The United Nations Day of Vesak, which marks the birth, enlightenment and the passing of the Buddha, will shortly take place in locations across Sri Lanka.
In a lengthy report, the Sunday Times notes that elaborate preparations are underway at the Sri Sambodhi Vihara in Colombo, where Ven Daranagama Kusala Dhamma Thera “is using all available resources to make the event a meaningful and spectacular Vesak commemoration”.
The Thera recalls that it was the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar who convinced the United Nations to accept Vesak Day as a day of Buddhist observance.
“He told them that Buddha’s compassion and understanding were needed for the service of humanity and in this age, His teachings could provide the world of today with much needed guidance.”
The highpoint of the day will be the symposium at the BMICH from May 12-13 on the subject of Social and Natural Justice from a Buddhist Perspective; Inter-religious Understanding of a Common Future for Humankind; Buddhist Forum for Economics, Promotion of Cultural Tourism; and International Buddhist Media Network.
The closing ceremony on May 14 will be held in Kandy when the ‘Mahanuwara Declaration’ will be inked in the precincts of the Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka’s most sacred Buddhist relic.
The state Vesak Festival will be held at Wattarama Raja Maha Vihara in Kegalle while other highlights include a Replica of the Sakyan Kingdom to come in Piliyandala, a Vesak zone at Diyawanna, and a cultural show at Nelum Pokuna Theatre.
Meanwhile, the tenth anniversary of The Buddhist non-profit, 24 hour, exclusively Buddhist TV channel coincides with the United Nations Vesak Day.
Read the full report here.