The Acting Supreme Patriarch, Thailand

The Office of Secretary of The acting Supreme Patriarch

 Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen District, Bangkok 10160




From H.H Somdet Phramaharatchamangkhlachan, Thailand


The Visakha Puja Day (Vesak Day) is of vital significance for Buddhists throughout the world. Even non-Buddhists recognize the significance of this holiday, and therefore they have made a joint proposal to the United Nations Organization to endorse Vesak as an internationally important day. The United Nations now organizes annual celebratory events and hosts Buddhist acts of worship in the month of May at its main offices and branch offices throughout the world. For this, we should express our gratitude and thanks to the United Nations. The Vesak Day is not only important because it marks the birth, enlightenment, and passing away of the Buddha. It was also on this day that the Buddha gave teachings to his disciples. We can draw upon these teachings and apply their principles of conduct to help guide our lives.

At the time of his birth the Buddha made the following declaration: ‘I am supreme among human beings, I am foremost among human beings, I am most excellent among human beings.’ This statement reflects the Buddha’s self-confidence, that as a consequence of the goodness he had cultivated over lifetimes as the Bodhisatta, for the duration of four incalculable periods and a hundred thousand aeons, he would realize awakening and become the perfectly enlightened Buddha—the peerless human being, the supreme leader, the refuge, the teacher of others. The Buddha’s conviction here teaches us to have faith, to believe firmly in karma and the fruits of intentional action.

The Buddha went forth, underwent spiritual exertions, and realized the unsurpassed and perfect knowledge of awakening. He proclaimed to others this knowledge, that is, the Four Noble Truths, consisting of suffering (dukkha), the cause of suffering (samudaya), the cessation of suffering (nirodha), and the path leading to the cessation of suffering (magga). In essence, he realized the twofold pair of cause and effect: first, suffering as a result with craving as the cause, and second, the end of
suffering as a result with the Path as the cause. Having awakened to this law of causality, the Buddha then taught the Dhamma and laid down a set of regulations, which together comprise the Dhamma-Vinaya, consisting of 84,000 parts, all of which pertain to cause and effect.

The Buddha recognized the vital significance of cause and effect. All things in the world have causes for their arising, their sustenance, and their cessation. If we see that people in the world today are filled with suffering and affliction, and if we wish to help alleviate this suffering, then we must investigate to discern the causes for this suffering and solve the problems directly at these causes. For forty-five years the Buddha travelled in all directions to teach the Dhamma to people. Before his final passing away he gave his final teaching: ‘All conditioned phenomena are of the nature to decay. You should act to bring about success through diligence.’ This teaching encourages us to be heedful and diligent. We should all dedicate ourselves to fulfilling our responsibilities and accomplishing our duties properly.

This year in Vietnam, supreme patriarchs, Buddhist leaders, and scholars from around the world have the opportunity to participate in activities worshipping the Buddha and engaging in academic workshops on the theme: ‘The Buddhist Perspective towards Achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.’ This is made possible through the care and consideration of the Vietnamese monastic community and the support by the Vietnamese government. Buddhist elders, leaders, and scholars are invited to discuss the Dhamma and to impart the teachings by the Buddha to people in the world so that they may apply them in order to bring about peace and wellbeing. May we here take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Vietnamese sangha and the Vietnamese government.

By the power of the Triple Gem, may the venerable elders, Buddhist leaders, and international scholars gathering at this meeting realize an abundance of blessings, good fortune, honor, and happiness. May they be accomplished in strength, splendor, joy, and insight. And may all of their righteous and virtuous aspirations be fulfilled.


H.H. Somdet Phramaharatchamangkhlachan

 The Acting Supreme Patriarch, Thailand

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