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Celebratory Remarks Speech for Budda's Birthday 2023

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Writer Jogye Date22 May 2023 Read724 Comment0

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Peace of the Mind, World of the Buddha!


Fellow Buddhists and respected Korean citizens! This is the day when the Buddha, humanity’s greatest teacher, came into the secular world. In this beautiful season when warm sunlight intermingles with cool breezes, and flowers and fresh greenery bloom side by side, the Buddha came to us.


This year, Buddha’s Birthday is even more special and exciting, because, due to the pandemic, this is the first time in three years that we can meet face to face and celebrate Buddha’s Birthday without fear, and we can once again look at each other and our neighbors with bright smiles. To every member of the medical community who did their utmost to save lives—doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, health care officials—and to the self-employed who struggled to maintain their livelihood, all of you are buddhas and followers of the bodhisattva path.


All of you are beautiful examples of harmony and coexistence in action. To all our citizens who united as one to follow the quarantine guidelines and protect each other\'s health, we send our deepest thanks and encouragement.


Everyone who helped us overcome these difficulties is a hero, and the master who overcame these difficulties is us. Your warm hearts were considerate of others so as not to infect them, and you revealed a spirit of self-sacrifice so as not to harm the community, no matter how dire the situation: This compassion to take care of our less fortunate neighbors helped save all of us.


This mindset to take care of the community and one’s neighbors is the Buddha’s mindset, and this is why Baby Buddha came to Earth. Our great teacher reminded us that each one of us is the master of our own life and a noble being.


Although the Buddha gave us the complete and perfect teaching, today’s reality appears dismal. The horror of war that shook the world still lingers, and many precious lives are being destroyed in vain.


In Korea, too, amidst the pain of our own country’s division, new tensions are recurring. Although Korea is an advanced country, both economically and culturally, and envied by many global citizens, we too are worried about its future due to its low birth rate and aging population.


Amid fierce competition within our society, mental anguish is everywhere, and more people than ever suffer from loneliness and depression.


Everything that occurs in this world is due to karmic associations and their causes.

Greed causes war within the mind while equanimity brings peace of mind.

When we realize the inherent dignity within ourselves and maintain peace of mind with a pure heart, we create a world of true happiness. This is the way for each of us to live as a master and a buddha. And this is why the hearts of all people must dwell in peace.


By organizing the precious teachings and wisdom that Buddha brought to us thousands of years ago, Korean Buddhism plans to develop a Seon/meditation program that suits the thoughts and emotions of modern society, and propagate it within Korea and around the world so that all can experience and benefit from it. Through a meditation program that awakens the true nature of wisdom and compassion within us, we aim to bring peace of mind to individuals, and contribute to establishing a “Buddha realm” on Earth by resolving conflicts around the world.


Resurrecting and properly enshrining the Rock-Carved Buddha in Yeoram Valley on Mt. Namsan in Gyeongju is just one effort to launch a new millennium of national happiness. The Yeoram Valley Buddha was crafted in the same era as Seokguram Grotto’s main Buddha and with prayers and vows to unite Korea’s three kingdoms and bring peace. It has been neglected for almost 1,000 years lying face down on the ground.

This unacceptable situation is not much different from the sad reality of Korea today, plagued with the world’s lowest birth rate, highest suicide rate, and perpetually on the brink of war. To set upright the Yeoram Valley Buddha is one way to raise oneself up, to restore the true nature of human beings, and to begin a new millennium of national happiness and world peace.


On this Buddha’s Birthday, I would like to join my palms together and make an earnest vow. I vow that all discrimination, hatred, conflict, violence, poverty, and disease will cease. I vow that a pure land of freedom, peace, harmony, order, wisdom and compassion will be realized soon in this world.


With joined palms I vow that everyone will expunge their karma, find peace of mind, and live as true masters.


On Buddha’s Birthday, 2023 (2567 Buddhist Era)

Jinwoo, President of the Jogye Order

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