Thousands of delegates attended the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak (UNDV) celebrations held in Ha Nam Province in Vietnam from May 12-14, 2019.
Bhante Buddharakkhita participated in this year’s celebrations and represented Uganda at this auspicious occasion.
In his speech, Bhante invited celebrants to take a moment of silence to remember and pray for people who perished in the recent series of bombings in Sri Lanka. “I would like us to spend one minute in silence to remember the tragedy that happened in Sri Lanka just recently. Death is certain, life is uncertain”
Given the big mess happening all around the world, this year’s main discussions centered on “Buddhist Approaches to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibility for a Sustainable Society. Delegates extensively discussed solutions to the UN’s sustainable development goals, placing emphasis on mindful leadership for sustainable peace, global education in ethics, harmonious families, healthcare and sustainable society, and responsible consumption.
Bhante said that “The world is a global village. What happens in Africa, or another continent affects Asia, America and other parts of the world probably the whole universe. What happened in Sri Lanka is affecting all societies in the world.”
The Buddha’s timeless message is a message of “peace and ultimate happiness”, Bhante said. It is this message that inspired Bhante to go forth as a Buddhist monk.
Bhante also spent a few minutes of his speech to invite Buddhist monks, nuns and others to join him in Africa to spread the noble teachings of the Lord Buddha for the happiness and wellbeing of all.
“I am alone. Please come join me in Africa to spread the Dhamma”, Bhante cried out.
He expressed that there is a greater need for Buddhist monks in Africa, and less of them in traditional Buddhist countries. He reminded his audience that “Buddhism is very powerful, but we are weakening it by only focusing on traditional Buddhist countries. There are bigger parts of the world where Buddhism is not established such as Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa.
Bhante also invited the next United Nations Day of Vesak to be conducted in Africa.
Bhante also recognized the coming and support of the Most Ven. Dr. Ashin Nyanissara (in presence) to Uganda in 2017, and other Sri Lankan monks who came in 2016. There were also other monks who came from Germany, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh.
During the event, Bhante met with Most Ven. Dr. Ashin Nyanissara (Sitagu Sayadaw).
To listen to Bhante’s speech during the 16th UNDV, please follow this link