The Honorary Secretary of
World Buddhist Sangha Council
Seik Hui Siong
It is a great pride for all Buddhists around the world to have the United Nations (UN) recognized Vesak day as the United Nations Day of Vesak (UNDV). Moreover, the UN has been continuously supporting Vesak celebration and activities each year internationally and promoting peace.
I would like to sincerely express my gratitude to Thai Sangha members and Mahaculalongkhorn University, whose tireless effort make us possible to celebrate, commemorate, and witness the greatness of the Buddha, His compassion, and contribution to our civilized society. Buddha's wisdom always brings happiness, and profoundly touches people's lives on earth. This strength inspires all of us to diligently and continuously serve our society so that we can all achieve high quality of life and promote world peace.
We have witnessed the sorrowful trouble of planet Earth since the beginning of this new millennium. It has now become more apparent and affected many aspects of our life. Although we know that impermanence law is a substantial factor, humans are also mainly accountable for a continued destructions. Irresponsible human activities (e.g., war, excessive chemical waste, etc.) have reduced the quality of life of both humankind and other members of the Earth community. These activities have accelerated the damage rate comparing to if we live and use our resources mindfully. As we enjoy and rejoice our achievements in art and scientific knowledge, we frequently ignore and afraid to admit that we are the most dangerous creatures on Earth.
By nature, humans see opportunities and are capable to become greedy. Our intelligence has the capacity to manipulate others in order to gain more power and access resources. We are often easily influenced by anger and ignorance, thus become violent if we cannot accomplish our desire. To this date, we, directly or indirectly have destroyed the climate of this planet. Global warming is one of the results of the long term destruction. A gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere will change and bring a permanent damage of any living creatures, including humans. However, we still have a brief window of opportunity to restore the quality of life through showing our loving-kindness to our planet and applying wisdom into our daily life.
Varied attempts on all levels of government, business, and civil society have been and are being made to rectify the current climate problems. However, no real or lasting progress in improving the outcomes can be achieved if we have not started from ourselves. A commitment from each individual is needed more than ever to save our planet. Throughout the history of mankind, we can conclude one thing in common, that is, we strive to seek for happiness, reduce sufferings, so that we can improve the quality of life. This objective is the fundamental idea why we should be united to overcome climate challenges. Although we come from different backgrounds, beliefs, and culture from all around the globe but we have one same hope, that is to achieve happiness. This hope is very universal, easily understood by all, but it takes a brave man and woman to work hand in hand in realizing it. A cultivated and peaceful mind may lead us to a sustained happiness that is free from anger, hatreds, and ignorannce, thus can improve the quality of our life on this globe. Gaining happiness through accumulating power, wealth, using excessive energy resources can only damage the environment and still will not solve live problems. Therefore, I believe that applying Prajna (wisdom) to create balance in daily life will create a peaceful environment that is free from selfishness, fears, and hatreds. With a sustained environment, a peaceful mind can be attained. Our hard work is very significant so as to let the next generation live without fears to various disasters. May this vision of one globe one hope inspire our preserverance to cultivate our minds toward saving our planet, sharing our happiness to all.