culture at the meeting buildings etc., dissemination of Buddhism by using network i.e., organizing the academic activity, exchanging the way of practice in organizing the activity, forwarding the activity that is jointly useful for the temple or the agency concerned, making Buddhist network of lay people and the Sangha inside the affiliation and outside the affiliation of the General Assembly of the Thai Sangha.
2. The problem and obstacle of the dissemination of Buddhism in the United States of America are because some Buddhist missionary monks have less skills of English language and culture causing the problem in communicating with the people of this country and the Sangha Organization responsible for taking care of the Buddhist missionary monks is not strong enough causing that the support and supervision are not thorough. Even though at present time, there are many agencies responsible directly for supervision but not covered thoroughly such as the Controlling and Supervising Center for the Overseas Missionary Monks and the Buddhist Missionary Monks Training Office are working in the different way. When the Buddhist missionary monks have been trained, the selection of monks for going abroad is the duty of another office. When having passed the consideration criteria the missionary monks have to pass the process of passport and visa entry requirement that has to be waited for a long time and the permission for staying in the USA. is very short, bringing about the disconnection in disseminating Buddhism.
3. There should be the way in solving the problem in disseminating Buddhism of the missionary monks in the United Stated of America by exchanging knowledge on management and administration for the persons concerned at every level. Also, there should be the establishment of institute or missionary monks college for developing the personnel relating to the dissemination of Buddhism in foreign countries. The executive committees for the missionary monks affaires should be established and empowered from the Mahathera Association to enable them to supervise the selection of sending the missionary monks to work and perform the duty in foreign countries, and paying attention to the welfares, health, travelling for propagation, consideration of laurel and punishment measure. On the one hand, there should be the personnel and budget to support this work adequately.
Suggestion on Policy
1. The related agency on propagation of Buddhism in foreign country specify the policy to encourage and support the Buddhist Missionary in abroad about the way to propagate in accordance with Buddha’s way, specify the strategies, create the website between the Buddhist missionary and the Buddhists in foreign countries logically and continually.
2.To Sangha’s Collages and Foreign Training of the Buddhist missionaries should increase the contents and technic on Buddhism propagation in accordance with the Buddha’s ways. The approaches to suggest the people to live in negligence as the center of mind and the activities of Buddhists in the foreign country such as the propagation of Buddhism inside the base-center or the activities inside the temple, the activities in Buddhist holidays and national holidays, preaching, speech, article writing, places for religious activities etc., the propagation outside the base-center such as teaching, the Buddhist principle-teaching in educational institution or governmental and private organization outside the temple.ฃ
3. The Government have to encourage the policy of Buddhism propagation in up countries under the control of the Senior Buddhist Monk’s Assembly in foreign countries closely. The establishment of Buddhist agency to operate the activities of Buddhism in foreign countries, the facility for the Buddhist monks who get the high ability in propagation easily, to support related agency of Buddhism propagation in every aspect.
4. Thai Embassy in foreign countries of which the Buddhist missionary established have to specify the policy to support the base-knowledge about language and traditions of each country that they do their duty on the propagation up to give the patronage if the strength of the stability of the temple in foreign countries by establishment of cooperation to develop the temple, the activities, and make the good understanding between the Buddhists and other religion’s followers.
1. Training Agency of Buddhist Missionaries (Sangha’s Educational Organization) participated with the Buddhist Missionary in the foreign countries operate the curriculum that support the propagation in each region (countries) for the effective and successful mission of the missionary.
2. The government set the policy to specify the Buddhist Missionary as the strategy to create the relation between the countries to promote the Buddhist Missionary as the center for wide-spread the Buddhism to make the relation in the international level.
3. To make the strength for the organization in which its function is to control the Buddhist missionary by making the system of network for the Buddhist missionary in every country up to the relation between foreign Buddhist Missionary and the missionary in Thailand to exchange the practical approaches to each other.
4. To confine the conceptual framework of the works about the unity of propagation of Buddhism in other countries. The Buddhist Missionary Training Center (Sangha’s University) governmental office have to exchange the data and set the framework to support the activities of the missionary in every step.
5. Sangha’s University cooperated with the Sangha’s institution and supporting centers must support the way to establish the institution or the missionary university to develop the persons in propagation of Buddhism in other countries. To establish the administrative board who control the missionary in other countries by giving the facilities of welfare, health, going to do the mission, the way to justify the result of their duties and punishment and the person to estimate the sufficient budget.
6. The Buddhist Missionary in foreign countries must perform their duties in higher level especially the ability in English and culture to enlarge the scope of the works that leading to the smart dignity and able to explain the Buddhist principles to the foreigners in the same way of making the network of the propagation of Buddhism in various way such as internet, radio and television, to support the exchange of detail of practical way in the propagation of Buddhism.
The suggestions for the next research
For the next research is to study in the following titles.-
1. To study the result of the propagation of Buddhism of The missionary in U.S.A.
2. To study the forms of the successive administration in U.S.A.
3. To study the aspect of active propagation in U.S.A.
4. To study and estimate the curriculum of the Buddhist missionary in foreign countries
5. To study and estimate the curriculum of the Buddhist missionary an send them to the foreign countries
6. To increase the sampling group of monks and laymen of Buddhist missionary
7. To estimate the result of the training of the Buddhist missionary before and after the training and follow to observe their works.
8. To expand the result of the study into other countries in which the Buddhist Missionary situated.
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