An Unexpected Experience of Sweden Doctors at Ba Vang Pagoda
“Im very impressed. I know that Ba Vang Pagodas construction is very young. I still remember when I was here, there was nothing. Everything here was nothing but mountains. But every time I come here, it looks more and more and more. So I am so impressed by the development of Ba Vang Pagoda. This is fantastic,” shared Dr. Johansson. Uong Bi City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam - A group of Sweden Doctors led by Dr. Rolf Johansson, who are on their business trip to Vietnam-Sweden Hospital (in Quang Ninh, Vietnam) came to visit Ba Vang Pagoda this afternoon, November 06, 2019.
Thich Truc Bao Luc the Buddhist Monk, on behalf of Master Thich Truc Thai Minh (also called Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh) and the Sangha of Ba Vang Pagoda, greeted and guided the delegation through the campus of the Pagoda.
On the trip around Ba Vang Pagoda, Monk Bao Luc and Dr. Johansson had the chance to exchange knowledge about Buddhism, the Pagoda and Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh—the Abbot. Dr. Johansson also shared with the Monk his experiences in Vietnam in the last century of the country and the development of Ba Vang Pagoda as well.
What Did Doctor Johansson Say About Ba Vang Pagoda Since Its Beginning?
“I stayed in Uong Bi for 4 years and a half. I many times climbed the big mountains here. At that time there was no pagoda. Im very impressed, Im still impressed.”
He continued, “I know that Ba Vang Pagodas construction is very young. And it has been developing really quickly. I still remember when I was here, there was nothing. Everything here was nothing but mountains. Although from the hospital, now I have the chance to see the Pagoda in the distance, every time I come here, it looks more and more and more. So I am so impressed by the development of Ba Vang Pagoda. This is fantastic.” Talking about his first experiences about Uong Bi City, Dr. Johansson said, “At the first time when I came to Uong Bi City, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam in 1984, I saw many people with their bicycles or many people walking. But today, many people are driving motorbikes or cars. And there are many beautiful houses, beautiful buildings and many other things. This is a very strong development.”
The Delegations Feelings About Ba Vang Pagoda Today
When it comes to the impressions of Ba Vang Pagoda, the Sweden doctor shared, “I met many young Buddhist here who believe very much in the idea and the Buddhist ideas. So, Im not only impressed by the splendor here, but also the people here, the Monks, the Nuns, and the people around them. So its a very good experience. I will always remember this.” “All the work masterpiece here is magnificent. Its big and very beautiful. And it really brings a sense of peace and calm. Thats really relaxing when coming here. And thats also the people we met, such as the Monks. They have been very pleasant, havent they?”, said Adrian, Dr. Johanssons son. “I have never been to any other Buddhist pagoda so I think what really hit me was that it seems very organised, and everything has its own meaning,” he added.
Vietnam-Sweden Hospital—The Concrete Proof of the Solid Cooperation Between the Two Nations
Vietnam-Sweden Hospital is a project funded by the Kingdom of Sweden after 1975. The whole project was completed with 23 main items, covering an area of 5.97 hectares. The area used is 26,000 m. The total value is 120 million Swedish Kronor and 58 million Vietnamese Dong (as of 1981). Mrs. Karin Soder, the Minister for Health and Social Affairs (Sweden) and the Chairman of Quang Ninh People's Committee along with representatives of the Ministry of Health (Vietnam) cut the ribbon to officially put the hospital into operation in 1981. “I am a doctor coming from Sweden and the first time I came to Uong Bi in northern Vietnam was 1984, to work for the Vietnam-Sweden Hospital (Uong Bi). So since 1984, I came and stayed here for 4 years and a half and I worked in the hospital,” said the doctor.
“Is the Buddhist religion getting stronger and stronger now?”
Asked the question of Dr. Johansson, Monk Bao Luc asserted that Buddhism in Vietnam has been experiencing greater growth than it used to in the 20th century. It is the same as the “renaissance” of Buddhism in Tran dynasty 700 years ago. Many reputable scientists have recognised the law of cause and effect and the teachings of the Buddha.
(To be continued)