August 19, 2016

It’s important to avoid the two extremes of greed and anger: President U Thein Sein

President U Thein Sein and Sayadaws light candles at the World Buddhist Peace Conference.
President U Thein Sein and Sayadaws light candles at the World Buddhist Peace Conference.

Every religion renders moral support to its followers and helps them to live a meaningful life, President U Thein Sein yesterday said at the World Buddhist Peace Conference at the Sitagu International Buddhist Academy in Sagaing Region.
Buddhism emphasises impartiality and takes the middle way, with the president describing the eventual liberation from self-indulgence as an eternal goal inspired by all Buddhists.
That goal is reachable by the arduous practice of morality, concentration and wisdom. The Buddha taught four sublime actions of love, sympathy, delight and unconcern that can ensure the way to peace, unity and prosperity. Not only is Buddhism indispensable to its followers but it also offers practical applications to all mankind, with no discrimination on grounds of colour, race and faith.
Globalisation has brought the whole world together, turning it into a multicultural society. Despite this, differences in skin colour, ideology and belief have triggered hate speeches flaming racial and religious tensions and giving rise to extremisms.
The Great Discourse of Buddhism teaches the opposite existence of anxiety and tranquility as well as dark and light. Trapped in ignorance, people find it difficult to distinguish the cause and effect of anxiety and its nature. Therefore, wars are like adding fuel to the flame.
Extremists are none but those who set the world on fire. It is a natural phenomenon common to the people from different backgrounds. It is therefore important for religious leaders to encourage their followers to take the middle way and avoid all forms of extremes.
Middle way is the combination of morality, concentration and wisdom. I believe all the teachings of every religion call for not making bad deeds and founders of all the religions teach followers to avoid extremes and to concentrate on mental calmness.
I hope for world peace through personal peace with my belief that peace is possible if everyone takes the middle way encouraging to avoid extremes.
In June, 1954, former prime ministers of China, India and Myanmar adopted Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence that became main points of the United Nations General Assembly and declarations of world organizations.  The five principles are as follow:
1.    Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
2.    Mutual non-aggression.
3.    Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
4.    Equality and cooperation for mutual benefit.
5.    Peaceful coexistence
From the point of view of a Buddhist, the five principles are involved in the four cardinal virtues taught by the Buddha.
I believe the World Buddhist Peace Conference will help to bring an end to wars and violent events around the world and to contribute to ensuring world peace and personal peace for the world people.
During the auspicious occasion, I wish those present including monks who strive for successful holding of the conference health and happiness.


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