|Lanterns along Nhiêu Lộc – Thị Nghè canal near Pháp Hoa Pagoda in HCM City attract local residents during the week-long celebration of the Lord Buddha’s birthday. Photo vnexpress.net|
HCM CITY — The significant contributions made to the cause of religious freedom and national liberation by Vietnamese Buddhists were remembered yesterday in HCM City on the occasion of the 2,562th birthday of Lord Buddha.
A grand ceremony was held at the Việt Nam Quốc Tự Pagoda in District 10, which was attended by the Supreme Patriarch Council of Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), Executive Council of VBS, and thousands of nuns, monks and Buddhist followers and local authorities.
At the ceremony, the Most Venerable Thích Trí Quảng, deputy head of the Supreme Patriarch Council of VBS, read a message from the Most Venerable Thích Phổ Tuệ, supreme patriarch of VBS, which said that Buddhists should continue to contribute to the country’s prosperity.
“Over the past 26 centuries, the Lord Buddha has enlightened our life, bringing happiness, peace and prosperity to humanity across the planet, keeping away inequality, war, conflict and poverty,” the message from the supreme patriarch said.
The Most Venerable Thích Phổ Tuệ called on Buddhist followers and members of VBS to support the spirit of “Wisdom - Ethics - Integration – Development”, which is essential for the national unity bloc, as well as build and defend the motherland of Việt Nam.
On behalf of HCM City authorities, Tô Thị Bích Châu, president of the HCM City Fatherland Front, praised the outstanding contributions and services of Buddhist dignitaries and followers to national construction and defence.
Châu said the Việt Nam Fatherland Front and other city agencies would create favourable conditions to promote the good values of religions as well as ensure the Party and State’s consistent policies in facilitation of freedom of religion.
Religious dignitaries and religious followers are encouraged to actively participate in patriotic emulation movements and campaigns launched by the Government and the Fatherland Front at all levels, she added.
The celebration of Lord Buddha’s birthday this year took place when Buddhists nationwide marked the 55th anniversary of the self-immolation of Bodhisattva Thích Quảng Đức for the cause of national independence and protection of Buddhist traditions and Vietnamese culture.
Ceremonial activities at the pagoda included incense offering and releasing of pigeons to pray for peace and happiness. — VNS