27 October, 2021


Make Vesak Day A Meaningful Day For Compassion & Happiness

By Ratna Bala

Dr Ratna Bala

Dr 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.

Siddhartha: Buddha BirthBuddha 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.

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Latest comments

  • 3

    This is timely written appeal to open up the horizon of morality. Lord Buddha’s birthday is not for just celebration but for reflection. Teachings of Buddhism is universal and not for single community. Opportunist politicians and parasites twisted those teachings for their narrow end. Now the time has come to follow the true path of Buddhism with open mind. This is not only happening in Buddhism but also in other religions too. As a SriLankans we need to fight against this narrow interpretation of Buddhist teachings. This appeal specifically directed towards the higher order of Ven. Mahanayakas’. Our country already spilled enough amount of blood. This has to be stopped once and for all. Political climate is changed drastically and considerable number of Buddhist monks leading this moral crusade with enormous risks. I believe that the coming Vesak day is something different from the past. Please we have to get together with this noble people to make Nava Lanka.

    • 4

      On this holiest day, will the Mahanakes urge the state in the strongest possible language to vacate all private lands occupied illegally by the military anywhere in the country….???

  • 3

    I agree with Dr.Ratna Bala and in addition I would like all the Mahanayaka Thero’s to ask their monks to stop being racist and help promote unity among the various communities within Sri Lanka.

    • 2

      I am a Sinhalese and a Buddhist, but I abhor the attitude of Sinhala Buddhist Priests who try to advocate Sinhala Buddhism among Immigrants in other Countries. They are not spreading the Dhamma of the Buddha!

      If people wanted to remain Sinhala Buddhists, they should have stayed with MR in Sri Lanka.

  • 1

    From my youth, I wonder why we celebrate the Vesak on the full moon day of the month of Buck and not on the full moon day of the month Vesak as in India or other countries.
    It was about 19 days back the New year (beginning of the month of Buck) was ushered. So the the month of Vesak should begin after about 30 days, hence Vesak should be celebrated on the full moon day falling after 14 of May or so. Will be pleased to have a clarification.

    • 2

      Does it matter?
      After all the birth of Prince Siddhartha, the Enlightenment and Passing away, are all arbitrary dates, agreed upon after the events!

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