THE UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM
THE INSTITUTE OF THE SANGHA
Thanh Minh Zen Monastery
90 Tran Huy Lieu, 15th Ward, Phu Nhuan District, Saigon
Buddhist Calendar 2556 No: 06/TT/VTT
VESAK 2556 MESSAGE FROM
The Fifth Patriarch Thich Quang Do
Namo Sakyamuni Buddha
Dear Ranking Monastics, Most Venerables, Venerables, Bhikhus, and Bhikhunis
Dear Buddhist Followers inside and outside of Vietnam
On behalf of the UBCV’s Bi-Institutional Council, I would like to send my joyful greetings to all Venerables and lay Buddhists inside and outside of Vietnam during Sakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday.
Mankind’s great fortune has been the ability to welcome Vesak, for since that day, mankind came to know the methods to eliminate ignorance, which is the cause of all sufferings, in order to step onto the path of enlightenment and liberation.
Vietnamese Buddhists have celebrated Vesak for 2000 years, ever since Buddhism’s arrival in our country. Two thousand times immersing in Compassion, Wisdom, and Bravery to build the foundation of Vietnamese culture. Relying on Compassion to not despise life and death, to embrace sentient beings; to carry the responsibilities to benefit all beings, and to live in reciprocation of kindness of the Four Benefactors: Parents, Teachers and Friends, the Nation, and the Three Gems. Relying on Prajna Wisdom to tell the good from bad, the righteous from evil, and to step onto the Buddha’s path. Relying on Bravery to be unafraid of dangers and solitary, and to use the karmic force of self-enlightenment to reverse human’s common karma of ignorance, sufferings, and immorality.
History of Vietnamese Buddhism is a process in which Vietnamese Buddhists practice the three crucial characteristics: compassion, wisdom, and bravery. Use not ego and selfishness as root. Instead, use people, society, and all kinds of beings as the goal of liberation and enlightenment. Therefore, when facing corrupted dynasties or regimes that destroy Righteous Dharma, or when facing invading forces against national sovereignty or people’s freedom of conscientious, Vietnamese Buddhists have always pioneered in preventing great disasters from taking place.
Arriving from foreign country, but Buddhism has mingled with our nation in traditional way of life as well as in spirituality. Buddhism has also become a national religion that uses the spirit of equality as the basics of social activities uniformly in all aspects of culture, education, economy, and politics in order to further the people and the country.
Buddhists can not separate the fates of the nation and of the world from the fate of Righteous Dharma. Without Righteous Dharma, this world will continue to use limited energy to serve infinite desires aimed to destroy virtue and to eliminate self-esteem. Over the last 37 years, according to published numbers in a one-way, restricted communication, there have been 22 Monks, Nuns, and lay Buddhists who self-immolated with the only goal of protecting Righteous Dharma. Recalling this heartbreaking image, I would like to rekindle the Bodhicitta within each of Buddha’s children in order to be faithful to the great vow and compassion, while at the same time dedicate Vietnamese Buddhists’ sacrifices and efforts to The Enlightened One on the day of Vesak. This is so that from now on, in coming days and months, Buddhists know what to do in viewing speading the dharma as doing household work and benefiting sentient beings as a career. Thanks to that, it can be hopeful that one can salvage the bodies from subjugation to life’s events and the minds from being slaves to extremist ideologies.
Buddhists are the ones who have inherited 2000 years of Buddhism, which is an unlimited reservoir of salvation and elimination of dangers. And Vesak is the day for us to recognize this lifetime inheritance. Has Vietnamese Buddhism made any contribution? Only those who practice what Buddhism has practiced throughout 2556 years can only truly answer that question.
Through practicing, Vietnamese Buddhists can maintain their trust in Righteous Dharma and the salvation responsibilities amidst a troubled, grim, and violent present.
I humbly call on all Venerables and Buddhist adherents inside and outside of Vietnam to welcome the Buddha into your heart and to sincerely celebrate Vesak.
Thanh Minh Zen Monastery – Saigon. Vesak Season 2556.
The Fifth Patriarch,
The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam
<Signed and Sealed>
Sramana Thich Quang Do