Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India, 3 June 2016 - Today saw the final session of a three day series of teachings His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been giving, directed primarily towards more than 3000 young Tibetan students.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama performing preparatory
rituals for the Manjushri permission at the start of teachings at the
Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on June 3, 2016.
It began with a group of Upper TCV students reciting from the Science of Mind text, a recitation that His Holiness visibly joined in. He then performed the necessary preparations for the Manjushri permission he was to give later.
In his preamble to a ceremony for generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta, he quoted Maitreya’s ‘Ornament for Clear Realization’, which defines bodhichitta as the intention to become enlightened for the sake of all sentient beings. He went on to say:
“Whenever sentient beings think of themselves, they have a sense of ‘I’ in relation to their body and mind, their family and friends. Human beings have a sense of ‘I’ as the controller of their psycho-physical aggregates. But Buddhist teaching rejects any such objective existence of the self. It rejects any perception of a solidly existent ‘I’.
“If you only think of yourself, you put yourself at a disadvantage. If, instead, you open your heart and extend your concern to others, you’ll be free of fear and anxiety. If you think of all sentient beings as being like you in not wanting suffering, self-cherishing will be reduced. Look at those around you. Those who are respectful and concerned about others tend to be happier, those who are more self-centred are less so. Think of those who share their sweets and whatever good things they have and those who keep them to themselves—which of them seems to be happier?
|Some of more than 3000 Tibetan students listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on June 3, 2016.|
“As young Tibetans, extend the scope of your thoughts to others, to the 6 million Tibetans in Tibet, to the other people of Asia, to the whole world’s population and to all sentient beings. Bodhichitta is the mind intent on attaining Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings. It includes two aspirations, the thought to benefit others and the thought to realize Buddhahood.”
His Holiness spoke of how 40 or 50 years ago he thought bodhichitta was admirable but that it was too difficult to develop. Then in 1967 he received an explanation of the ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ from Khunnu Lama Rinpoche, who suggested that he also teach it as often as he could. Slowly his interest grew and, he said, he began to feel bodhichitta was more approachable. Shantarakshita said that those of sharper intelligence develop an understanding of emptiness first and cultivate bodhichitta on the basis of that—His Holiness said he includes himself in that category. He stated that he has thought about emptiness since his twenties, but the important thing in the end is to combine the two ideas and quoted a verse from Chandrakirti’s ‘Entering into the Middle Way’:
The king of swans flies before the flock
With the two wings of conventional and ultimate truth outstretched.
Propelled by the wind of virtue,
He crosses the ocean, reaching the further shore and the qualities of enlightenment.
|Students standing as they take part in the ceremony for generating the awakening mind on the final day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching for young Tibetans at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on June 3, 2016.|
During the ceremony for generating the awakening mind, His Holiness paused to tell a story about the Avalokiteshvara statue in the Tsuglagkhang. He mentioned having a dream of circumambulating a particular self-arisen image of Avalokiteshvara. The statue called him close and he hugged it and heard it recite a verse about keeping up joyful effort. He reported that the statue in the dream was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, but some parts were brought to him in exile. They were placed inside the present 1000 armed, 1000 eyed image that stands in the temple today. His Holiness said:
“When it was constructed, this statue was made in such a way that we will eventually be able to dismantle it and take it back with us to Tibet. And you should all join me when that time comes.”
His Holiness next gave the Permission of Manjushri which came from the Rinjung Gyatsa, a collection of sadhanas and permissions compiled by Fourth Panchen Rinpoche, Tanpa'i Nyima (1781-1854). He then completed reading the verses of Dromtonpa’s ‘Tree of Faith - a Self-Exhortation’.
In his final remarks His Holiness referred to an elderly and erudite Amdo Lama who was invited to a village to teach. When he replied that he was too old to travel, the villagers said, “Well please come anyway even if it’s only to give us your blessings.” He went and gave a long and thorough teaching, at the end of which he told them, “I’m not the sort of person who places his worldly hands on other people’s heads to help them to liberation. I can only give you instructions to help you understand the teachings of the Buddha.”
|TCV Director Ngodup Wangdu reciting his eulogy as senior TCV staff make offerings of thanks to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the conclusion of teachings at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on June 3, 2016.|
A group of senior TCV staff lined up to make offerings to His Holiness, which included images of enlightenment and 113 copies of a prayer to Amitayus, the Buddha of Longevity. In the accompanying eulogy, Ngodup Wangdu, Director of TCV, Dharamsala, recalled Avalokiteshvara’s pledge to look after the people of the Land of Snow, which has been upheld by the line of the Dalai Lamas, as His Holiness is doing now. He expressed gratitude and made wishes for His Holiness’s long life.
His Holiness smiled folded his hands and said:
“We’ll meet again next year.”