By Ratna Bala –
An appeal to all most Venerable Mahanayaka theros and Anunayaka theros
In May full moon day of Vesak all Sri Lankan Buddhist people celebrate the anniversary of Buddha’s birthday. Although traditionally accepted as Buddha’s birth day it actually meant to honour the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Gautama Buddha. The decision to celebrate Vesak as the Buddha’s birth day was agreed at the first conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Sri Lanka in 1950. United nations passed a resolution acknowledging the hope expressed by the International Buddhist Conference, held in Sri Lanka in November 1998, that the Day of Vesak, the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May each year, be recognized internationally and, in particular, at United Nations offices.
We Sri Lankans give greater significance to this day and celebrate it for two days. Special significance of celebration of this day manifest in our joy not only by paying homage to Buddha but also by bringing happiness to others by our offerings in many ways. Banning of alcohol sales and closure of slaughter houses meant to refrain harming or killing of any kind. In some countries People also release birds and animals as a symbolic act of liberation.
Buddha before his death expressed his wish that the way to pay homage to him was not merely by offering flowers, incense, and lights, but by sincerely striving to follow his teachings. Buddhists are expected to celebrate Vesak day to reiterate their determination to practise loving kindness, compassion and have a noble life.
I would like to appeal to you all Most venerable noble men to give your endorsement and encourage our president to release all political prisoners on Vesak day as an act of compassion and loving kindness. This will alleviate the suffering of families of those prisoners. This will give hope and enthusiasm to initiate the process of reconciliation among our people with Buddha’s blessings.
This act of compassion and kindness let our colourful decorations of pandals, thoranas highlighting the stories of Buddha and the beautiful Vesak kuudu lanterns illuminating our streets and homes to bring happiness to many hearts belong to all communities. This will encourage all srilankans to join the celebration of Vesak day whole heartedly
The teaching of the Buddha is a great force to humanity. It appeals to reason and freedom of thought, recognising the dignity of the people. It calls for equality, and understanding.
Fourth Noble Truths at the heart of the teachings of the Buddha is the Path which leads to the cessation of all sufferings. This Noble Eightfold path consists of right Understanding, right Thought, right Speech, right Action, right Livelihood, right Effort, right Mindfulness and right Concentration will guide our people to find peaceful coexistence with trust and brotherhood.
It’s my sincere hope you most venerable noble men with high morality, wisdom and mental capacity will kindly consider this veask day as an opportunity to help to end the suffering of these political prisoners, their parents, brothers, sisters and relatives. There is no better day than Vesak Day for this compassionate act by our president to promote peace and hope.
My humble Sincere wishes for beautiful Vesak day with happiness and peace.
PS: I also kindly request all Colombo Telegraph readers to encourage everyone to promote this appeal. Thank You.