DAY OF VESAK - 5 may 2012
We commemorate this year’s Day of Vesak as the international
community enters the final preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro — a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set the world on a more equitable and sustainable path of development.
Buddhism has much to offer that process. The Buddha’s assertion that,
“The way to change the world is to change the nature of man” offers a
critical insight into how to improve conditions for our planet and its
The spirit to care not just for ourselves but for
others based on an awareness of our interlinked fates lies at the heart
of Buddhism — and indeed all of the world’s great religions.
These teachings challenge families, communities and nations to act in
concert for the advancement of our common well-being. That is the best
way to secure individual and collective progress in an interdependent
We must also change longstanding assumptions and open
our minds to new ideas and possible solutions if we are to address major
global threats, from the proliferation of deadly weapons to intolerance
I invite Buddhists and people of all
traditions to use the occasion of the Day of Vesak to reflect on how we
can change our actions to pave the way for a more sustainable future.