Dear Venerable Sangha and Dhamma friends,
I am honored to represent the Republic of Belarus as a delegate at the United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations & Buddhist Conference.
Belarus is located in the heart of Europe bordering Russia on the East and Poland on the West. Although the teachings of Buddha are a new phenomenon to Belarus, nevertheless, it appeals to a number of people searching for the answer to existential questions. As a result of this existential search was the forming of several Buddhist groups affiliated with different schools such as Tibetan Vajrayana, Zen, and Vipassana.
It is a double honor for me as a follower of Theravada Buddhism to participate at the event in Thailand, country which belongs to and supports Buddhist culture in general and Theravada in particular. We have a small group of lay people meeting regularly to learn and practice Theravada type of meditation which I am honored to represent here.
It is by chance that the conference theme is “Global Recovery – The Buddhist Perspective”. Indeed Buddha Dhamma has a lot to offer to the world today because Buddhism is a teaching both for meditative monks and for socially engaged lay people. Furthermore, Buddhist values and practice are not limited to a certain culture, or geographical location, they are universal and can be easily implemented in any society. As a lay follower of Buddha Dhamma I am certain that Buddhist teachings are capable of making positive changes in life of individuals, group of individuals practicing Dhamma and, therefore, influence some aspects of the whole society. This event will definitely contribute to this cause.
I have a certainty that this event will promote universal Buddhist unity. There are many schools in Buddhism, all of them may have their own unique doctrines, and nevertheless those who follow Buddha Dhamma should maintain Buddhist unity regardless of nationalities, races and cultures. If a certain Buddhist group, tribe, or nation faces a trouble in one part of the world, those who consider themselves Buddhist in other parts of the world should not be indifferent to their problems. Thanks to the modern technologies there are many ways to draw public attention to help those in need today.
I am sure this conference will contribute to the spreading of Buddha Dhamma in the world. Unlike some religions originating in the Middle East, Buddhism does not have an aggressive missionary agenda. Nevertheless, both Buddhist monks and lay people can share the sublime teachings of the Buddha with interested people of any religious background. No matter what people believe, they are looking for happiness. More often than not, they find temporary happiness in what later makes them unhappy, or they try to be happy at the cost of others causing suffering to their neighbors. Buddha has taught that true imperishable happiness lies within and anyone can realize it. Looking at suffering beings striving for their happiness a sincere follower of Buddha Dhamma cannot but have compassion toward and share Buddha’s methods with them. Not through aggression but trough compassion Buddha Dhamma comes into hearts of people.
I pay my homage to the Venerable monks, and express my gratitude to the organizers of the Conference and people of Thailand for their hospitality and devotion to Buddha Dharma.
May Buddhism prevail in the world and all beings be happy!