The President of Sri Lanka
I am pleased to send this message to the seventy sixth issue of ‘Vesak Sirisara’ published by the Government Services Buddhist Association.
The Vesak festival this year is of special significance to Buddhists throughout the world as it marks the 2600 Sambuddhathva Jayanthi, marking the attainment of Enlightenment of Prince Siddhartha Gautama under the sacred Bodhi Tree at Buddha Gaya. This great event in the annals of Buddhist history will be commemorated in a truly fitting manner during this Vesak season.
The theme of the Sambuddhathva Jayanthi is to re-organize and re-vitalize our moral life. This is most appropriate in the context of the marked decline in moral standards both among individuals and in society. In his first sermon 2600 years ago - Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta - the Buddha analyzed the problems common to all living beings at all times. He preached the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path and gave all humans the Middle Path to be followed for one’s deliverance.
The Buddha also enunciated the importance of observing the Five Precepts that would bring spiritual happiness to all. Beginning from the individual, following these teachings would be the first step towards the moral regeneration of society. Observing of the Five Precepts and following the teachings of the Buddha is of special importance in today’s world where the search for material wealth surpasses all interest in spiritual gain and the greater good of society.
To do no evil, cultivate good, and purify one’s mind is the teaching of all Buddhas. This admonition is of great value and it should be the resolve of all during this Sambuddhathva Jayanthi to lead lives of self-contentment and self-discipline, which should lead to the well being and happiness of all fellow beings. This is of special significance in Sri Lanka to strengthen the peace we have now restored and to achieve reconciliation among all our people.
I appreciate the efforts of the Government Services Buddhist Association in continuing to bring out this much valued annual publication and see it as an important act of merit. I wish the readers of Vesak Sirisara a peaceful and tranquil Vesak.
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
May 5, 2011
(Source Wesak Sirisara 2011)