Remarks by HE Kshenuka Senewiratne, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Thailand at the merit-making ceremony in memory of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej 19th October 2016, Wat Arun
Most Ven Phra Thepmethee, Acting Abbot of Wat Arun
Most Ven Phra Sophonvachirabhorn, Assistant Abbot of Wat Arun, Vice Rector for Foreign Affairs and Actg Director of Dhammaduta College of Mahachulalongkorn University
Venerable Wilgamuwe Ariyarathana Thero
Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand
Mr. Kanok Suwanprasert, Representative of the Office of National Buddhism
Mr. Sanjeewa Ediriwickramasuriya, President of the Sri Lanka Association in Thailand
Our Thai friends & my dear compatriots
Ladies and gentlemen
As it is said in the Buddhist scriptures,
“Punyani Paralo kasmin, pathitta honthi paninan” , meaning
What we, as the living, can do for the departed persons, is to remember their good deeds in life and invoke merit. We are here to do just that, on a day of much significance.
The Seventh Day following the date of the demise of a beloved person, is a significant day in Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition, as is, in the royal merit-making rites of Thailand. Conducting a merit giving activity with the participation of Buddhist monks on this day, is an indispensable age-old Buddhist religious ritual. Ancient Buddhist texts specify, that during this period the departed person is at a state of existence, where that being, is in a position to receive merit given by the living. It is strongly believed that such merit when acquired by the departed, will result in beneficial karma, culminating in contentment to the departed soul, and assist the search for as great or greater birth, as the previous one.
Venerable Sirs & friends,
On this solemn occasion of immeasurable loss – the seventh day since the sad departure of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej from our midst – we are gathered at the Uposathagara of Wat Arun, where His Majesty attended the Royal Katina ceremonies, to remember His outstanding endeavours, and invoke merit in His name and memory.
The short time available to us today, is of course not sufficient to recall all the great deeds that have made His Majesty not only highly revered and beloved among His own people, but also famed internationally. His integrity, great vision, innovation, compassionate wisdom and generosity of spirit made Him, the King of Hearts both at home and abroad.
Venerable Sirs & friends
His Majesty has left a tangible legacy, which I am certain will remain firmly etched in the hearts and minds of the Thai people and the world at large. In fact, the outpouring of grief from the Thai people, and the sentiments expressed by the World leaders at the news of His Majesty’s passing, stand as a true testament to the benevolence of this farsighted leader. He guided His nation to greater prosperity, assuring the holistic welfare of His people, and heightened its international stature.
I wish to recall a Thai friend’s sentiments in this hour of grief, where while appreciating His Majesty’s teaching of harmonious living, sadly observed that He did not teach them how to live in His absence. Undoubtedly, this void could be filled by reflecting and living by His Majesty’s visionary philosophies which would be the highest respect the people of Thailand could bestow in His memory. Such blessed remembrance would also accrue merit to His Majesty.
Venerable Sirs & friends,
While Sri Lanka and Thailand have maintained a timeless friendship, based on the bedrock of Theravada Buddhism over centuries, His Majesty’s invaluable contribution was pivotal in further strengthening the ties between the two countries. In fact, it is with tremendous gratitude that we, Sri Lankans, warmly recall His Majesty’s magnanimous assistance in extending the use of life-giving Rainmaking Technology, during a severe drought season, which affected several thousands in Sri Lanka, particularly the farmers.
This is just one example of the great good that His Majesty has bequeathed to the world community, through his tireless efforts to find innovative methods to improve the condition of humanity. He has played an indomitable role, in shaping the global development dialogue through the Sufficiency Economy philosophy. This policy steeped in Buddhist traditions, has brought the Kingdom of Thailand respect and recognition regionally, as well as globally. In fact, Sri Lanka looks to Thailand to impart this Philosophy in the well known spirit of His Majesty’s gracious generosity, to assist in uplifting my country’s agrarian based economy.
Venerable Sirs & friends,
We the Sri Lankans in Thailand join our Thai brethren in mourning the passing of this selfless leader through this event, by honouring and giving thanks to His Majesty, for his philanthropic virtues. It is our reverent wish, that the merit gathered through this meritorious activity today, will add to the millions of fervent prayers, invoking blessings on His Majesty the King.
In conclusion, I wish to recall a teaching of the Buddha – “Teach this Triple Truth to all: a generous heart, kind speech and a life of service and compassion, are the things which renew humanity.” This epitomizes the passage of His Majesty’s life. On this occasion to overcome this incomparable loss, let us unite and resolve to follow this path and honour the beloved King – His Majesty King Bhumibol.
May His Majesty attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana!