Suma Ching Hai
Pangalan: Suma Ching Hai International Association
Founder: Master Suma Ching Hai (Her real name is Hue Dang Trinh according to William Claiborne’s article entitled “Self-styled Zen Master Has Attained Financial Nirvana” in the December 20,1996 issue of The Record, p. A40)
Petsa ng Kapanganakan: 1950
Lugar ng Kapanganakan: Au Lac, Vietnam
Taong Itinatag: 1982, Taiwan
The First Theory: While in Formosa, Suma Ching Hai was meditating in a room behind a small temple during a typhoon rain storm and a group of people knocked at her door. When she asked them why they came, they responded, “Quan Yin Bodhisattva (The Goddess of Mercy) replied to our prayers and told us about you, saying that you are the great Master and we should pray to you for the method to reach liberation.” The Master initiated them after several months of purification and their agreement to adhere to a vegetarian diet.
The Other Theory: When Suma Ching Hai tried to buy a copy of the Hindu sacred text the Bhagavad-Gita in a shop along the Ganges River, the shopkeepers said there were none in stock. She insisted that she had “seen” one. Then the shopkeepers discovered a copy in a sealed box. She fled sudden acclaim, but finally assumed the role of The Master. (According to Howard Chua-Eoan’s article entitled “The Buddhist Martha” in Time, Jan 20,1997, p.47)
Mga Banal o Revered na Mga Teksto: Bhagavad Gita, Surangama Sutra, Ang Biblia
Sukat ng Grupo: Sa Taiwan, siya ay iniulat na may mga tagasunod 300,000. Ngunit, nang itigil ng pamahalaan ang kanyang punong-tanggapan (itinayo ito nang walang lisensya), ang grupo ay gumawa lamang ng mga pangalan ng 804 na nagbabawal sa 6,000 na lumitaw sa Taiwan sa Ching Hai Day noong Oktubre 1995.
She has approximately 2,000 members in California (Dion Nissenbaum’s article “Sect Master a No-show, Rumors Had Ching Hai in Lake Elsinore” in The Press- Enterprise, December 31, 1996 p. B01) According to the article “Unusual Cast of Asian Donors Emerges in DNC Funding Controversy” in the Jan 27, 1997 issue of The Washington Post, however, Suma Ching Hai has 100,000 followers in the United States and millions more worldwide.
Suma Ching Hai claims to be the reincarnated Buddha and Jesus Christ, and she combines the beliefs of Christianity with those of Buddhism. She attempts to teach her followers that all religions are teaching the same Truth, the “Divine Presence” within. She explains the importance of meditation, inner contemplation and prayer. She accomplishes teaching these “Truths” by her Quan Yin Method. The Chinese characters “Quan Yin” mean contemplation of sound vibration. The Method includes meditation on both Inner Light and the Inner Sound. Ching Hai teaches that the Christian Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) This Word is the Inner Sound. Master Ching Hai says, “It vibrates within all life and sustains the whole universe. This inner melody can heal all wounds, fulfill all desires, and quench all worldly thirst.”
During initiation, the Master provides the “spiritual transmission” to the enlightened world. This event is sometimes called the “sudden” or “immediate enlightenment,” because one may hear the Inner Sound and see the Inner Light. Suma Ching Hai accepts people from all backgrounds and religious affiliations for initiation, however, a lifetime commitment to a vegetarian diet is a prerequisite for receiving initiation.
Keeping a vegetarian diet is important because Suma Ching Hai teaches that killing and violence, even to animals, is bad. “So what we try to minimize is the violence in our heart, the tendency to want to destroy other beings.”
Ching Hai’s teaching against violence towards animals is very similar to Sikhism, but her meditation teachings resemble Buddhism, and her Catholic background enables her to incorporate Christian Bible teachings as well. After initiation, meditation daily for two and a half hours and keeping the Five Precepts are the only requirements.
Ang Limang mga Panuntunan ay:
Iwasan ang pagkuha ng buhay ng mga nilalang na nilalang.
Iwasan ang pagsasalita kung ano ang hindi totoo.
Iwasan ang pagkuha ng hindi inaalok.
Iwasan ang sekswal na maling pag-uugali.
Patigilin ang paggamit ng mga nakakalason.
(According to Carey Goldberg’s article “Cult-Like Group Linked to Refused Clinton Donations” in the December 22, 1996 issue of The Commercial Appeal, p.11A). Suma Ching Hai’s goal is to teach her followers to be self-sufficient.
Contemporary Issues / Controversies:
Suma Ching Hai International Association has recently received much publicity because of the group’s donations to Bill Clinton’s legal-defense fund. The group donated $600,000 to the fund last year, but the money was returned due to increasing negative publicity the President was receiving. Suma Ching Hai said she felt “sorry for Clinton’s troubles… and wanted to help him” ( Washington Post, 27 Jan. 1997).
Chua-Eoan, Howard. 1997. “The Buddhist Martha.” Time. January 20: 47.
Claiborne, William. 1996. “Self-Styled Zen Master Has Attained Financial Nirvana.” The Record. December 20: A40.
Goldberg, Carey. 1996. “Cult-like Group Linked to Refused Clinton Donations.” The Commercial Appeal. December 22: 11A.
Kelley, Donna. 1997. “Suma Ching Hai Explains Donations to the Clinton Legal Defense Fund.” CNN Morning News. January 9: (videotape).
Nissenbaum, Dion. 1996. “Sect Master a No-show, Rumors Had Ching Hai in Lake Elsinore.” The Press-Enterprise. December 31: B01.
Washington Post. 1997. “Unusual Cast of Asian Donors Emerges in DNC Funding Controversy.” The Washington Post. January 27: A8.
Makipag-ugnay sa Information:
Suma Ching Hai International Association
2731 Harway Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11214
Telepono: (212) 431-5538
Contact Person: Mr. Dong Zhihua
Telepono: (718) 372-3921
Fax: (718) 372-1176
Nilikha ni Helen Merianos
Soc 257: Mga Bagong Relihiyosong Paggalaw
Spring Term, 1997
University ng Virginia
Huling na-update: 07 / 24 / 01