At the ceremony (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Central Committee held a solemn ceremony to mark the 2561st birthday of Lord Buddha in Hanoi on May 10.

The event was attended by Head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai, delegates from the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and several foreign ambassadors and representatives from foreign diplomatic missions, among others.

Addressing the ceremony, Standing Vice Chairman of the VBS Executive Council Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu read the message of the VBS Supreme Patriarch to all Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers at home and abroad on the occasion.

The message says the festival returns when all Buddhist followers, monks and nuns nationwide are making concerted efforts to successfully organise the 8th National Buddhist Congress for the 2017-2022 tenure.

The sustainable development of the VBS at all levels lays the solid foundation for the religion, promoting the Vietnamese Buddhism’s spirit of “safeguarding the country, bringing peace to the people”.

The Supreme Patriarch expressed his wish that every monk, nun and Buddhist follower, and members of the VBS will enhance their sense of responsibility and fulfill their obligations under the motto: Intelligence – discipline – integration – development, contributing to the growth of the VBS.

Most Venerable Thich Bao Nghiem, Vice Chairman of the VBS Executive Council, delivered a speech, expressing his hope that monks, nuns, and Buddhist followers at home and abroad will make greater efforts to complete the tasks in the seventh term of the VBS while developing more relevant orientations for the VBS’s operation during the eighth and coming terms until 2030 in the context of the nation’s reform and international integration.

For her part, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai affirmed that Buddhism has accompanied the nation for thousands of years, and become deeply rooted in the nation.

The Party, the State and people have always valued the contributions the VBS has made to the nation, Mai reiterated.

She expressed her hope that dignitaries will continue to set good examples and encourage monks, nuns and followers to lead a good religious life, observe the policies and laws of the State, fulfill their citizen duties, and live in harmony with other religions and non-religious people for the goal of a rich people, a strong country, a democratic, equitable and civilized society.

Mai also expressed her belief that the VBS will continue promoting the Buddhism spirit and values while serving as a bridge to connect overseas Vietnamese Buddhist followers and organisations and those at home to contribute to the nation’s building and protection.

Mai called on authorities at all levels will continue facilitating Buddhist activities, ensuring freedom and a stable environment for religious practice.

On the occasion, the VBS Central Committee coordinated with State agencies to release one tonne of small fish into the Red river in Hanoi.-VNA