4.89. Thailand - International Buddhist College

Thứ bảy - 11/05/2019 00:48
​​​​​​​Prof. Dr. Charles Willemen
For UN Vesak Day 2019

Vesak being the most important day in the Buddhist calendar, it is only normal that this day is celebrated in the appropriate way. All Buddhist schools, no matter Theravada or others,are united on this day. In India, when shortly after the first council, sati ,the first schism occured, ca.340 BC, between the already traditional saṅgha and the majority, the mahāsaṅgha, the discussion was about vinayajust as any schism in the Indian cultural area. A vinaya dispute, however, normally was the result of doctrinal disputes. A vinaya school is called nikaya in India, and bu in China. Outside of India,e.g.in China,a nd also in Japan, a Buddhist school rather is doctrinal, called Zong in China, Shū in Japan. Today Buddhism is often identified with originally Śrī Lakan Theravāda. But, of course, other schools, such as Japanese Zen, are quite popular in the world too. So, whatever the school, Vesak (the Theravāda term) is celebrated by all Buddhists in the world. I can inform you that I personally witness this fact both in Thailand and in Europe.
Let me congratulate the Vietnamese Buddhist world with the organisation of this most memorable day. As Buddhism is all over the world, so is Vietnams Hanoi today. I certainly will make this day known to the parts of the world where I am active. Both Buddhist scholars and monastics, who are sometimes the same people, remember the most important events of the Life of the Buddha. Personally I regularly read parts of Aśvaghoṣas Buddhacarita, especially of the Chinese, complete, version.
While every day is a memorable Buddhist day, Vesak is the most memorable day.
I congratulate, feeling thankful, the Buddhist world with todays celebration.

Prof. Dr. Charles Willemen,
Rector International Buddhist College, Thailand.

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