VESAK 2556 COMMUNICATION

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THE UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM

THE EXECUTIVE INSTITUTE, UBCV

Thanh Minh Zen Monastery

Office: Giac Hoa Temple – 15/7 No Trang Long – 7th Ward – Binh Thanh District, Saigon

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Buddhist Calendar 2556                              No.:04/VHD/TT

VESAK 2556 COMMUNICATION

…..

PRESIDENT OF THE EXECUTIVE INSTITUTE

Namo Sakya Muni Buddha

 

Dear: Members of the Bi-Institutional Council, The Overseas Congress of the Executive Institute, Boards of Representatives nationwide, The Most Venerables, Venerables, Bhikkhus, Bhikkhunis, and Buddhist followers.

 

Honorable Venerables, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Vesak has arrived amid a new lotus blossom season. The light of truth has appeared, the realm of samsara liberated, and all sentient beings enlightened.

Over the last 2500 years, due to humans karmas, many beliefs have been born, and many ideological lunacies have driven mankind to material and mental ruins. However, Buddhism remains a waterfall of compassion and wisdom that alleviates all life’s sufferings. This is why the United Nation has honored the Buddha’s Birthday as the “Day of World Peace.”

Like a time’s hurricane, numerous beings are living on a frying pan of war, smoldering from Africa to Middle East, and spreading to Asia of which Vietnam is facing a threat of one thousand years of slavery from the North.

Realizing that threat, during this year’s Vesak, The UBCV Executive Institute uses the motto of repaying the kindness of the Four Grand Benefactors in order to contribute to the solution to the great National tragedy.

 

  1. To the kindness of the Three Gems

    A Buddhist has to earnestly practice in the spirit of self-enlighten and help sentient beings achieve enlightenment in order to introduce Righteous Dharma into the world to eliminate foreign-influenced, tyrannic, and totalitarian ideology that has sowed sufferings and hardship onto 85 millions of Vietnamese for over 3/4 of the century.

  2. To the kindness of Parents

    A Buddhist has to develop Buddhism in the family in order to build a future generation that is standing on the edge of moral and ethical destruction caused by an atheistic belief which deliberately tries to drown our ancestors’ traditions.

  3. To the kindness of the Country and People

    A Buddhist has to positively develop the spirit of bravery, learn from the examples of Zen Masters Phap Thuan, Khuong Viet, Van Hanh, and so forth, in order to commit him- or herself to the protection of sovereign and basic human rights, especially for those who are being imprisoned for advocating for human rights, freedom, democracy; and to protect victims of injustice, among which the UBCV are a collection of the most serious victims, who are living in misery caused by an inhumane regime.

  4. To all sentient beings

    A Buddhist has to show the interdependency in life and resolutely protect natural resources and the environment that the regime is selling off to China to reap benefits and gains for the ruling party, ignoring people’s sufferings.

 

For these pledges, the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam has always been a target of oppression, intimidation, and imprisonment, regardless of the laws and moral standards throughout 37 years. Some notable examples of the government’s inhumane campaign against the UBCV include incidents that have happened at Mai Vinh, Phuoc Thanh, Kim Quang (Thua Thien, Hue), Buu Duc Retreat (Dong Nai), and especially Giac Minh Temple (Quang Nam Danang). These sacred places remain tightly guarded by police and people’s defense forces; the situations are worse than prisons for death-row inmates.

Honorable Venerables, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Facing the reality of National and Dharma tragedies, and with the goal of transparency, the Executive Institute calls on all Buddhists to practice the following during this year’s Vesak:

 

  1. To individuals:

    – Practice a week of vegetarian from Lunar April 8 to April 15. Practice purification of the mind in order to increase the spiritual energy, to contribute to rebuild the society, and to mend ruins caused by forces of kleshas.

    – Participate in services and social charity events in the area.

  2. To households:

    – Neatly decorate Buddha’s shrines; hang flags and switch on the lights to honor the Enlightened One’s kindness

    – Encourage children to participate in Buddhist activities during Vesak

  3. To Temples, Retreats, Monasteries:

    – Organize Sutra chanting services and Eight Precept Retreats so that fellow Buddhists can contribute their merits to the Three Gems.

    – Decorate with the most practical meaning about Vesak

  4. To UBCV Boards of Representatives in Provinces and Cities:

    – Based on local area’s circumstances, try to create a stage simple yet serene and equanimous so that local Buddhist followers have a chance to pilgrimage and worship

    – If conditions allowed, organize charitable events and provide consolations to individuals and families who sacrificed for national rights.

    – Organize a week of Praying for National Peace and Prosperity from Lunar April 8 to April 15. Organize Sutras chantings, and continuously chant and pray until Vesak Day.

 

Honorable Venerables, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Vesak is also the beginning of the Summer Monastic Retreat season, which is a chance for Monks and Nuns to cultivate their minds, and to further develop their Sila, Samadhi, and Panna in order to be worthy of Buddha’s elder sons in the journey of Spreading Dharma and Salvage Sentient beings.

Especially, there will be two Aprils in this Lunar leap Year of the Dragon, therefore during the second April, monks and nuns will start the monastic summer retreat.

Monastic Summer Retreat is also a season of bliss for non-monastic Buddhists which is expressed through the contribution of Proper Dharma by supporting monks to achieve their vows in a serene retreat hall.

Therefore, the Executive Institute hopes that Boards of Representatives, Patriarch’s Temples, Monasteries, and Buddhists of all kinds strive to create a Monastic Summer Retreat with all meanings in the current situation.

Lastly, the Executive Institute would like to repeat the teaching of the Most Senior Venerable Thich Quang Do, the Fifth Supreme Patriarch of the UBCV, in his Vesak 2549 Dharma Talk, when he was President of the Institute for the Dissemination of Dharma, so that all Buddhists can follow:

With the spirit of liberation from self-importance and to bring tranquility to life, Buddhism was established in our country, leading the nation onto a cultural path as a declaration of Wisdom, Compassion and Equality. There have been ups and downs through the ages, but Buddhism has never experienced ups and downs in the great pledge of salvation, which is a means of leading mankind to the shore of Freedom and Liberation.”

It is sincerely hoped that the Venerables and Buddhists blissfully receive this Vesak Communication in the spirit of Supporting Dharma, the Nation, and the People.

 

Namo Nityodyukta Bodhisattva

Buddhist Calenar 2556, Giac Hoa March 1st Lunar Year of Dragon

(22/3/2012)

On behalf of President of the UBCV Executive Institute

Vice President and Chief of Monastic Affairs Department

<Signed and Sealed>

Sramana Thich Nhu Dat