Buddhism originated in India, took root in China, spread throughout the world, and is thriving to the present time. For thousands of years, Buddhism has been a cornerstone of harmony in society and a source of peace and serenity for humanity. This is because of the great vows and conducts of past patriarchs and masters, faithfully transmitting the Buddha's teachings of enlightenment, spreading bodhi seeds in the minds of sentient beings every each step of the way.
An ancient maxim states, "Action without a vow is limited; a vow without action is vacuous." Vows are expressions of our will, aspirations, and goals, and actions are actual steps we perform to realize these vows. In "The Exposition of Dhyana Paramita", Venerable Master Zhiyi says, "Making vows without action is akin to a person promising to ferry people to the other shore but unwilling to prepare boats or rafts. As such, people will remain on this shore forever, never getting across. It is also akin to an ill person having the medicine needed but never taking it; he will not be cured." Understanding and practice should be unified, just as vows and actions must be in full accord. Therefore, whether families, societies, nations, and the world can co-exist peacefully and make beneficial progress relies critically on whether their aspirations and actions lead to mutual understanding and consensus.
The Chinese people are defined not only by blood relations, but also by integration of diverse cultures, thoughts, and ideologies through thousands of years. A culture is the sum total of human creations throughout history, including religion, ethics, arts, sciences, etc. Today, China is not only a great economic and political power, but as a great "kingdom of culture" unsurpassed by any nation. China has accum ulated an immense wealth ofcultural and artistic achievements and treasures throughout the millennia. There is an ancient saying, "Nourish the culture to civilize the wild tribes." Premier Wen Jiabao recently said, "Cannot thousands of years ofculture and grace eliminate decades of political grievances?" Cultural exchange and dialogue is an effective remedy for untying the knots of conflicts.
The Ming Dynasty scholar Wang Yangming said, "Action with complete clarity and attention to details is knowledge. Knowledge grounded in unbiased, actual understanding is action." We understand and feel deeply that a world of harmony requires simultaneous material and spiritual progress. A common dialogue of shared aspirations and action, Buddhist compassion and wisdom, and the Chinese traditional culture form a platform in which all can partake: scholars, engineers, artisans, merchants, and farmers; male, female, young, or old. This is regardless of the subject area of religion, ethics, art, or science and technology. There is a saying, "A sage rules the world foremost with education, culture, and virtue; force is last," which stresses the importance of cultural education.
Civilization arises from people. How does one change an evil person into a good person, a good person into a virtuous person, and a virtuous person into a sage? Buddhism is the education of enlightenment. It directly points to the mind as the basis of people, and "awareness" as the basis of the mind. Today, many wise and virtuous people are gathered here at the Third World Buddhist Forum. They are here to investigate the significance of "A Harmonious World is Built upon the Unification of Aspirations and Actions." I humbly present the shared vows and practices at Chung Tai Shan Sangha as epitomized in the Four Tenets of Chung Tai: "To our elders be respectful, to our juniors be kind; with all humanity be harmonious, in all endeavors be true." These are the guidelines for order and ethical conduct based on the principles, common in Buddhism and Chinese philosophy, of "respect", "kindness", "harmony", and "truth". The Four Tenets encompass all aspects of our life, both at mundane and transcendental levels. We must begin with ourselves in our daily actions. "To our elders be respectful"—with a mind of respect we eradicate our arrogance. "To our juniors be kind"—with a mind of kindness we remove our anger and hatred. "With all humanity be harmonious"—with a mind of harmony we eliminate our rudeness and violence. "In all endeavors be true"—with a sincere and truthful mind we extinguish deception. These principles develop good behaviors and interpersonal skills, and create a respectful and harmonious sangha. They not only complete our personal cultivation, but also unite us in propagating the Buddha Dharma—from mountain monastery to the people; we practice the Great Bodhisattva Way and spread bodhi seeds of awakening from China to the whole world.
The First World Buddhist Forum in April of 2006 took place at Hangzhou and Zhoushan of Zhejiang Province in China. The topic was "A Harmonious World Begins with the Mind". More than one thousand eminent Buddhist venerables from 37 countries and regions participated. The Second World Buddhist Forum in March of 2009 took place at Wuxi Lingshan Brahma Palace and Taipei. The theme was "Creating Conditions for a Harmonious World". Almost two thousand Buddhist masters, scholars, academics, and others from 50 countries and regions gathered to exchange ideas and expertise. Each Forum brought great inspiration and joy to participants. The Third World Buddhist Forum is well prepared and Hong Kong, the Pearl of the East, is the host. Sponsors include the Buddhist Association of China, the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, and the China Religious Culture Communication Association. I believe that with the accumulation of past experiences, we will continue to make progress as in the saying, "Having reached the tip of the hundred foot pole, go further." This great World Buddhist Forum will once again reinforce our common aspirations, and empower us not only to establish a wholesome foundation for Dharma propagation, but also to broaden everyone's spiritual landscape. We hope to bring greater emphasis on the value of culture, further cultural exchanges, and unlimited light and hope to a harmonious world and the cross-strait peace. Finally, I sincerely wish every honored guest auspiciousness and peace, and that this Forum shall be a great success.
古德云：「有行無願，其行必孤；有願無行，其願必虛。」願是我們的心願、期望和目標；行，則是我們的具體行動。智者大師在《釋禪波羅蜜》亦說：「有願而無 行，如欲度人彼岸，不肯備於船筏，當知常在此岸，終不得度。如病者須藥，得而不服，當知病者，必定不差。」也就是說知行必須合一，行願更需要同步。因此， 小至家國，大至宇宙世界，是否能夠同願同行、相互理解？在在關係著是否能夠和諧共生、和樂發展以及和平共存？
幾千年的血緣、文化與思想融合，造就了中華民族的存在。文化是我們人類在歷史發展過程中創造的總成果，包含宗教、道德、藝術、科學等各方面。現今的中國， 不但是「經濟大國」、「政治強國」、更是獨步全球的「文化王國」。中國博大精深的文化底蘊以及穿越千古的豐富藝術典藏，讓人難望其項背。古人云：「修文化 而服遐荒，耀武威而平九有。」溫家寶總理日前也曾表達：「難道幾千年的文化恩澤，就不能消弭幾十年的政治恩怨？」誠然，透過文化交流對話，是化除對立心結 的良方。
王陽明說：「行之明覺精察處便是知，知之真切篤實處便是行。」我們深切地知道：和諧世界，需要物質文明與精神文明，齊同並進的發展。因此，不管從宗教、道 德、藝術、科學……哪個方面著手起，佛法的慈悲、智慧與中華傳統文化，無疑是士農工商、男女老幼……，同願同行對話的平台。所謂「聖人之治天下也，先文德 而後武力。」由此可見人文教化的重要性。
導師與大陸國家宗教局局長王作安出席第三屆世界佛教論壇開幕式。有「人」才有「文化」，如何才能將一個惡人變成好人；好人變成賢人；賢人變成聖人？佛法是 覺悟的教育，直接了當、直指入處告訴我們人以「心」為根本，心以「覺」為根本。今天在此第三屆世界佛教論壇盛會，海內外高賢雲集，探究「和諧世界，同願同 行」的重要性，本人謹以中台山僧團同願同行之規約總綱－－中台四箴行：「對上以敬，對下以慈，對人以和，對事以真」為例，提出佛法與中華傳統文化之「敬、 慈、和、真」精神，做為維繫倫理秩序的方針。上、下、人、事，已包羅世出世間日常生活所有層面。從自己做起，從日常生活做起，對上以敬，以恭敬心除去我 慢；對下以慈，以慈悲心去除瞋恚；對人以和，以和合心去除粗暴；對事以真，以真誠心去除虛偽。以此應對進退、待人接物，僧團和敬，不但能成就個人道業，更 能齊心協力弘揚佛法，從山林走向社會，從中國邁向世界，廣行菩薩的願行大道，傳播菩提覺性種子。
首屆世界佛教論壇2006年4月在中國浙江省杭州和舟山市舉行，以「和諧世界 從心開始」為主題，會集了37個國家、地區千餘名佛教高僧大德出席參加。第二屆世界佛教論壇2009年3月在無錫靈山梵宮和台北舉行。主題為「和諧世界 眾緣和合」，來自50個國家和地區的佛教界高僧大德、學術文化界專家學者近兩千人共聚一堂，進行了廣泛而深入的交流。每次論壇都為大眾帶來了莫大的啟發與 喜悅。此次第三屆佛教論壇在中國佛教協會、香港佛教聯合會以及中華宗教文化交流協會精心籌辦下，假東方之珠香港舉行，我們相信：累積了過去的經驗成果，必 能百尺竿頭再進步，藉由此次「世界佛教論壇」一再凝聚的共識與力量，不但能為佛教的弘揚，奠定良善的基礎，進而開啟每個人的「心靈」視野，讓全世界人類， 都能重視文化的力量，加強文化的交流，為世界和諧、兩岸和合，帶來無窮盡的光明和希望。最後，謹祝與會貴賓吉祥平安，本次大會圓滿成功。