President Calls for Change in Mentality to Improve Community


President Joko Widodo has urged for a change in people’s mentality to improve the community, while emphasizing that it should be started at an individual level.

“A change in the community can be brought about by individuals changing themselves first. Mental revolution is everyone’s responsibility,” he said at the national commemoration of the Buddhist holiday of Waisak at Borobudur Temple here on Tuesday evening.

Praising the values stressed in Buddha’s teachings, the president stated that they are vital to build a sovereign and self-reliant nation that has character.

“Building such a community requires struggle, as Gautama Buddha has shown,” he remarked.

With regard to the commemoration of Waisak, Jokowi called on Buddhists in the country to use the occasion as a platform to develop noble national values and preserve the “Bhineka Tunggal Ika” (Unity in Diversity) declaration.

Moreover, he hopes that the commemoration of Waisak brings peace not only for Buddhists but for the entire world, as well.

“This is a moment to reflect on the noble teachings of Buddha, which are universal, his enlightenment, and also examples of perfecting his good deeds,” he emphasized.

Furthermore, in his message on Waisak, Bhiksu Tadisa Paramitha Mahasthavira noted that every person has a “Buddhist” seed, which means everyone possesses the essence of Buddhism.

“However, it is not understood and not used and developed, which is why people suffer,” he observed.

He also pointed out that the values in Buddha’s teachings developed while the Syailendra dynasty was constructing the Borobudur Temple, as well as the kingdoms of Sriwijaya and Majapahit, with his “Palapa” oath.

“Buddhist values contribute to the development of the foundation of the Indonesian national character and identity. Buddhists love peace and shun violence. Those who commit crimes mar Buddha’s teachings and are not real Buddhists,” he stressed.

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