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Sat, May 06, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Tibetan Buddhism gets a boost from radio airtime

EVANGELISM The representative office of the Dalai Lama in Taipei and the Broadcasting Corporation of China are launching a program to promote Tibetan Buddhism and culture

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tibetan Buddhist preacher Jampa Gyatso speaks to BCC program host Huang Ya-ling at the radio stations studios.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE TIBET RELIGIONS FOUNDATION OF HIS HOLINES

In a cooperative venture yesterday between the Taiwan representative office of the Dalai Lama and the Broadcasting Corporation of China (中國廣播公司), the two parties announced plans to launch a program on Tibetan Buddhism and culture.

BCC President Lee Ching-ping (李慶平) said the program, entitled "An encounter with Tibet," will be aired every Sunday from 6am to 7am on the BCC's information channel with an aim to promote Taiwan people's understanding about Tibet.

"From geography textbooks, we learned that the Himalayan Mountains are located somewhere around Tibet, and that it is the homeland of yaks. And we've heard about the Dalai Lama," Lee said.

"That may be all that we know about Tibet, which shows that our understanding about Tibet is very limited."

This is the first Tibetan program launched by the BCC since 1998. The program will also broadcast through the Central Broadcasting System of the ROC (中央廣播電台), to reach out to listeners on the Chinese mainland.

The program is funded by the Tibet Religions Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (達賴喇嘛西藏宗教基金會), a de facto representative office of the Dalai Lama in Taiwan, which was set up six months after his historic visit here in March 1997.

"I very much hope that `an encounter with Tibet' will help propagate Tibetan Buddhism and the spirit to benefit others, upgrading mutual understanding between Han Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism, and sharing experiences with each other," said the Dalai Lama in a pre-recorded welcome address to the listeners.

The four-minute long speech will be aired when the program is launched tomorrow.

In the program, preacher Jampa Gyatso, who has been sent by the Dalai Lama to preach in Taiwan, will share the true meaning of Tibetan Buddhism with viewers. Jampa Gyatso will speak in the Tibetan language, and there will be an interpreter to help translate the content into Mandarin.

"There is a common misunderstanding about Tibetan Buddhism among Taiwanese, who think that Tibetan Buddhism is tantamount to esoteric Buddhism (密宗)," Jampa Gyatso said. "This is not the case."

Jampa Gyatso said Tibetan practices are undertaken to end not only one's own suffering, but also the suffering of all other beings. The understanding is that since we are all linked to one another, one person's liberation is incomplete until all other beings have been liberated, he said.

Huang Ya-ling (黃雅玲), host of the program, said the program will be presented in a way that is relevant to the life of local people.

Under this principle, there will be discussion on issues such as relationship and marriage -- from the perspective of Buddhism, Huang said.

There will also be a series introducing the history, geography, customs, foods, festivals, mythology, medical science, science and arts of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama's lessons for Taiwan pilgrims will be aired, and Tibetan songs and religious music will be heard in the program.

The BCC's information channel is available at AM1062 in Taipei, Taichung and Taoyuan; AM1386 in Hsinchu; AM891 in Miaoli; AM1539 in Tainan; AM630 in Ilan; AM1467 in Chiayi and Hualien; AM1413 in Taitung; and AM1449 in Kaohsiung and Pingtung.

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