The message: “We had great joy in seeing Sri Lankan Buddhists giving emphasis to the principles of Buddhism with the dawn of the Sri Sambuddhathva Jayanthi at the last Vesak festival. With the immense pleasure of contemplating on the Buddha, we recall the great religious awakening of devotion and wisdom that spread throughout Sri Lanka during this year, as we now see the end of the Sambuddha Jayanthi commemorations on this Vesak Day. It is our wish that this joy in the Buddha and his teachings would abide in the minds of all Sri Lankans.
The teachings of the Buddha are the best way to lead a life that is free of confusion. These teachings show us the path to lead a life free of the four-fold evils and achieve success in this world and the next.
We must be aware that all who are of wrongful mind and thinking cause many divisions and clashes that close the doors to our progress. As it is stated in the Dhammapada:
“Attana va katam papam – attana sankilissati
Attana akatam papam – attana va visujjhati
Suddhi asuddhi paccattam – nannno annam visodhaye”
“Evil done by oneself will defile one.
Evil not done by oneself will purify one.
Purity and impurity depend on oneself.
No one can purify another.”
Therefore, Let us in this Vesak season pave the way to success in this world and the next, by eschewing all disputes and divisions and making a commitment to national unity and religious co-existence through seeing the true light of Buddhist teachings.
May you receive the blessings of the Samma Sambuddha!
The message: “I seriously believe that in a country where the majority are Buddhists by birth we are passing through a period of uncertainty where we are confronted with the task of differentiating between the genuine Buddhists and pretenders.
“We, followers of a supreme sacred religion that preaches the Hethu Palaya (the cause and effect) and Karma Palaya (results of a deed) which help one to attain Nibbana, need not generate greed for anything mundane or spiritual. It was only a Buddhist who could act with tolerance and respect towards other religions demonstrating the noble qualities of equality and harmony. This was the essence of the great teachings of The Buddha. In a country where we find a leader who has realised this deep reality, as Buddhists the task ahead of us is manifold for the eternal existence of Buddhism.
“In keeping with the constitutional guarantee for protection and foster Buddhism the steps taken by the President for the uplift of the Buddha Sasana is praiseworthy.
“Encouraging parents to ordain children in the Sasana granting special allowance to temples where over seven Samanaras are resident, granting financial assistance to 773 viharas for development work, developing 2,600 Daham Pasals island-wide, granting of a donation of Rs. 100 million to the Asgiri Vihara on its completion of 700 years after establishment could be cited as a few examples among many programmes undertaken by this government for the protection of Buddha Sasana. According to the introduction of the United Nations Organization, Buddhism is a religion with a philosophy that fosters peace and harmony among mankind. Therefore the United Nations has declared Vesak Poya Day as an International Holiday. Apart from that I believe that this is the most appropriate moment to mention the extensive programme commenced by the President for the propagation of Buddhism in countries where Buddhism is not practiced. Besides, to be inwardly a Buddhist, to be a well disciplined monk with a thorough knowledge of the Dhamma and to lead a religious life are the noblest of all.
May your lives be relieved of pain and suffering on this noble day of birth, enlightenment and Parinirwana of The Buddha”.
When the Dhammadeepa Foundation launched a programme to mark the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi, this was one of the temples in the remote areas off Anuradhapura selected to revive an ancient tradition. The tradition is Giribhanda Pooja which means 'offering of goods to the height of a mountain' dating back to the days of King Mahadathika Mahanaga who ruled from Anuradhapura.
On the initiative of the Foundation's patron, Ven. Talalle Chandakitti Thera, more than 20 temples were provided with over a hundred items each, ranging from beds, tables and chairs, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery sufficient to offer alms to 10 monks, robes, mosquito nets, sheets and pillows, a gas cooker, a blender, a lantern, dry rations – the list being endless. Mammoties and other agricultural implements were also provided, with each temple being donated a bicycle for the monk to send someone to get whatever he needs.
Apart from these special offerings, the Foundation also assisted hundreds of temples to meet their needs. "We covered temples from the north to the south and the west to the east," Ven. Chandakitti said, adding, "We gave books, clothes, stationery and other essentials to the students of dhamma schools as well. Copies of the Tripitaka were donated to the temples."
Clad in white, devotees in neighbouring villages thronged to the temple whenever the presentations were made with Ven. Chandakitti delivering a sermon highlighting the need to lead simple lives and practise pansil.
1. Not to take life
2. Not to steal
3. Not to lie
4. Not to consume liquor or other intoxicants
5. Not to commit adultery
The Chinese scholar, Fa-Hien, has recorded celebration of this festival. The day is a celebration of Buddha's teachings to the world. It reminds us of his preaching to the mankind. Among the teachings of the Buddha to the world, the foremost was "Ahimsa" (not causing harm to anyone). Non-violence is not merely refraining from inflicting injuries on others with one's limbs or weapons. Non-violence has to be practiced with purity of mind, tongue, and body. There should be no ill feelings, which is a form of violence. To cause harm to others through the body is also violence (Himsa). No one should be harmed even by speech. The speech should be sweet, pleasing and wholesome. All actions should be helpful to others. If we practice even half of what he has said than this world will be a different place to live.
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