Buddhism 'could ease unrest'

Bangkok Post, May 19, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- Somdej Phra Buddhajarn yesterday inaugurated an international meeting of Buddhists by suggesting Buddhist teachings be used to ease unrest around the world.

The meeting, attended by more than 1,500 Buddhist monks and followers from 41 countries, is being held at Buddha Monthon's main auditorium in Nakhon Pathom and at the United Nations convention centre on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue until Sunday _ Visakha Bucha Day.

Somdej Phra Buddhajarn, who chairs a panel acting on behalf of the Supreme Patriarch, told the meeting that celebrating Visakha Bucha Day internationally was in line with the way the Lord Buddha wanted his teachings to bring peace and happiness to the world.

The meeting had also brought leading Buddhists of both the Theravada and Maha Nikaya sects together, he said.

"Thailand is in peace because of the Lord Buddha's teachings and all Thai monarchs' conformity to these teachings. I want to tell all Buddhists that the Thai monarch is a Buddhist like all of you and he has done everything in a wonderful way to support this religion, so Buddhism is stable all across Thailand with temples in every village and Thais living together peacefully. All of you, please help foster the Lord Buddha's teachings for the benefit of all those who live on earth amid unrest. The Lord Buddha's teachings will help relieve the unrest,'' Somdej Phra Buddhajarn said.

Phra Thepsophon, rector of Maha Chulalongkorn Ratchawithayalai Buddhist University, said the meeting would harmonise the work of Buddhist organisations and set up Buddhist networks, teach young people about Buddhism, decide how to better promote Buddhism and how to organise next year's Visakha Bucha celebrations to avoid conflicts among sects.