2020 AUSTRALIAN OBSERVANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS DAY OF VESAK
The ONLINE Celebration includes Buddist Chantings, Prayers & Meditation
The message of the UN Secretary-General on Vesak Day 7 May 2020
I extend best wishes to all celebrating Vesak, a sacred occasion to millions around the world.
On this date marking the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, all of us, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, can reflect on his life and draw inspiration from his teachings.
In a time of growing intolerance and inequality, the Buddha’s message of non-violence and service to others is more relevant than ever.
On the Day of Vesak, let us renew our commitment to building a world of peace and dignity for all.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER
Vesak is usually a time of special celebration for Buddhists across the world. It’s a time of prayer and quiet reflection, as well as generosity and devotion.
However, this year will be very different as we all experience a global health crisis.
It’s an unprecedented crisis — a once-in-a-century event.
It requires every single one of us to be mindful of our civic duty. All of us have a role to play in keeping our community safe: employers, nurses, doctors, teachers, scientists, friends, family and neighbours.
I know we will rise to the challenge.
Message from the Leader of the Opposition
UNITED NATIONS DAY OF VESAK
It is with great pleasure that I send you my warmest greetings for the Australian observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak.
It is a day of significance as the light of the full moon gives the sign to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and passing of Sakyamuni Gautama Buddha. The many centuries since his passing have, if anything, served to emphasise the timelessness, the value and the power of his wisdom.
It is also a reminder of what a welcome part of the Australian family that the Buddhist community is. You are an intrinsic part of who we are as a nation. We celebrate both the differences of our many parts, and our great strength as a whole. The Day of Vesak is an important part of that
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA
International Day of Vesak 2020
On behalf of the United Nations Association of Australia, it gives me great pleasure to extend our best wishes to the Buddhist Federation of Australia and to Buddhists and non- Buddhists the world over, on the International Day of Vesak.
In this time of uncertainty, the Buddha’s message of peace, compassion and the service to others is as meaningful as ever. Indeed, this message aligns directly with our work and the goals and values of the United Nations, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The UN plays a key role in supporting people and countries to work together to overcome the unprecedented challenges we face, and as we do so, we can continue to draw inspiration from the teachings of the Buddha.
The Australian UN Vesak 2020 Online Celebration Guide
Due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic this year, the Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak for 2020 will be conducted online.
This will enable the public to take part in this auspicious yearly celebration while remaining in compliance with the government’s restrictions on public gathering and maintaining physical distancing measures.
There are two methods for the public to follow and participate in this year’s online celebration as described below.
The 2020 Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak
The Buddhist Federation of Australia would like to express its sincere concern for the impact
that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having on the lives of people in Australia and
around the world. We understand the levels of concern in the community caused by the
health risks from the virus as well as the socio-economic crisis brought on by the significant
reduction in employment and general social and commercial activities. We especially
appreciate the dedication and professionalism of healthcare workers who put their lives at
risk on the frontline in dealing with this crisis and we support the efforts and measures put in
place by the government at this difficult and challenging time.
The History of Vesak Day
Decoration at the 2017 UN Vesak Day celebration at Paul Keating Park, Bankstown
Dr. Jeff Wilson
The term ‘Vesak’ comes from the name of the second month of the Hindu calendar; vesākho in Pali and vaisākha in Sanskrit. Small festivals were probably held on the full-moon day of this month in ancient times when one’s sins could be cleansed by bathing in the Ganges and one celebrated the spiritual power of the moon. However, this day soon became known as Buddha Jayanti day to celebrate the birth of the Buddha.
2019 AUSTRALIAN OBSERVANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS DAY OF VESAK
The 2019 Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of The Lord Buddha was held on Sunday, May 4, 2019, at Belmore Park, Sydney
Marking the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Day Of Vesak, an intimate gathering consisting of both ordained and lay Buddhist practitioners, along with members of state and local governments, and representatives from the United Nations, was held on Friday, May 3 at Parliament House.