EDITOR’S FOREWORD

Thứ năm - 09/05/2019 13:34
Most Ven. Dr. Thich Nhat Tu
Vice Rector of Vietnam Buddhist University
Deputy Secretary General of the 2019 UNDV in Vietnam
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EDITORS FOREWORD





The day of Vesak marks the birth, the Enlightenment and the Nirvana of the Buddha. His birth heralded the age of mans deliverance from suffering. His enlightenment was the discovery of the Truth well illustrated in the Four Noble Truths and the Law of Dependent Origination. His Mahaparinirvana led us to think and prepare our lives for the right mindfulness. The three major events in the life of the Buddha signal the birth of Buddhism, a great enlightened phenomenon in the history of humanity.

For this reason, many countries, including India, Nepal, Vietnam, China, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos observe the Day of Vesak as their national Day of Great Importance and Remembrance. The commemoration of the Day of Vesak by Buddhists everywhere in the world is to worship and honor the compassion, wisdom and purity of the Buddha who taught humanity to be kind and tolerant towards each other, instill life values and qualities which would foster world peace.

The United Nations Day of Vesak was recognized by the United Nations through a resolution at its General Assembly on December 15, 1999. As Vesak is a special Full Moon day for Buddhists all over the world, we all can observe precepts on this very special day wherever we live and abide by them throughout the day.

On this Thrice blessed daywe all should understand and practice the teachings of the Buddha and apply them to our day to day life for the well-being of human beings as taught to us by the Buddha Himself. As the greatest man ever born on this earth, the Buddha has taught us how to live peacefully and harmoniously in society by supporting each other. As most of us know, Buddhism is not a religion but a way of enlightened living. As it is a way of
 
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CONSUMPTION AND ENVIRONMENT: A SUSTAINABLE PERSPECTIVE
 


enlightenment, we all should be able to put it into practice in our daily life to overcome all hardships and suffering.

In November 1998, at the International Buddhist Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, all member countries unanimously expressed the intention to gain International Recognition for the Day of Vesak, a symbol of the birth of Buddhism as well as the religion for peace. United Nations representatives of the following countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, proposed to the UN General Assembly to adopt the resolution for the international recognition of the Day of Vesak. On 15 December 1999, the Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly at its 54th session considered the agenda item 174 and adopted the draft resolution for the International Recognition of the Day of Vesak and for the proper arrangements for its observance at the UN Headquarters and other offices of the
34. UN countries sponsoring the draft resolution.

Since the year 2000, on that most auspicious day (which is the full-moon in the fourth lunar month) Buddhist countries have joined in the commemorative event at the UN Headquarters. Thailand had the honor of hosting the event in 2004. Since then until today, the UNDV celebrations have been held twelve times in Thailand, once in Sri Lanka and thrice in Vietnam.

Vietnam had the mandate to organize this most prestigious and important event of the UN in 2008 and 2014 and again now in 2019, the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak Celebration in Ha Nam Province, Vietnam. Each time Vietnam has hosted the UNDV Celebration, it achieves huge success for not only having a theme, which covers the burning issues of the globalized world, but also in terms of participant numbers and showcasing the living Buddhism of Vietnam to the world. That is why, ICDV with the same hope mandated Vietnam for the third time to host the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak Celebration and Conference from May 12- 14, 2019 under the leadership of the Government of Vietnam and the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha.

It is also imperative to mention that, in 2007, three Executive Members of the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha including
 
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR   xv



Most Ven. Thich Thien Tam, Prof. Le Manh That and I joined the International Organizing Committee for UN Day of Vesak. Since then, the three of us have played a crucial role in building strong relationships between the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and in particular the International Council for Day of Vesak as well as the Global Buddhist communities in general.

Since the teachings of the Buddha have steadily gained widespread popularity in Vietnam, this year, the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has initiated a new vision to showcase the statues of the Buddha from various parts of the World to reflect a range of cultures and Buddhist traditions and enrich the understanding of Buddhist followers in Vietnam through Buddhist art.

As we all know, Buddhism has helped to identify the root cause of contemporary crisis in our modern civilization as being a spiritual crisis of todays human values. It is now time for people the world over to seek the means of creating a human civilization” that will contribute to the peace and happiness of humankind and harmonize our differences in ethnicity, culture, and language.

Toward the realization of this goal, I am personally determined to expand the circle of global dialogue and further develop a network of solidarity.

I conclude my congratulatory message with a prayer that the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha under its leadership will steadily develop into an oasis for enlightening dialogues and will shine even more brightly as a beacon of intellect and understanding in the years to come.

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 Center in Ha Nam Province from 12th to 14th May 2019.

Most Ven. Dr. Thich Nhat Tu
Vice Rector of Vietnam Buddhist University
Deputy Secretary General of the 2019 UNDV in Vietnam

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