Thich Nhat hanh to return home for UN day of Vesak

VNA, April 10, 2008

Hanoi, Vietnam -- Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and a delegation of monks and nuns from Plum Village in France will be in Vietnam from April 22 until June 21 for the United Nation’s 2008 celebration of Buddha’s birthday.

The priest was invited by the Central Department of International Buddhist Affairs, the Vietnam Buddhist Association and the United Nations Day of Vesak International Organization Committee.

The delegation from France will work with their hosts to provide two courses while in Vietnam.

According to the itinerary, some 500 foreigners living and working in Vietnam will be able to attend a six-day retreat in Hanoi to study meditation and Buddhist thought.

Meanwhile, the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha yesterday promulgated its revised charter for the 2007-2012 term and discussed the preparations for the United Nations Day of Vesak.

The charter, approved at the Sixth National Buddhist Congress, comprises 12 chapters and 52 articles on the role, position, goal, ideals and sphere of activities of the Sangha.

It affirms Viet Nam’s inheritance of a 2,000-year history of promoting Buddhist doctrines and helping people. The Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha is the peak body of national Buddhist reunification.

The charter also includes regulations on the organisational structure of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha and the status of the Patronage Council and the Executive Council, as well as rules for ordainment, commendation and punishment.

In regard to the UN Day of Vesak (UNDV), which will be held in Ha Noi from May 13-17, Most Venerable Thich Tu Nhon, Vice President of the Executive Council of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, asked municipal and provincial sangha chapters to carry out practical activities in response to the event.

The Vesak celebration, the most important Buddhist festival, marks Buddha’s birthday, attain-ing enlightenment and entry into nirvana.

The Lang Mai monks will co-ordinate with the UNDV International Organ-isation Committee (IOC) and the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha to organise religious courses for 500 foreigners living in Viet Nam