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Amitofo Dharma Master Heng Sure. I searched for this news at urbanlegends.about.com and snopes.com and didn't find it there, so not sure if this news is true or not.

Nice Pix.

I too received the news, forwarded to me by someone. Being a reporter, I did some fact-checking.

The acronym for the organization that gave out the award is ICARUS, a name from Greek mythology (the guy who flew too close to the sun), which seems a pretty silly symbol for a religious coalition. By the way, no one can find ICARUS' official Web site.

The name of the Burmese Buddhist monk cited in the story is "Bhante Ghurata Hanta," which is neither Burmese nor Sanskrit. (I should know, because I grew up in Burma.)

Tribune de Geneve, the paper that supposedly first published the news, is a French language paper--not English. Doing searches on "Buddhist" or "ICARUS" at the paper's site produced no story -- neither in French nor English -- matching the one we received.

I have enormous admiration for the Buddhist tradition, but the story above may be someone's attempt to have a few laughs--at our expense and at Buddhism's expense.

Show Deep Gratitude Towards Buddhism Because It Is The Only Religion Which Is Of All......

Open Letter to ICARUS Council

January 7, 2010

Dear Mr. Groehlichen and ICARUS council:

Upon hearing this news, all Buddhists (including me) in the world would be universally grateful of the recognition voted by the council.

This historical event alone is the greatest award from the council to all Buddhists in this modern era.

The fact that the council has not yet succeeded in finding any Buddhist to give the award to can be simply explained: True Buddhists do not seek for fame, money, or power. Therefore, to receive the award is to go against Buddhist’s principle of renunciation of fame, money, and power. True Buddhists do not wish to contaminate or ruin their many years of practice just for the sake of an award.

However, there are certain awards that every Buddhist seeks: the defeating of his/her own ego; the shattering of his/her own ignorance to attain wisdom that in turn can help himself/herself and other beings. Unfortunately, this kind of award cannot be given or blessed by anyone else under this sky but his/her own struggle in order to achieve this greatness.

So, I have a humble opinion to suggest to you and the council that the award be either placed in a honorable area in Swiss’s national museum or in the United Nation’s headquarter building in the city of Geneva as a great symbol promoting world peace.


Hoàng Kỳ Bắc Tiến


Ha, ha, ha,...great!

Whether the news is a fact or fake, whether the giver give real apple or wood-apple, as a Buddhist I would gratefully accept it!

Why bother with it being real or unreal while it does not hurt or harm anyone?

If you feel an easiness upon hearing this news, you obviously still have a strong attachment to worldly matters which essentially come and go in an endless cycle...

I hope my sincere words do not offend you; otherwise, please accept my apology and forgive me.



wonderfully said Hoang and for Kenneth research effort, 5 Stars for you too...really put a smile on my face!....

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