4 – 6 May 2552/2009
Speaker: Venerable Abbot Thach, Berong
Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation’s Theravada Buddhist Committee
San Jose, California, U.S.A.
Honorable Buddhist Sangha, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:
My name is Venerable Rong Be, a Khmer Krom Buddhist monk who is currently living in San Jose, California, U.S.A.
I am truly honored and grateful to the Supreme Sangha Council for giving me the wonderful opportunity to speak on behalf of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation‘s Theravada Buddhist Committee, which represents millions of Khmer Krom indigenous populations in the Mekong River Delta of southern Vietnam, during this special celebration of the United Nations Day of Vesak in Bangkok, Thailand.
Ninety five percent of Khmer-Krom citizens, who have inhabited in the Mekong Delta or Kampuchea-Krom, have practiced Theravada Buddhism from generation to generation for almost two thousand years. Presently, there are approximately over 25,000 Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks and more than 560 Khmer Krom Buddhist temples scattering all over the south-western part of today Vietnam. Each of these temples is surrounded by the Khmer Krom villages and their rice fields. The monasteries and the famers are the backbones of our unique national identity. They safeguard the Khmer language, culture, tradition, custom, foods, character, and personality.
Buddhist teaching -love, compassion, honesty. – is the moral standard for the conduct of Khmer-Krom people. Traditionally, most of the Khmer Krom young men have been ordained into becoming the monkhood at least for a period of times during their grown up lives. By committing themselves to follow the principles of Lord Buddha’s teachings, these people are greatly considered by their communities as the honorable and respectful persons who have possessed with such a high standard of moral value, strong discipline, and good educations which make them to become a better, more matured, and humble gentlemen. It is such a noble mission in their life time which makes their families, relatives, and friends very proud of them also.
In this most auspicious occasion marking the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, let us, as religious and community leaders, work together to lead noble lives, to practice loving-kindness and to bring peace and harmony to humanity.
This wisdom and light that flashed and radiated under the historic Bodhi Tree, more than 2500 years ago, is of great significance to human destiny. It illuminated the way by which mankind could cross, from a world of superstition, or hatred and fear, to a new world of light, of true love and happiness.
The heart of the Teachings of the Buddha is contained in the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, namely,
The Noble Truth of Dukkha or Suffering
# The Origin or Cause of Suffering
# The End or Cessation of Suffering
# The Path which leads to the Cessation of all Sufferings
All of these aforementioned reasons that make our Khmer-Krom indigenous populations to become the peace-loving, gracious, friendly, patient, strong, and determined persons. We can get along well with other people regardless of their different racial, ethnic, political, ideological, and religious backgrounds. And these wisdoms are the important factor that keep our Khmer-Krom people as well as people around to be always inspired and enlightened by this Fourth Noble Truth explains the Path which leads to the cessation of suffering, or the so-called Noble Eightfold Path. And these Noble Eightfold path avoids the extremes of self-indulgence on one hand and self-torture on the other. It consists of Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.
May Lord Buddha bless all of you with peace, prosperity and harmony. Thank you very much.