Shaku Soyen: Arbitration Instead of War

John H. Barrows (Hg.) The World's Parliament of Religions, 1893

Pung Kwang Yu was the First Secretary of the Chinese Legation in Washington and delegated by the Chinese Emperor to the Parliament.

I am a Buddhist, but please do not be so narrow-minded as to refuse my opinion on account of its expression on the tongue of one who belongs to a different nation, different creed and different civilization.

Our Buddha, who taught that all people entering into Buddhism are entirely equal, in the same way as all rivers flowing into the sea become alike, preached this plan in the wide kingdom of India just three thousand years ago. Not only Buddha alone, but Jesus Christ, as well as Confucius, taught about universal love and fraternity. We also acknowledge the glory of universal brotherhood. Then let us, the true followers of Buddha, the true followers of Jesus Christ, the true followers of Confucius, and the followers of truth, unite ourselves for the sake of helping the helpless and living glorious lives of brotherhood under the control of truth. Let us hope that we shall succeed in discountenancing those obstinate people who dared to compare this Parliament with Niagara Falls, saying, "Broad, but fruitless."

International law has been very successful in protecting the nations from each other and has done a great deal toward arbitration instead of war. But can we not hope that this system shall be carried out on a more and more enlarged scale, so that the world will be blessed with the everlasting, glorious bright sunshine of peace and love instead of the gloomy, cloudy weather of bloodshed, battles, and wars?

We are not born to fight one against another. We are born to enlighten our wisdom and cultivate our virtues according to the guidance of truth. And, happily, we see the movement toward the abolition of war and the establishment of a peace-making society. But how will our hope be realized? Simply by the help of the religion of truth. The religion of truth is the fountain of benevolence and mercy.

We must not make any distinction between race and race, between civilization and civilization, between creed and creed, and faith and faith. You must not say "Go away," because we are not Christians. You must not say "Go away," because we are yellow people. All beings on the universe are in the bosom of truth. We are all sisters and brothers; we are sons and daughters of truth, and let us understand one another much better and be true sons and daughters of truth. Truth be praised!