4.35. Inida - Gautam Buddha University, Dr. Arvind Kumar

Thứ bảy - 11/05/2019 07:48
Dr. Arvind Kumar Singh

For UN Vesak Day 2019

First of all, I would like to offer my hearty congratulations to National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (NVBS) for organizing the 16th Anniversary Celebration and International Buddhist Conference of United Nations Day of Vesak 2014 for the 3rd time at Tam Chuc International Buddhist Convention Centre, Ha Nam Province, Vietnam, from 12th-14th May 2019.

I am so glad to present this special message on this utmost significant day of all Buddhists in the world. As Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the world and the Buddhist teachings have contributed for over two and a half millennia, and continue to contribute, to the spirituality of humanity. The most significant festival of Buddhism is the celebration Buddha Purnima or Vesak Day falls in the month of May every year on the night of the full moon, when Buddhist all over the world celebrates the birth, enlightenment (Nibbana) and death of the Buddha (Mahaparinibbana) over 2,562 years ago. It is the holiest of holy days to mankind, especially for the Buddhists. Needless to say, the Buddha left an incredible impression on art, sculpture, literature, philosophy in one word, every branch of culture that men developed from time immemorial. The Vesak Day was started to be celebrated from very ancient time. It was at the time of the King Ashoka, when he sent his son and daughter named Mahinda and Sanghamitra respectively, to Sri Lanka for preaching the teachings of the Buddha Dhamma and with the conversion of King Tissa, the Buddha Purnima or Vesak Day assumed a new significance. From this very period Vesak Day was celebrated as one of the most important festival of Buddhism in all over the world. The


significance of Vesak Day lies with the Buddha and his universal peace message to mankind. The celebration of Vesak Day is a chance to remember the story of how the Buddha gained Enlightenment, and to reflect on what it might mean for individual Buddhists to move towards Enlightenment themselves. The festival is celebrated with much colour and gaiety. In many countries during the festival, Buddhists will visit their local monastery or Vihara for services and teaching, and will give offerings to the monks of food, candles and flowers. Chanting and praying are an important part of Vesak Day. The ‘Bathing the Buddhaceremony is also often included. Water is poured over the shoulders of the Buddha and serves as a reminder to purify the mind from greed, hatred and ignorance.

The festival of Vesak Day is so important that the United Nations hasadopteditastheironeoftheactivitytocelebratethispiousfestival of Buddhism. In December 1999, therefore, the General Assembly of the United Nations, at its fifty-fourth session (Agenda Item 174 on the International Recognition of the Day of Vesak), recognized the Day of Vesak as an International Day of the United Nations and resolved that an appropriate activity would be held annually at the UN Headquarters and other offices as well. Since the year 2000 Buddhist countries have been honoured to be the sponsor of the Vesak Day Activities at the UN Headquarters in New York. Since 2004, it has been celebrated in Thailand with the exception in 2008 and 2014 when it was celebrated in Hanoi, Vietnam. This year also National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has been given the responsibility to host 16th UNDV Celebration Conference in Vietnam. This 16th international celebration in Vietnam, represents a continuing effort to bring together 10,000 Buddhist leaders, academics, scholars and participants to commemorate the three important events in the life of the Buddha, His Birth, Enlightenment and Passing Away, and all to discuss the main subject: “Buddhist Approach to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Sustainable Societies. On behalf of the Mexico Delegation I would like to express our gratitude the organizers of this important event for making possible this large meeting of Buddhists to discuss and exchange ideas on how to make a better world under the Buddhas main guidelines of wisdom and compassion.


I extend my best wishes to the fruitful accomplishments and great success of the 16th Anniversary Celebration and International Buddhist Conference of United Nations Day of Vesak 2019 at Tam Chuc International Buddhist Convention Centre, Ha Nam Province, Vietnam, from 12th-14th May 2019.

May the Buddhas teachings illuminate the way of all of us for the peace and welfare of all beings!

Arvind Kumar Singh Director,
International Affairs & 
Assistant Professor,
School of Buddhist Studies & Civilization

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