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Author Jogye On13-04-18 16:58 Views16,965 Comments0


2013 Vesak Celebration
“The Great Aspiration Ceremony for
Peace and Harmony of Korean Peninsula

On the occasion of 2013 Buddha
’s Birthday Celebration (Vesak), Buddhist leaders throughout the nation gathered to pray for a peaceful reunification of Korean peninsula.  This special ceremony was held April, 15, 2013 (2557 B.E.) at 5 PM in Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel, with the Most Ven. Jaseung (President of Jogye Order) and Park Geunhye (President of Korea) commencing the ceremony with lotus lantern offering. Delegates from various Korean Buddhist communities and international diplomats offered six auspicious objects and the president of Taego Order gave an official commencement ceremony speech, while the president of Jingak Order recited a Buddhist sutra. Ven. Jaseung and President Park then offered a commencement message and a congratulation message respectively. The sound offering by Ven. Donghee soon followed, with the finalizing of this spiritual program with the recitation of aspiration prayer by the president of the Cheontae Order.
Ven. Jaseung in his commencement message stated, “The Peace and Harmony of Korean Peninsula can be attained with the sheer strength of our will and motivation. It is important to maintain the autonomy, peace, and national unity as stated in the 7-4 North and South agreement. Moreover, “With the beginning of new economic policies, we must embrace the marginalized, impoverished, and deprived and share their pain and suffering together. Creativity naturally manifest when the two seemingly unrelated objects or phenomena come together to create a new form of relationship. Let’s bring our minds together for establishment of more creative economy, and promote happiness for our citizens.”
The president of Jogye Order added, “Korea’s cultural asset is strongly associated with the nation’s economic strength and growth. We must respect and accept different ideologies and existence, including that of different religious ideas. We must face up to the challenge and engage in more caring, considerate and understanding society.   
President Park also encouraged the audience with her inspiring message. “Historically, Korean Buddhism came to defend the nation during our most difficult times. Let the Buddhist national spirit be born once again in order to help defend this nation.” Park continued on with following remark, “North Korea must come to realize that the more it provokes and create dangerous situations and remarks, the more damage is done towards one self. They must learn to incorporate the path of harmony and live in peace with other nations.”
Moreover, Park stated, “We wish to create a nation full of joy and happiness, where all hopes and dreams of the citizens come true. In order for this great aspiration to come true, spiritual and cultural values of our nation must blossom. Our Buddhist heritage, such as the Lotus Lantern Festival, Tripitaka Koreana, Temple Food, and Templestay programs are great treasures of Korea. Therefore, these Korean cultural representations must be managed systematically and promoted globally. We ask the Buddhist community to take the lead in directing this important mission.   
Some great cultural events also inspired the audience, such as the magnificent traditional Buddhist performance “What is This?” viewing of Lotus Lantern Festival DVD, and the offering of Buddhist songs by a Children’s Choir. With the final dinner offering attend by President Park Geunhye, this year’s biennial event came to an end with more hopefulness and inspiration.
The ceremony was attended by the Most Ven. Jaseung (the President of Jogye Order) and other important leaders of Jogye Order. Moreover, President Park Geunhye, along with Mayor Park Wonsun (Mayor of Seoul), Minister Yu Jinryong (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism), Minister Seo Namsu (Ministry of Education), Secretary Jo Younseon (Ministry of Gender and Family), and over 1000 other key leaders of Korea graced this special event.  

The original article can be accessed at   http://www.buddhism.or.kr/bbs/board.php?bo_table=news_01_01&wr_id=74976&DNUX=news_01_01

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