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The First-Ever Vesak Celebration Held in the White House

Wangmo Dixey & Thích Trừng Sỹ

PRESS RELEASE
The First-Ever Vesak Celebration
Held in the White House
May 26, 2021

For the first time in US history, the 46th US President Joe Biden offered an official statement on the Full Moon Day of lunar April, which is on May 26, 2021. As a White House press release notes, the White House has celebrated the Vesak including three major events of the Buddha’s life, that is his birth, enlightenment, and passing by lighting candles to pray for world peace and the global coronavirus pandemic will soon be ended. With today’s effective vaccines, countries around the world will soon return to normal activities. On the occasion of the 2565th Vesak holiday season, the calendar year 2021, the official website of the White House reports the best wishes from the US President Joe Biden as follows:

Jill and I extend our warmest wishes to Buddhists in the United States and around the world as they celebrate Vesak, a day honoring the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha. The ceremonial lighting of a lamp, the symbol of this holiday that has been celebrated for over 2,500 years, reminds us of Buddhism’s teachings of compassion, humility, and selflessness that endure today. On this day, we also commemorate the many contributions of Buddhists in America who enrich our communities and our country as we all work together toward brighter days ahead.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements- releases/2021/05/26/statement-by-president-biden-on-vesak/

The  celebration included the Second Gentleman, Mr. Douglas Emhoff,

lighting a candle in the White House in the presence of Venerable Uparatana (Sri Lankan/American) on behalf of the Theravada tradition; Rev. Marvin Harada (Japanese/ American) on behalf of the Mahayana tradition and Venerable Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche (Tibetan/American) on behalf of the Vajrayana tradition.

According to a press release, Wangmo Dixey, President of the International Buddhist Association of America, coordinated the event in collaboration with the offices of Shekar Narasimhan, President of the Dharma Into Action Foundation. It quotes Mrs. Dixey:

It is wonderful that prayers were offered from all three great traditions of Buddhist practice here, at the heart of American democracy. It is so auspicious that this should happen on this day of celebration of the life and teachings of the Buddha. May the prayers we offer today bring peace and healing to all peoples, particularly to our brothers and sisters in India, the heartland of the Dharma, and may the light that radiates from here, the White House of America, bring wisdom and harmony to the whole world. We are lighting a million camps today to honor this historical moment in our Buddhist history in America.

It is wonderful that prayers were offered from all three great traditions of Buddhist practice here, at the heart of American democracy. It is so auspicious that this should happen on this day of celebration of the life and teachings of the Buddha. May the prayers we offer today bring peace and healing to all peoples, particularly to our brothers and sisters in India, the heartland of the Dharma,

and may the light that radiates from here, the White House of America, bring wisdom and harmony to the whole world. We are lighting a million camps today to honor this historical moment in our Buddhist history in America.”

For more information, please contact Wangmo Dixey at 510 847 2966 at [email protected] or Stefan Kuhn at 970-376-4204.

https://www.lionsroar.com/us-president-joe-biden-white-house-extend-warm-wishes-to-buddhists-worldwide-in-first-ever-vesak-celebration/

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Đại Lễ Vesak Lần Đầu Tiên Tổ Chức Trong Tòa Bạch Ốc

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