Vesak messages from UN officials : ‘Draw inspiration from the Buddha’s teachings’ | Sunday Observer

Vesak messages from UN officials : ‘Draw inspiration from the Buddha’s teachings’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issuing a statement extending his wishes to millions of Buddhists celebrating Vesak, said Buddhists and Non-Buddhists alike can reflect on the life of the Buddha and draw inspiration from his teachings.

“In a time of growing intolerance and inequality, the Buddha’s message of non-violence and service to others is more relevant than ever,” the statement read.

Guterres also called on the world community to renew its commitment to building a world of peace and dignity for all on the Vesak day.

UN Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer in her Vesak message extended her heartfelt wishes to all the people of Sri Lanka. “At this time in Sri Lanka’s history, it is important to remember the fundamental teachings of Buddhism that are also represented in the Sri Lankan flag by the four Bodhi leaves; Mettā (benevolence), Karunā (kindness), Muditā (empathetic joy), and Upekkhā (equanimity),” she noted in her message.

“Mettā reminds us that we should not wish illness or sorrow on any living being. Karunā calls on each and every one of us to show kindness and compassion towards all living beings. Muditā embodies the highest level of empathy, where you not only share the joys and sorrows of all living beings, but feel it as your own. Upekkhā teaches that we must not lose our virtues in the face of adversity,” it stated.

In her message, Singer also noted that these four immeasurables, when upheld and practised, would create a society of coexistence and tolerance.

She also appealed to Sri Lankans to remember, reflect and internalise these teachings and aspire to create a peaceful and inclusive island for all.

 

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