Wesak Day commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and passing away of Lord Buddha. Let us observe this occasion mindfully, peacefully, with full gratitude and respect for our great Teacher. It is also a time for us to reflect on the sublime goodness of the Buddha and his teaching.
Here at Nalanda, we advocate the spirit of giving and caring to honour the Buddha’s message of love and peace. We encourage all devotees, friends and the general public to give selflessly through activities such as Blood Donation, Mass Food Offering, Alms Giving, and Transference of Merits to all beings.
This kind of activities augment well for the fostering of unity, peace and understanding, as devotees come together to work harmoniously for the welfare of many. Thus, Wesak also becomes an occasion to reach out and unite the Buddhist community in the spirit of compassion.
The theme for this year is “Being Well Begins with Me!” Taking care of our personal health is a powerful first step towards mental and emotional health. The mind and the body are closely linked. When we improve our physical health, we will automatically experience greater mental and emotional well-being.
Many people seek ‘happiness’ from outside sources instead of looking within themselves. They drink, gamble and smoke under the illusion that they are enjoying ‘happiness’ which can overcome their miseries. These health-damaging indulgences do not bring relaxation and serenity but make us slaves to our senses, and drive us ever deeper into the chasm of ill health. We should instead learn to control our own mind, as a developed and cultured mind enables us to abandon unwholesome ways and cultivate wholesome lifestyles.
The Buddha says, “No enemy can harm one as much as one’s unwholesome thoughts.” When we control and purify our mind, we can overcome such negative thoughts and achieve happiness and inner peace. A healthy mind is capable of harnessing great power and gives us the solace we so desperately need. Achieving inner peace and happiness also enables us to serve others better. If we radiate loving-kindness and understanding towards others, the world will be filled with peace, harmony and tranquility. Let us reach beyond ourselves and cultivate peace, unity, and a community spirit so highly praised by the Buddha.
On behalf of the Management of Nalanda Buddhist Society, I would like to extend our invitation and welcome to everyone to participate in Nalanda’s wholesome programmes during the Wesak period. May you be well and happy always.