Metta Round The World gained greater awareness in Penang at the first-ever Penang State Government’s Vesak Day Celebrations on April 22, 2012 officially launched by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng
Bhante Mahinda, who was appointed Penang Vesak Day Celebration Advisor, introduced Metta Round The World in his address before he led the congregation in dedicating merits for world peace, harmony and stability after the Sanghikadana, which was one of the highlights of the celebrations.
He said peace, harmony, and stability in this country and in the world at large can no longer be taken for granted. Apart from climate change and natural disasters, there is growing anger, discontent, violence, and aggression amongst the citizens of the world. These are clearly expressed in protests, demonstrations, riots, and wars in various parts of the world.
Bhante emphasised on the need to go beyond the borders of race and religion, and the need to be united as peace-loving people.
“As such on this occasion of Vesak, as the Buddhist communities in this country celebrate the Birth, Enlightenment & Mahaparinibbana of the Buddha, we call upon all our brothers and sisters-in the Dhamma to reaffirm their faith and confidence in the Triple Gem – in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha – and to extend goodwill to all -irrespective of race, colour or creed, to stand united as peace-loving people in this country, in particular and in the world, at large.”
He added that Metta Round the World– an effort to promote global meditation on compassionate love – was initiated on the premise to harness all our positive mental energies to bring about peace, harmony, and stability for the nation and the world.
He called on all present to join in this initative to meditate and pray for at least 15mins every day throughout the Vesak month i.e. Apr 21 to May 21 and on Vesak Day on 5th May – from 9am to 9.15am (Malaysian time).
“Wherever you are on Vesak Day, please pause for 15 minutes and join our fellow brothers and sisters throughout the world (we now have 27 participating countries) to meditate and pray for peace, harmony and stability in the world, and cherish the wish that may all suffering beings be free from suffering; those in sorrow, be free from sorrow; and those in fear and dangers, be free from fear and dangers. May all beings be well and happy,” said Bhante Mahinda.
The Metta Round The World organising team members from Kuala Lumpur were at the Vesak Day celebrations to promote this global project. Through the kind auspices of the Penang Vesak Day celebrations committee, a booth was available for the MRTW video to be shown and for promotion materials to be distributed and on-the-spot registration of participants.
The team also joined the Penang metta participants the day before for Bhante Mahinda’s launch of the Vesak month MRTW daily metta practice. Bhante Mahinda led in the New Moon puja and metta meditation at Peace House in Bukit Gambiar, Penang.
Bhante Mahinda also gave a talk on Metta Round The World at Mahindarama Buddhist Temple, Jalan Kampar, Penang on the evening of April 22.