Vesak: May the Light of Buddha Shine

The significance of Vesak lies with the Buddha and his universal peace message to mankind.

Vesak full moon Day is also a major Buddhist festival celebrated by all the Buddhists throughout the world, with great faith and devotion. All the Buddhist countries celebrate Vesak with their own unique cultures and traditions.

Vesak is also called Thrice Blessed day because the followers of Buddha remember and celebrate the Birth, Enlightenment and Passing Away (Maha Parinibbaana) of the Lord Buddha on this auspicious day. Buddhist devotees flock to the Buddhist monasteries, temples and meditation centres to offer flowers to Buddha and Dana to Bhikkhu Sangha. They spend most of the day in listening to the discourses (particularly the first discourse of Buddha, Dhammachakka Pavatana Sutta) from the venerable monks, observing special precepts and meditating and reflecting on the teachings of Buddha and purifying their mind. They perform charitable activities and lot of good deeds. Thus, they spend this auspicious day most meaningfully.

The UN General Assembly, by its resolution 54/115 of 1999, recognized the Day of Vesak internationally to acknowledge the great contribution of Buddhism. This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices, in consultation with the relevant UN offices and with permanent missions.

It is unfortunate that this most auspicious and sacred day associated with Buddha, the greatest messenger of peace and gift to humanity, which is celebrated all over the world and also recognized as UN Day of Vesak didn’t receive the official sanction and support in India, the land of origins of Buddha Dharma. Only twice in the independent history of India, the day was officially commemorated in 1956 and 2008. The grand 2500th Buddha Jayanti celebrations in 1956 was officially hosted by Govt. of India in Bodhgaya, the holiest site for Buddhists, under the leadership of then Prime Minister late Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. In 2007, the 2550th anniversary of Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana was hosted in Kushinagar.

Realizing the importance in preservation and promotion of shared heritage and development of Buddhist pilgrimage and heritage circuit in top priority, after elected as the14th Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi initiated the move to host International Buddha Poornima Diwas Celebration in the year 2015 under the aegis of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) annually.

CORONA and KARUNA

The entire world is going through an unprecedented crisis, bringing into sharp focus the inherent fragility and uncertainty of our human condition. The ghostly novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) haunts the whole world, filling us with fear, dread and anxiety, and forcing us to retreat to the relative safety of our homes.

It is, quite literally, a matter of life and death for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, forcing dramatic government responses, and threatening to cast a dark shadow over the economic and social fabric of the world for many, many years to come.

It is a global pandemic and the largest catastrophe that the world has faced since the two World Wars. Covid-19 Pandemic has locked down and crippled the whole world in an overwhelming manner. It has brought the entire world economy to a standstill and jeopardised the lives of millions of poor and marginalized people in our societies overnight.

Role of Mahakaruna

Mahakaruna is the heart of Buddha’s teachings. It is guiding principle in the shape of multifaceted spiritual and humanitarian service programs. Last 35 years of experience of having Mahakaruna in the centre or as foundation of our service has fully convinced us that Mahakaruna, the all-all-encompassing great universal compassion seem to be the only urgent call to tackle huge threat imposed by Coronavirus Pandemic and subsequently taking care with our mother Earth, our fellow living beings, our human society, so that the air remains pure, the water remains clean, the trees remain green, the animals remain safe on this earth, and we all come to peacefully co-exist, with joy and well-being, on this very planet, which we all call “home”.

Four noble truths

* Suffering

* Cause of Suffering

* Cessation of Suffering

* Path to the cessation of Suffering

First noble truth of suffering. Corona virus itself is the suffering, it has brought tremendous amount of suffering to humanity today. Now the cause of this suffering (corona virus) is the human excessive greed, desire and divisive ego which resulted the destruction of environmental value; polluting air and water, cutting trees, killing and eating animals, causing so much harm and destruction to mother earth, nature and animals. Now let us apply the third noble truth of cession of suffering that means suffering caused by Corona Virus can be overcome.

The heart of the Teachings of the Buddha is contained in the teachings of the Four Noble Truths. Just like a car stands and moves on the four wheels, the entire teachings of the Buddha is based on these Four Noble Truths. Now let us think of how to apply the four-noble truth to this Covid19 Pandemic.

May the light of Buddha once again shine brightly in very corner of the world dispelling the darkness of ignorance.

Buddham Saranam Gacchami
Dhammam Saranam Gacchami
Sangham Saranam Gacchami

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