I would like to thank everyone who sent kind greetings on the occasion of my 82nd birthday and who joined in celebrating the day in many parts of the world.
As you are probably already aware, my life is guided by three principal commitments — to contribute to bringing about a more compassionate world; to encourage inter-religious harmony, and to work to preserve Tibet’s Buddhist culture, which is a culture of peace and non-violence, while also drawing attention to the need to protect the natural environment of Tibet. Since the Tibetan Plateau is the source of Asia’s major rivers, more than one billion people depend on the water they provide.
Tibet’s Buddhist culture is derived from the traditions of India’s historic Nalanda University, which encouraged dependence on reason and logic over reliance on mere scriptural authority. It adopted an empirical approach, like science, which included a thorough knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions that remains extremely relevant today.
These are commitments by which I abide myself, but I often ask brothers and sisters who show me affection and respect to consider joining me in upholding them.
In short, may I request you please to help others whenever you can and if for some reason you can’t do that, at least to refrain from doing anyone any harm.
With my prayers and good wishes,
The Dalai Lama
Leh, Ladakh, 9 July 2017