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Abbot President Arrives in Bangkok to Attend Vesak Festival

The most important day on any Buddhist's calendar - Vesak Day (Birth of the Buddha), is here again! To honor the King of Thailand's eightieth birthday this year, the Thai Government combined the two occasions for an expanded program of celebration from 26 to 29 May 2007.

Invited guests made their way to the Buddhist City and the United Nations Asia Pacific Headquarters in Bangkok to attend speeches and seminars. They include Thailand's Most Venerable Master Somdet Phra Buddyacharya, representatives from the United Nations and around 1,500 honorable guests comprising of Buddhist Masters, diplomatic representatives and Buddhist scholars from 61 countries.

The Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain, Venerable Guo Dong attended the festival on behalf of DDM Founder, Venerable Master Sheng Yen, and presented the Master's speech titled 'Buddhism is the hope in promoting lasting world peace'.

As pointed out in Venerable Master Sheng Yen's speech, although conflicts arise in the short-term due to differences in race, religion, political views, we should strive to reach the long-term goal of world peace by contributing on an individual level.

The Master said over past decade, DDM has actively promoted 'Spiritual Environment', to calm one's mind through the practice of compassion and Buddhist wisdom, keeping the precepts, practicing meditation and using wisdom to successfully manage one's day to day life. In addition, DDM advocates the idea of having a set of "Common Ethics", to reduce tension caused by ideological differences amongst people, thus reducing conflict and misunderstanding.

The four-day event also saw delegates exchanging ideas and sharing their experiences on topics such as Dharma propagation through modern technology, conservation and promotion of Buddhist art, Buddhist meditation and human development.

On the last day of the Vesak Festival, the Buddhist Venerable Masters each prayed for peace in the world in their own language and signed the Bangkok Declaration at the UN Conference Hall, paving the road to world peace for the future.

(Edited by Jin Yang and DDM Australian Editing Team)

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