Two years ago today there were 30,000 to 100,000 people demonstrating in Yangon and other marches taking place in over 25 Burmese cities, the largest anti-government protest in Burma for twenty years. A thousand monks attempted to greet Aung San Suu Kyi and, denied access, left peacefully after chanting prayers.
The Dalai Lama spoke out clearly, giving his blessing to the monks in their bid for freedom and democracy, and the US President, George W. Bush, introduced unilateral sanctions against the Burmese leaders during a speech on this day to the UN General Assembly, and encouraged other countries to do the same.
Today, to mark the second anniversary of the Saffron Movement, the International Burmese Monks' Organization will demonstrate against the junta in front of the G20 Summit and in Union Square in New York by reciting the Metta Sutta, the Buddhist text of loving-kindness that the Burmese authorities have tried to ban.
Here are the words of the Metta Sutta, offered with a prayer for peace and freedom in Burma:
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.