Buddha Jayanti celebrated in Vancouver, BC. Canada

Posted 3 months ago by Sandeep Bhattarai

Hindu Buddhist Foundation of CanadaHindu Buddhist Foundation of Canada (HBFC) and Nepal Cultural Society of BC (NCSBC) jointly hosted Buddha Jayanti program to observe Buddha’s birthday at Bear Creek Pavilion of Bear Creek Park in Surrey.

The event was attended by members of Nepali and Tibetan community of Lower Mainland of BC. The event commenced and ended with Buddha Puja and prayers recited by Saraswati Shakya Bajracharya. She was assisted by Ganga Malla, Ramesh Sthapit, SanuRaja Shakya, Naresh Koirala and Iswori Koirala.

HBFC Secretary Dr. Sunil Hamal welcomed the guests to the function and expressed delight at the overwhelming response from the community. Following the recitation of prayers, several speakers spoke about Buddhism and its principles. Yashashwini Hamal explained that Panchashila is a Pali word meaning five virtues or percepts, and they are, abstaining from harming living beings, stealing, adultery, lying and intoxication.

Sagar Man Bajracharya, General Secretary of Dharmodaya Sabha in Nepal, speaking on the occasion, said that he was very happy to see Buddhas’ Birthday celebrated in Canada. He elaborated on Buddhism and the explained that main objective of Buddhism is make one’s life simple, easy and happy. Touching on Panchashila, he said that the concept of harming living beings is not limited to physical harm but also in any other way. He felt that Budhhism has become global phenomenon mainly due to simplicity of its principles.

Another speaker Ramesh Sthapit said that sharing the belongings (wealth) so that everyone may benefit is one of important tenets of Buddhism knows as “Punyaanumodan”. Sonam Bhutia who previously was associated with Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim said that Panchashila is a goal and not an “edict”. He also emphasized the need for self-policing in one’s life in order to be able to adhere to Panchashila.

Vikash Lama speaking at the event highlighted the fact that root cause of human pain and suffering is “desire”. He also spoke on Buddha’s calm posture that represented peace, tranquility and positivity. Naresh Koirala prior to presenting overview of Buddhist architecture, recalled history of Buddha’s birth, his upbringing, his quest for answers on human suffering, attaining enlightenment, sharing knowledge and his passage. He pointed out that Maurya emperor Ashok was instrumental in the spread Budhism beyond its place of origin. He then made pictorial presentation of Stupas, Sthambas, Chaityas and Vihars and followed up with explanation on each of them.

On the occasion, Saurav Acharya read a storyfrom an ancient Buddhist scripture about Bahiya, a revered person in his community, who went to see Buddha, to learn about Dhamma (Dharma). Bahiya was later enlightened by Buddha.

Ganga Malla spoke about Vipassana meditation and explained that it is a very simple process of calming mind and can be done anywhere. She also stated that there has now been wide recognition of benefits of meditation, citing that even the modern medicine recommends meditation to manage health problems.

Robin Asgari, Case Manager from the office of Honourable Member of Parliament (MP) John Aldag also addressed the audience and conveyed well wishes on behalf of the MP. Robin spoke about diversity in Canada and in Surrey and said that about 120 languages are spoken in the city of Surrey. He also invited people having problems in the course of dealing with government agencies to visit his office if any assistance was required.

Before Robin spoke at the event, Treasurer of HBFC, Roshan KC provided background information about NCSBC and HBFC. Roshan KC stated that NCSBC is the first Nepali community based organization in British Columbia (BC) although there are now a few more Nepali community based organizations. He added that HBFC was registered as a charity in 2016 to cater the needs of Nepali community related to religion and rituals and explained that HBFC aims to acquire a place for worship and conducting rituals soon. For the purpose $70,000 has already been raised and pledge for an additional $20,000 has been received.
The formal program concluded with vote of thanks delivered by Sheela Sainju, President of NCSBC. She thanked all those in attendance, performers, special guests and the organizing volunteers.

Upon conclusion of the formal program, Vikash Lama, Bisakha Lama, Kalyan Thapa, Sushma Pradhan, Sabita Amatya and Shyam Chhatri enriched the minds of the audience with their sweet and pleasing Bhajans and Songs.

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