Monday, May 7th, 2012
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Namo Sakya Muni Buddha;
Venerable Monks, Nuns and Members of International Buddhist Foundation
Ladies, Gentlemen and Distinguished Guests,
Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the most sacred and auspicious day for Buddhists worldwide. This day was also recognized by the United Nations as the most sacred day and passed a resolution on December 15, 1999 as the Global Holiday.
Vesak or Visakha in Pali language means the sixth month of lunar calendar. On a full moon day of this month, three very powerful events transpired in Buddha life.
1st His Birth: In the scripture (Tri Pittaka) describes that “Lord Buddha was born on Friday, full moon of Vesak, the year of dog in Lumbini Park (probably on May 13, 624 B.C.)”
2nd His Enlightenment: Buddha renounced his luxurious palace life at age 29 to seek Enlightenment. For six years He practiced the ancient methods of self denial (Dukkharakiriya) until his skin emaciated and blood dried out without achieving Enlightenment. Then He realized that extreme asceticism was not the answer.
Finally, through using his own method of middle path (Majjhimakka Padipadha) at age 35 Buddha attained Enlightenment. It was on a Wednesday, full moon of Vesak, the year of Rooster (probably on May 13, 589 B.C.) Lord Buddha then embarked on His journey from place to place and tirelessly taught the Dhamma for 45 years.
3rd: His Parinibbaba. Lord Buddha ascended to Parinibbana at age 80 in Kusinara district. It was a Tuesday, on a full moon day of Vesak, the year of Snake (probably on May 13, 544 B.C.),
On this especial day we should be mindful of Buddha’s final advice: “all compound things are constantly changing and decaying, so strive on diligently to achieve individual goal.”
We are grateful to the founding members of the International Buddhist Foundation for celebrating this day since its inception. On behalf of The International Buddhist Foundation I would like to thank all communities and their members for their support and participation. We are grateful to the Prajna Buddhist Temple of Vietnamese community for hosting this event at this beautiful temple.