Indonesian Vesak Celebration Promotes Religious Harmony

Ari Rikin, Jakarta Globe, May 25

As Buddhists worldwide today celebrated the birth, enlightenment and death of Guatama Buddha, about 8,000 Jakartans joined in festivities organized by the Bhante Indonesia Buddhist Center at the Ekayana Arama Temple.

Ekayana Arama Temple spokesman Nyanagupta asked fellow Buddhists to celebrate the 2,557th Vesak holiday by promoting harmony in the world.

“So there would be no conflict,” said Nyanagupta.

Nyanagupta said the message to bring peace was derived from this year’s Vesak theme, “Buddha’s love shines all over the world.”

Buddhists, according to him, should practice love for all beings every day and should avoid discrimination in their interactions with others.

Former Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who attended the ceremony, asked Indonesians to use Vesak to enhance religious tolerance across the country. Kalla added that this year’s Vesak theme stated that there is a way to live in peace and harmony.

“There is enlightenment in Buddha, there’s also enlightenment in Islam and also illumination in Christianity,” Kalla said. “Religion gives the best way, an enlightenment to live together in harmony. In this life, we should respect all people in the equal way.”

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