Excellencies, Distinguished guests
Friends in the Dhamma
A Very good morning to you all!
It has been 2642 years since the Sakyamuni Siddhattha Gotama was born.
It has been 2607 years since the Sakyamuni Siddhattha Gotama attained the Supreme Enlightenment and became the Buddha, the Fully Enlightened One.
It has been 2562 years since the Sakyamuni Siddhattha Gotama passed into Parinibãnna.
On this “Threefold Sacred Day” of the Buddha, I would like to convey my profound message to the entire people of the world.
It was the Buddha who appeared only after exceedingly long period of incalculable worlds.
It was the Buddha who renounced his luxurious life as a Crown Prince, high royal position and power, wealth, wife and son in exchange for the Noble Truth, Emancipation and Genuine Peace.
It was the Buddha who taught humans to understand the true nature of life. Without understanding the truth, it is very difficult to solve the problems of life. Without understanding the truth, it is not possible to become real humans or Buddhists.
It was the Buddha who renounced all worldly pleasures and donning the simple yellow robe of an ascetic, alone, penniless, wandered forth in search of Truth and Peace. It was an unprecedented historic renunciation.
It was the Buddha who never hesitated to approach any religious teachers who could guide him the right way to Truth, Peace and Emancipation he had been searching for.
It was the Buddha who went his own way to attain the Supreme Enlightenment as he found that all teachings and methods of famous religious teachers of his time did not satisfy him.
It was the Buddha who expounded the “Middle Way” and the “Four Noble Truths” by his own efforts and wisdom, unaided and unguided by any supernatural power, which could not be expounded by any ascetic, priest, god, Māra or Brahmā in this world.
It was the Buddha who indicated the misguided men to refuge only in the noble character they have practiced and the wisdom they have penetrated through their own striving.
It was the Buddha who opened the eyes of the blind who were guided by the unlearned at the beginning of the world’s religions by virtue of the Middle Way he himself had discovered.
It was the Buddha who began to spread His noble teachings over 2600 years ago and since then, no single drop of blood has been shed throughout its peaceful march.
It was the Buddha who always protested against racial discrimination and caste distinction between Kings and peasants, bankers and beggars, holy men and robbers, princesses and prostitutes, Bramins and outcasts.
It was the Buddha who emphasized the importance of wisdom and Character which is non-aggressive, non-dogmatic, non-extreme,
non-theocentric, realistic, homocentric and ethical teachings.
It was the Buddha who always asserted that if one is endowed with Wisdom and Character, he or she is undoubtedly noble, regardless of race or caste that he or she belongs to. It is Wisdom and Character that play a vital role in living a better and meaningful life. If one lacks one of them or both, one’s life would be insecure, unstable and meaningless;
It has been 2562 years since the Buddha, who untiringly admonished human beings with such noble and invaluable teachings, took his noble demise. On his demise, he did not take anything with him but only peace he had achieved, but He left his teachings, the Dhamma which is Truth and Peace and also the way to practice the Dhamma. The way to Wisdom and character, Truth, Peace and Emancipation he expounded is not confined to any particular race, religion and nation. The Dhamma the Buddha expounded is neither optimism nor pessimism; it is the way to realize the Truth and Reality. It has nothing to do with dogmatic extremism and racialism. The Buddha and his Dhamma do not belong to the Buddhists only; it is open for all pure-hearted and noble-hearted people. It belongs to the general inheritance of all cultivated men who can think clearly with their open minds.
It is Wisdom and Character that the Buddha left is the common ground for all human beings.
It is Morality and Wisdom that the Buddha left is the common platform for all human beings.
It is Truth and Peace that the Buddha left is the common destination for all human beings.
It is the Buddha who has given warmth to the whole world and lit it with his sun-like wisdom;
It is the Buddha who has spread peace to the whole world with his moon-like loving-kindness and compassion;
Thus, we always pay our unswerving tribute to the Buddha who is endowed with such most glorious and virtuous attributes, and as the Though 2562 years have elapsed since the passing away of the Buddha, the Greatest Teacher of all beings, yet the Dhamma Torch He lit is still shining brightly not only in Asia but around the whole world, which indicates the way of peace that we all have to walk on together.
I sincerely wish all human beings to live together in peace and harmony on our Common Platform of Wisdom and character as guided by our Greatest Teacher, the Buddha.
May you all be calm and peaceful like the full Moon.
Dr. Ashin Nyanissara
Vice Sangha Raja of Shwekyin Nikaya Buddhist Order Abhidhajamaharatthaguru, Ph.D., D.Litt. Founder of Sitagu International Buddhist Missionary Association Chancellor of Sitagu International Buddhist Academies Patron of Sitagu Ayudana and Sekkhu Dhana Hospitals Chairman of the Board of Director of Theravada Dhamma Society of America