Today is the 2,550th anniversary of Buddha’s Birthday.
Buddha taught us that everybody is equal. Ultimately, everybody has the same Buddha Nature which we may call Divine Nature. Everybody can become Buddha.
Buddha taught us the meaning of compassion.
What is compassion?
Forgiveness and forgetting is one, no different.
When we forgive but don’t forget, the mark of the offence remains in the mind. If we forgive and forget, then we will be free from the offence and the forgiving. This is also great compassion.
I would like to tell you one story as an example.
Monks are not allowed to be ordained by lay people.
A monk once told Buddha he was ordained by a lay person.
The Buddha asked if he knew the person was not ordained.
The monk said no. The Buddha asked if he had kept his vows well. The monk said he had.
The Buddha said the monk had no fault but the ordaining person was at fault.
The next day, another monk told the Buddha the same thing except that he knew the person who ordained him was not ordained.
Yet again, the Buddha said there was no fault for the monk. This emphasizes Buddha’s great compassion.
Compassion with ultimate wisdom can become Great Compassion.
If we don’t trouble others, the powerful do not harm those with less power. The rich do not harm the poor. The poor do not criticize the rich.
This is also called compassion.
Such great compassion will give us true and deep spiritual happiness. This spiritual happiness will be unchangeable and indestructible
Let us remind ourselves to have great compassion for everybody on this special day of Buddha’s birthday. Equality and great compassion – this is Buddha’s message for today.
Once again I would like to express my deep appreciation to our special and honourable guest, the Right Honourable Helen Clark, Prime Minister, the Honourable Chris Carter and all other important VIPs and honourable guests for making this day so extraordinary for us.