My Keynote Address at UN Vesak Celebration

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

I have been extremely busy reviewing the proofs of my translation of the Anguttara Nikaya, which Wisdom Publications intends to publish in the fall. Wisdom is offering a very generous discount of 40% on pre-publication orders placed before August 15th. So, if you are interested, don’t delay!

Because I’m now committed to reading through almost 2,000 pages of proofs, and then (after proofing) making up indexes for the book, I haven’t been able to devote time to this blog. But on May 7th, in the window between first and second proofs, I gave the keynote address at the United Nations Celebration of Vesak, held at the General Assembly Hall of the UN Headquarters in New York. This was the second time that I gave the keynote at this function. The first was in the year 2000, the first time the UN commemorated Vesak. This time the talk was shorter–just ten minutes–since there were some fourteen delegations each allotted six minutes. It was particularly interesting seeing the three-minute videos each delegation had prepared about Buddhism or Buddhist remains in their country.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations has put up the text of my talk here. The crowding of words in this online version was not in my original document, but must have resulted from the image processing of a printout. However, the document is still readable. The texts of several other talks are available on the website.

Once my proofing and indexing of the Anguttara Nikaya is finished, I will have more time to devote to this blog. There are a number of issues concerning social justice, food justice, food sovereignty, and Buddhist engagement that I intend to explore. Meanwhile Charles Elliott, a BGR board member and environmental attorney, will be blogging.

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