4.45. India - University of Delhi, India

Thứ bảy - 11/05/2019 06:42
Yogesh K. Tyagi

For UN Vesak Day 2019

I am pleased to know that the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak (UNDV) will be hosted by the National Vietnam Buddhist SanghainHaNam, Vietnam, during 12-14 May 2019. It is a matter of great honour that His Excellency Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Honble Vice-President of India and the Chancellor of the University of Delhi, shall inaugurate this momentous event.

I am glad that the UNDV 2019 has chosen Buddhist Approach to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Sustainable Society. The term sustainable development was popularized after its use in the 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, popularly known as The Brundtland Report. It was in this report that the need for the integration of economic development, natural resources management and protection, social equity and inclusion was introduced for the first time. Todays globalization is overwhelmingly controlled and run by consumerism. Advertisements and psychological pressure in various forms are employed to intensify the craving for maximum consumption and high-consumption lifestyles are aggressively promoted. In such a system, things are bought not because people need them but because they want them. In fact, a consumer society is characterized by the belief that owning things is the primary means to happiness. But from Buddhist perspective, this is a mistake because more production of material goods, their increased consumption, and craving for them does not necessarily lead to increase in happiness. Buddhism teaches that in order to aưive at the highest stage of human development, one must not crave possessions. Moreover, the impact of consumerism on the psyche and spirit of the consumer runs counter to environmental sustainability, particularly because


of the vital loss of the awareness of the world that exists outside the domain of consumer goods.

An entirely new system of thought based on attention to people instead of goods is needed. Therefore, we need to seriously examine not only our attitudes and lifestyles but also our policies that govern the use of renewable and non-renewable resources, science and technology, and the scale and direction of industrialization. From the Buddhist point of view, economic and moral issues cannot be separated from each other because the mere satisfaction of economic needs without spiritual development can never lead to contentedness among people. So, there is an urgent need to sensitize all the stakeholders to, what the Buddha talked about, the fact of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all living beings, including resources. I firmly believe that a forum such as the UNDV is the ideal platform where the issue of sustainable development can be highlighted through the celebration of the three important events in the life of the Buddha, his birth, Enlightenment and Mahaparinibbana that took place on the same day, the day of Vesak.

I extend my congratulations to the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, particularly Most Ven. Prof. Dr. Phra Brahmapandita and Most Ven. Dr. Thich Thien Nhon for being the guiding spirits of these celebrations.
Best wishes for success and happiness to all!

Yogesh K. Tyagi
Vice Chancellor

University of Delhi, India

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