SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL VIETNAM BUDDHIST SANGHA ON
THE 2567TH VESAK ACCELERATOR ---------------Namo Shakyamuni Buddha! Respected members of the Venerated Mahasangha, Lay devotees in the country and abroad, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen. Joining the joyful atmosphere of the global Buddhist community in celebrating Vesak 2023, and the 2567th year according to the Buddhist calendar in Vietnam, I, on behalf of the Executive Council of the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, extend my warm greetings to all members of the Mahasangha and lay Buddhists in Vietnam and around the world. May we all have a peaceful Vesak celebration, embraced by the World Honored One. Today, humanity finds itself in a world fraught with unpredictable challenges and changes. These challenges stem from the crisis of greed and mistrust, causing immense suffering for people and other beings. Now more than ever, the invaluable teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha on loving-kindness, sharing, compassion, non-violence, and the path to liberation from human suffering offer genuine guidance in addressing our most pressing problems. As we celebrate Vesak Day, let us take a moment to calm our minds, reflect, and practice in accordance with the path laid out in the Vows of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra Sutra: "May all sentient beings be forever happy, free from disease and the failure of unwholesome actions, successful in cultivating wholesome actions, closing the doors to evil, and opening right paths to the realms of deva, human, and nirvana. If sentient beings, burdened by serious karmic offenses, accumulate much evil karma, I will endure their suffering and liberate them until their attain unsurpassed enlightenment”. The Lord Buddha taught us about the virtue of sacrifice, helping others, willingly sharing with the less fortunate, accepting the disadvantages, and relinquishing greed and selfishness to become noble and reverent individuals, thus building a better society. Dear friends, On the occasion of the Lord Buddha’s birthday, I extend my wishes to all Vietnamese monastics, laypeople, both in the country and abroad, to diligently study and practice the Threefold Training of Precepts, Concentration, and Wisdom. Upholding the observance of precepts with the principles of Discipline, Responsibility, Solidarity, and Development contributes to the sanctity of the Sangha. This year, at all levels of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, we aim to carry out numerous Buddhist activities to express our gratitude and commitments to following the great deeds and accomplishments of the Great Vietnamese Zen Masters and royal monastic advisors throughout history. We commemorate the 1005th anniversary of Zen Masters Van Hanh’s passing, the 715th anniversary of Emperor Tran Nhan Tong’s demise, and the 60th anniversary of Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation in the struggle for independence and reunification of our country. These legacies of Vietnamese Buddhism are etched in history and forever alive for future generations. The monastic members of the Mahasangha strive to fulfill their mission of propagating the Dharma and integrating the Lord Buddha's teachings into daily life with solidarity and harmony, aiming to achieve the goals set forth in the 9th Congress for the benefits of our nation and for the service of all sentient beings, enabling them to live peaceful and joyful lives, both in secular and spiritual realms, on this auspicious occasion of the Shakyamuni Buddha’s birthday. Namo Shakyamuni Buddha!