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Lord Buddha?s Teaching Peace Is The Essence
By Laxmi Bahadur Vaidya, The Rising Nepal, Jan 3, 2004
Kathmandu, Nepal -- The Second World Buddhist Summit held in Lumbini from November 30th to December 2nd ended up with the Lumbini Declaration. The main objectives of the summit were to develop the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini, into an attractive World peace city and promoting the area as an international center for Buddhist studies with the construction of an international airport near Lumbini.
The conference also stressed the need to encourage mutual and peaceful co-existence among the nations of the World and to work for peace, harmony and tolerance along the doctrine of non-violence propounded by Lord Buddha some 2600 years ago.
Two important developments occurred before the Lumbini Declaration was made. The first was the initiation of the process for the establishment of the International Buddhist University for scholars who could come and study Buddha?s teachings. Secondly, the Lumbini Museum was to be brought into operation. This museum, which has become a reality, will be helpful in understanding art and architecture of Buddhist countries.
During the visit to Lumbini in 1967, U Thant, the then UN Secretary General made the development of the sacred place, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, an international concern. He was the person who for the first time proposed the Lumbini Master Plan as designed by Japanese archaeologist Kenyo Tange. Thus, the credit should go to both the former Secretary General of the UN U Thant and to the United Nations that is continuing to lend its support to develop Lumbini grove as the fountain of peace for all peace-loving peoples of the World.
In 1985, the Lumbini Trust was formed in which thirteen nations had participated. The idea was to restore Lumbini as a pilgrimage, a tourist site and a source of inspiration in Buddha?s teachings. The UNESCO, the permanent agency of the UNO, has played a crucial role to include Lumbini in the World Heritage List ensuring necessary assistance in terms of men, money and materials to retain and reconstruct the sacred area of the earth and to carry the message of Buddha to the entire World.
There is no doubt that it is a matter of great pride to Nepalese that the Second World Buddhist Summit was concluded in the holy birthplace of Lord Buddha at Lumbini. The first World Buddhist Summit was also held at the very place in November 1998.
However, holding summits periodically and repeating idealistic rhetoric alone will not help and ensure that Lumbini would gradually turn into a center of peace. The fact is that though a lot of assistance is being poured from the UNO including cooperation from all over the World, the development works carried out for converting Lumbini area into a peace center are not of satisfactory nature. The support coming from each and every nook and corner of the World must be utilised sincerely.
As Lord Buddha is the world?s pioneer and renowned apostle of peace, the main principle of his teachings is that all human beings are equal and have potential to become Buddha. That is why Buddhism is closely related with humanism. Buddha believed that the edifice of peace could be erected only on the foundation of love, compassion, tolerance, co-existence and non-violence, which are the keys to happiness and which unfortunately, seem to be lacking among the peoples, communities, societies and nations of the world at present.
Buddhism unfolds before us the real path and ways to survive in this world with peace and serenity. ?Live and let live? is the main motto of Buddhism. Lord Buddha?s teachings were able to attract people from the very beginning because they were based not on any rigid form of compliance but rather on practical approaches in which His doctrines and principles could be analyzed and investigated by the disciples themselves. Buddha said that violence can never be stopped by violence. Only non-violence can put an end to it. This is now the universal law.
The Buddhist scholars and the spiritual leaders including diplomats, who had participated in the summit, have made suggestions unanimously to resolve the existing conflict and crisis in Nepal by following the teachings of Lord Buddha. They also urged the parties involved in the current conflict to seek tolerance and compassion in overcoming differences peacefully and to restore everlasting peace in the country. They gave advice to adhere to the golden middle path preached by Lord Buddha for the resolution of the existing problem. All sufferings are the consequence of ignorance. To resolve the current conflict and violence peacefully one must pay due attention to the Four Noble Truths propounded by Lord Buddha.
His teachings can be mentioned in the following ways in their gist. There is suffering. There is a cause for every suffering. There is a state of freedom from sufferings. And there is a path that leads to emancipation from suffering known as the Noble Eightfold path. It is heartening to know that Buddhism, the World religion has over 400 million adherents around the World. Nepal has a glory to be a messenger of World peace. All should take the message from Lumbini to heart and work for peace at home and all over the World.
The world has made wonderful achievements in science and technology which has made us to think that material and physical happiness is everything. Happiness is not merely an external thing. Happiness must comprise internal as well as external development. Materialistic progress alone may be considered as one sided and imperfect for the overall development. The foundation of world-peace cannot be concrete, strong and durable merely on the basis of materialism.
To have peace, prosperity and stability in the world extreme type of ideology and life style must be abandoned by all and they should adopt the medium golden path as propounded by Lord Buddha. This is only the means to relieve the world from conflict, violence and terrorism.