It was time to reclaim the holiday. To put the Buddha back into Vesak, so to speak.
But as Sri Lankans prepared to celebrate Vesak, the holiday this week commemorating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death, the government shook a stern finger. The celebrations had become too indulgent, a directive warned.
In Maha-parinibbana sutta, Lord Buddha’s last word was – “all conditioned things are transient. Therefore, Bhikkus, strive without delay”. Therefore, let us use anything we find in the traditional objects and celebrations of Vesak to reflect upon these words, to make the observations meaningful. But Vesak or Buddhism is not about caning or forcing people to observing it in some preferential way. Whatever you do in a self driven way to notice the nature of the five skandas is a true celebration of Vesak.