New Delhi [India], May 16 (ANI): Buddhist monks, religious masters and practitioners from across the world called for peace and exhorted the people to reflect upon the universal teaching of Buddha, on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.

In a video message on Vaishakha Buddha Purnima Divas, organized by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and supported by the Ministry of Culture, most eminent Buddhist religious masters and practitioners from the world wished people a very happy, healthy and peaceful Buddha Purnima.

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Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama also urged people to pay more attention to the words of Gautama Buddha for peace of mind.

Ven Dr Dhammapiya, Secretary-General of IBC, said the world is celebrating this full moon day of Vaishakha 2022 when the people have experienced many unprecedented difficulties and problems because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"We are celebrating this auspicious occasion, the full moon day of Vaishakha 2022, when we are passing through the phase of human experience that many of our forefathers might have not seen called COVID-19 pandemic, which has created unprecedented difficulties, and problems and have taken way hundreds and thousands of lives from different parts of the world," he said.

He said that this is a time to reflect upon the universal teaching of Buddha, who taught us to refrain from the extreme form of our thoughts or speech or action.

"Recently, we have also witnessed the uprising of aggression in different parts of the world. Also, we have seen the explosion of human emotions in different forms, affecting the peace and harmony and sterility of society. This is the time we need to reflect upon the universal teaching of Buddha, who taught us to refrain from the extreme form of our thoughts or speech or action, follow the middle path that is to have love and compassion towards all living beings and take whatever things are required from nature for the sustenance and survival and not to extrude and exploit the nature to the extend where the mother nature gets hurt and find difficult to rejuvenate herself," said the Secretary-General of IBC.

Samdech Tep Vong, the Great Supreme Patriarch of the Kingdom of Cambodia, in a written letter said, "Being a Buddhist follower, we have a great devotion towards the Buddha's accumulation of merits as Bodhisttvas until his attainment of enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, India, and not less towards his unmatched great efforts to enlighten all human beings till the time of Mahaparinirvana at Kushinagar, north India."

Seongpa Jongjeong, the Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, said that to Korean Buddhists, it almost appears that Sakyamuni Buddha still abides in India, his home country in this earthly realm.

"The Indian Buddhists along with the Buddhists all over the world are now celebrating the 2566th anniversary of Sakyamuni Buddha's arrival on this earth. Korea has celebrated the Buddha's birthday as one of the major holidays throughout its long history. To us Korean Buddhists, it almost appears that Sakyamuni Buddha still abides in India, his home country in this earthly realm," he said.

Seongpa Jongjeong said that Sakyamuni Buddha's teaching is true medicine that will ultimately free us from all pain, including the pain of COVID-19 and urged the Buddhists to learn Dharma and practice it to attain enlightened and save all being.

"I ardently pray that the Indian people and the government will take this opportunity to remind themselves of the Buddha's wisdom and set an example for the rest the world by putting into practice the teachings of the Buddha," he added.

Thich Tri Quang, Sangharaja of National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha said that this is the time to reflect on Shakyamuni Buddha's life, and his significant contributions to the history of humankind.

"This is the time for us to reflect on Shakyamuni Buddha's life and his significant contributions to the history of humankind. Let's all pray for an end to war, a peaceful world, an end to COVID-19, and peace for our humankind. I am pleased with the theme proposed by the organizing committee of United Nations Day of Vesak: 'Compassion in Times of crisis: Buddhist Practices in Healing Global Community'," he said.

Khamba Nomun Khan, Gabju Choikamts Demberel Abbot of Gandan Tegchenling Monastery, head of the Centre of Mongolian Buddhists extended greeting to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed his happiness over celebration of Vesak Day in India- the Land of Buddhas and Bodhisatvas.

"The autobiography of the Buddha entirely reflects on human rights, freedom, equanimity, indiscrimination, gender equality, etc. Although all these were delivered over 2500 years ago, they are truly relevant to these issues widely spoken in this 21st century," said Khamba Nomun Khan.

Thich Thien Nhon, President of National Vietnam Buddhist Snagha's Executive Council, said that Vesak celebration has become a religious festival for peace promoted by the United Nations and called on United Nations to broadcast the Buddha's message of peace, tolerance, and a world without war.

"The United National Secretary-General affirmed in his Vesak message in 2020 that: "This timeless message of unity and service to others is more important than ever. It is only together that we will stop the speared of the coronavirus and recover. On the Day of Veska, let us celebrate Lord Buddha's wisdom by taking action for others with compassion and solidarity, and by renewing our commitment to build a peaceful world," he said quoting UN General Secretary.

Khondung Ratna Vajra Sakya Rinpche, 42nd Sakya Trixzin, Sakyapa order of Tibetan Buddhism, India said that the people should follow Buddha's teaching and his qualities.

"We all have sincere faith and devotion to Buddha not just because we are Buddhist but we have faith with logical reasons because Buddha's teaching was authentic,'" he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday participated in the foundation stone laying ceremony for the construction of a Centre of Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini, on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti. (ANI)

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