Lord Buddha's message of unity, service to others is more important today as humanity suffers from the COVID-19 pandemic and it is only by working together that nations can stop the spread, recover from the deadly coronavirus, the UN chief said in his message for the Day of Vesak.
Vesak marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. It is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world.
"As we honour the birth, enlightenment, and passing of Lord Buddha, we can all be inspired by his teachings. And as the human family suffers the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of the sutra: ''Because all living beings are subject to illness, I am ill as well''," Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a message for the Day of Vesak, observed on May 7.
Antonio Guterres said Buddha's timeless message of unity and service to others is more important than ever.
"It is only together that we will stop the spread of the coronavirus and recover," Antonio Guterres said.
As millions of Buddhists around the world celebrate the sacred occasion of Vesak, the UN chief called on all nations to celebrate Lord Buddha's wisdom by taking action for others with compassion and solidarity, "and by renewing our commitment to build a peaceful world."
Vesak is the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May.
It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago, in the year 623 B.C., that the Buddha was born. On this day, Buddha attained enlightenment and passed away in his 80th year.
In 1999, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it recognised the International Day to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity.