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The standing committee of National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha

Most Ven. Prof. Dr. Thich Chon Thien

 


ADDRESS ON THE UN VESAK  DAY (BE. 2558)
By Standing Committee of  The National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha


His Holiness, Most Venerables, Venerables, Bhiksus and Bhiksunis
Dear Distinguished Guests and all Buddhists 

The month of April, Summer in the lunar calendar,  is May in the solar calendar, which is also the Second month, the month of Rain, the month of Vesakha of the ancient Indian calendar. On the full moon of this month, 2638 year ago, in the garden Lumbini of Kapilavatsu of ancient India, now part of the territory of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Buddha Sakyamuni was born. This great, rare phenomenon has been described that the ground was shaken in many ways, heavenly flowers scattered, heavenly music resound ... Light from his golden body is the Golden Light of the Great Way, opening the history of compassion, wisdom, opening Vision enlightenment, Entering the Buddha’s wisdom for all sentient beings on this planet to escape delusion, darkness, going towards the eternal peace of Nirvana.
The tradition of taking the full moon day of May of the solar calendar for the celebration of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away has long existed in some countries with Buddhist beliefs, but by 1950, in the first Conference, the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) officially recommended Buddhists all over the world officially accepted this day. On 15-12-1999, in the 79th plenary session, the United Nations decided to recognize the Vesak celebration as the International Day for the reason that Buddhism is one of the oldest religions, which have contributed to peace, culture and humanistic education more than 2,500 years ago and continue to make good contributions for the humanity. Vesak Day celebrates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Buddha Sakyamuni.
In the new era, Buddhism has strongly flourished around the world.  Vietnamese Buddhism also had very positive development. Increasingly, the reputation of the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) is deeper, extensive domestically and towards with other  international Buddhist communities. Six years ago, we have successfully organized the fifth UN Vesak celebrations; this year, we are extremely happy that once again the government allowed the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha to host the grand, dignified and solemn Vesak celebrations.
“Happily Buddha was born. Happily Dharma was taught.” With the joy of celebrating the holy Vesak, we are determined to cultivate and propagate the Dharma. The situation, our means of preaching are more favorable and abundant. Monasteries, tools, retreats, lectures, Dharma texts, books, newspapers and many other media help the spreading of the Dharma to be more widely available, easier and more effective ; it has attracted, invites, creates a large devotion of Buddhists, especially in cities across the country. But, there is still something lacking balance. We need to convey more the teachings of Buddha, the Buddhist faith, peace in the material life and spiritual to the remote areas, to the border areas, to the  sea islands of our country, especially the overseas Buddhists residing and living abroad. Several Buddhists go to the temple, pay respect to the Buddha and listen to dharma talks, but monastics, especially in remote areas, do not exist in great number. We do not forget the Buddha’s advice to the newly formed Sangha: “O monks, go away, go everywhere for the happiness of the majority, by compassion for life, for the benefit and well-being of the gods and mankind.”
Summer is once again the retreat of monastics and a chance for Buddhists to perform the spiritual approach with the body, speech and mind. A retreat is also a tradition of many wanderers in ancient India, but only the retreat of Buddhist Sangha is aimed at cultivating, being diligent in practice, for self-benefit and social benefit. I think that it should be emphasized in this retreat all monastics and Buddhists should be diligent in the practice. Diligence is the painstaking effort to be courageous and progressive in practice, in the exercise of doing good. Diligence is part of the Four right beliefs, Five roots, Five forces, Seven enlightenment parts, Eightfold Noble Path, Six or ten paramitas . The Abdhidarma sect counted diligence as one of ten great good Dharmas. The consciousness-only sect called diligence one of eleven good minds . Diligence is  to overcome inertia, laziness, the desire for personal easiness, the insensitiveness to people and everything that are contrary to the attitude of selfless and spirit of Buddhism. So diligence has help monastics, Buddhists, all levels of the VBS to complete the Buddha works with direct benefits to Buddhism, the society, and to implement the effective programs that the Seventh National Buddhist Conference has set.
On the birthday of Buddha Sakyamuni, let us remember the Blessed One who has infinite compassion and infinite wisdom. We rejoice as bathing in , imbued with golden light of the practice and we should determine to practice diligently for ourselves, contribute to the happiness and prosperity for the country, for the

Sangha, and for all beings .
Namo Original Teacher Buddha Sakyamuni. 

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