The 2018 Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of The Lord Buddha was held at Paul Keating Park in Bankstown, New South Wales on Saturday May 5, and was well attended by hundreds of enthusiastic and happy Buddhists and Non-Buddhists from around Sydney, and from around Australia.
The formal proceedings of this most auspicious event began at 10am with a warm welcome from the MC's and traditional Buddhist chanting in the Pali, Vietnamese, Tibetan and English languages, by representatives from the monastic communities of the three major Buddhist traditions of Theravada (School of the Elders), Mahayana (Great Vehicle) and Vajrayana (Diamond Vehicle).
Prior to the chanting, Most Venerable Suddhamo, the president of the Buddhist Federation of Australia, gave a brief and insightful explanation on the significance and purpose of the chanting.
The chanting was followed by meaningful speeches delivered by a representative of the United Nations, as well as representatives of the federal, state and local governments.
The key-note speech on the events theme, 'The Spirit Of Generosity' was eloquently delivered by the Most Venerable Dhammagavesi Thero, the abbot of Lankarama Buddhist Temple, who pointed out the importance of generosity in every aspect of our lives, both individually and collectively.
The formal proceedings were rounded out with a Bathing of the Baby Buddha Ceremony and food offerings to the monastic community.
Throughout the day, attendees enjoyed delicious food from the many food stalls, as well as visiting the various other informative and educational information stalls.
The children and youth were also well catered for with fun activities provided, such as face painting, a jumping castle, fairy floss and other yummy delights on offer. They were also treated with an enjoyable and educational trivia quiz about the Buddha's life and teachings. A children's Buddhist art competition was also held, with all of the entrants receiving a prize. All winners and no losers.
Continuing with the festive atmosphere, the afternoon featured on stage performances of song and dance from the many cultures in attendance. It was as if we were all travelling the world without leaving Sydney. The event concluded at 3pm with all of the performers on stage performing a fun rendition of 'Wonderful World'. All in attendance had a wonderful time, with smiles all around.
We look forward to next years celebration. May we all be well and happy.
The other major challenge to orthodox Vedism was founded by the son of a chief of a region called the Shakyas. This region lay among the foothills of the Himalayas in the farthest northern regions of the plains of India in Nepal.
Peace lives the heart and soul of every human being, with mindfulness being the key to opening its door. The Jade Buddha shows you your reflection and reminds you that peace is within you, not around you.
There was a small country in what is now southern Nepal that was ruled by a clan called the Shakyas. The head of this clan, and the king of this country, was named Shuddodana Gautama, and his wife was the beautiful Mahamaya. Mahamaya was expecting her first born. She had had a strange dream in which a baby elephant had blessed her with his trunk, which was understood to be a very auspicious sign to say the least.
Lord Buddha, the Sakyan Prince, the real refuge of all men, devas and brahmas, had fulfilled the ten perfections (Parami) since the life of Sumedha. Four Asankhyeyyas and one hundred-thousand world-cycles ago, the future Buddha named Sumedha was the only son of a rich man at Amaravati, the Royal City. He came of rich parental lineage, both of whom were pure in morality and race.
I was the first reader of the Life of the Buddha written by Mrs. Radhika Abeysekera. She presents the Dhamma to children in a very attractive way. On the day I was in Winnipeg, I understood the value of her voluntary gift of Dhamma (Dhammadana) to the children.
This uplifting poem has always been one for our favourites, so it's lovely to see this new and well-bound edition. Though written more than a hundred years ago, it still retains the power to move us in a way that no prose rendering of the life of the Buddha can. Its vivid, jewelled language makes us see the eagle wheeling in the sky, the snake beneath the rock,the moonlight shining on the floor while all in the palace sleep. The spreading branches of the Tree of Wisdom...And we cannot but admire the courage, determination and self-sacrifice of the Indian price who, out of compassion, left his palace to find a remedy for the sufferings of the world.
I extend my greetings to participants of the 11th Anniversary Celebrations and International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak 2014, being hosted by the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (NVBS).
The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism
By Sutra Translation Committee of USA/Canada
This is a revised and expanded edition of The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism. The text is a compendium of excerpts and quotations from some 350 works by monks, nuns, professors, scholars and other laypersons from nine different countries, in their own words or in translation. The editors have merely organized the material, adding a few connecting thoughts of their own for ease in reading.
Gautama the Buddha was born in northern India about 2,500 years ago. The exact place of his birth is understood to be the Lumbini Garden, which nowadays lies just inside the border of the little Himalayan kingdom of Nepal.