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Vesak Message from the President of Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
Dear Friends in the Dharma,
The Day of Vesak commemorates the birth of Sakyamuni Buddha, a master for the humanity and a confidant on the path to enlightenment. With our hands held together in pious devotion, we offer praise to the Buddha in immense delight. May this world be filled with hope and joy, and may we find kindness and peace within our hearts.
What an auspicious day! We commemorate this propitious day by contemplating on the Buddha’s message in deep introspection through the eyes of wisdom.
Sakyamuni Buddha engaged in ascetic practice for the sake of peace and happiness of all beings. He also sought ultimate truth in the midst of the human realm. The Lord Buddha pierced through the discrimination in caste and racial difference, and he established the values of equality and dignity for all. In the world filled with superficiality, greed and the self-interest of monopoly, Buddha helped to realize that each individual must become a refuge of his or her own. The Buddha wished to implement a community of co-existence and harmony. Sakyamuni Buddha, our guide and companion in this world, is amongst us at this very moment in time.
To all Buddhists who envision a world filled with happiness and peace!
The most important vision we must accept in the teachings of the Buddha is to realize a global sense of community. A world filled with peace and joy is made possible when we support one another in this interdependent society. We are all interconnected and can only function when we rely upon the help and grace of our neighbors. We must understand what shapes the world. The earth is present as the sky exists, and sky exists with the earth. The globe functions in the elements, such as water, wind and earth. The spirit of humanity may flourish with the commitment and devotion of the farmers who provide us with food, along with the workers who give support.
To all Buddhists who open their hearts to the world!
Although the path we seek is open up ahead, the future of the present society may seem disheartening and doubtful. The natural disasters due to the destruction of the biological systems and the brutality of wars are life-threatening. The divisiveness and polarization in the ethnic and social communities continue globally. Most importantly, the Korean Peninsula is under the threat of war once again. With sincere prayers, let us all leave behind the poisons of greed, anger and ignorance and see the world with a right view. Let us all join in the multilateral efforts to overcome the world’s challenges and walk towards the path of peace and harmony.
Let the religious awakening of devotion and wisdom be born in this very life, and let the leaders of religious, political and academic communities come together and provide guidance for the citizens. Let us be a part in the farmers loving their work of harvest and the workers and underprivileged not to be dispelled from their rightful places. Let all children discover beautiful friendships and find laughter at home and youth not to be discouraged in this callous and heartless world. Let the aged not be disparate in the last stages of life. The Buddha does not neglect those who suffer, and the Pure Land on Earth is made possible when we aid the suffering beings. This is our responsibility to fulfill in this historic time.
On this auspicious Vesak,
Let nature celebrate together with the singing birds, blowing wind and valleys filled with greens and flowers. In great devotion, we celebrate the birth anniversary of the Lord Buddha.
For all life,
Let us be free and find peace and happiness!
2013 (2557 B.E.) Vesak
President of the Jogye Order
The Most Ven. Jaseung