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Commemoration of the International Day of Vesak

Remarks by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj

Permanent Representative

Honorable Monks and Distinguished Guests,

Today, as the soft light of dawn ushers in the sacred day of Vesak, we gather with hearts full of reverence and gratitude to honor the birth, enlightenment, and passing into Nirvana of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. Born an Indian prince, he left the opulence of the palace for a path that led him beneath the Bodhi tree, where he illuminated the way toward peace and wisdom—a legacy bestowed upon us across generations and geographies.

Respected Monks, your presence today deepens the sanctity of this celebration. Each of you, through your devoted practice and profound serenity, brings to life the teachings of the Buddha. In a world often shadowed by haste and discord, your lives of compassion and mindfulness radiate the hope of tranquility and understanding.

On this day of Vesak, we reflect on Buddha’s profound journey from princely riches to spiritual riches, which showed us that true enlightenment is found in the pursuit of universal love rather than in material wealth. His teachings—simple yet profound—encourage us to transcend our differences and embrace a universal bond of kindness. Inspired by his ideals, we find ourselves striving to uphold his vision of non-violence and coexistence.

Let us pause to consider our actions and their impacts on our planet and its creatures. Inspired by the Buddha’s respect for all life forms, we strive to nurture and protect our environment, cherishing the world that sustains us all.

As the lanterns tonight ascend towards the starry sky, may they carry our prayers for peace and wisdom. And inspired by the Buddha’s timeless wisdom, may we continue to walk gently upon this Earth, cultivating a garden where all beings can flourish together.

Thank you for being here today, for your blessings, and for guiding us ever closer to the light of understanding and the warmth of compassion.