JAKARTA (JP): About 1,800 Buddhists celebrated Buddha's Day of Enlightenment in a prayer gathering at the Education and Development Centerof Myogan-Ji teaching in Megamendung, Bogor, from late Saturday night untilMonday morning.
The prayer was led by Buddhist Monk Yang Arya Dokken Nakano of Japan, Antara news agency reported. The event started at 10 p.m. on Saturday and ended at 1 a.m. on Sunday.
Worshipers from 14 provinces throughout the country included Herwindra Aiko Senosoenoto, general chairman of the Indonesian Buddhist Association, and Keiko S. Senosoenoto, who is responsible for Niciren Syosyu Buddha teaching.
Nakano said in his sermon that Buddhist teachings identified the cause ofall sorrow as digression and lust in the soul.
Lust, he added, came from the main root of the soul's digression, but Buddha provided various teachings to his disciples and other human beings to overcome their desires.
He said that based on the total belief in God, the digression and sorrow could be altered into an awareness of Buddha.
Senosoenoto noted the significance of Buddha's Day of Enlightenment coinciding with political campaign activities in Indonesia.
The date held deep meaning, especially for followers of Buddha, he said.
""Therefore, I do pray for the birth of leaders of the Indonesian nation from parties which can really defend democracy and ensure justice and freedom of religion here,"" he said.
Senosoenoto, who is also deputy treasurer of the Justice and Unity Party (PKP), said that although he was active in the party led by Edi Sudrajat, Buddhists were free to voice their political aspirations in the June 7 general election.
""Buddhists are free to vote for any political parties and not always through PKP.""
He said other Buddhists were active in other political parties, includingthe Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle and the National Mandate Party. Buddhist youngsters performed various attractions for the gathering before the ceremony. (hhr)