7 May 2020
The Buddhists in Sri Lanka, together with fellow Buddhist brethren the world over, celebrate the Vesak, their supreme religious festival, with much religious fervour and enthusiasm. Since ancient times, it has been the practice to spend the period of Vesak indulging in religious observances with the fervent veneration of the Buddha.
This year, like the rest of the world Buddhist community, we too have to perform the religious practices of Vesak in the backdrop of a virus pandemic threatening the entire human race. Such calamities are not very rare in the human history. During the lifetime of the Buddha, the Visala Mahanuwara of Dmbbadiva was threatened by three fears. It was ended when a recitation of Buddhist stanzas was conducted as discoursed by the Buddha. I am confident that we too could attain physical and spiritual health by practicing the teachings of the Buddha during this season of Vesak.
We have the blessings and the guidance of the venerable Mahasangha to conduct the State Vesak Festival by using electronic technology. Hence, we can perform religious practices at our homes with utmost devotion to the Buddha.
“Thancha kamman kathan sadhu – Yan kathwa nanuthappaththi
Yassa pathitho sumano – Vipakan patisevani”
The above stanza in Dhammapada says, “It’s not good, the doing of the deed that, once it’s done, you regret, whose result you reap crying, your face in tears. It’s good, the doing of the deed that, once it’s done, you don’t regret, whose result you reap gratified, happy at heart.” On this day of Vesak we can take the righteous path by not doing deeds that you regret as the Buddha advised.
At this time of calamity, let us determine to save the people and the country by practicing the teachings of the Buddha and adhering to the corona prevention measures. I wish this Vesak festival leads to health and spiritual bliss of the people of Sri Lanka as well as the people all over the world.
President of Sri Lanka