Mathura, UP, India - This morning, at the start of his second day at Shri Udasin Karshni Ashram, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was joined by Swami Karshni Gurusharanandaji Maharaj, Swami Chidanand Saraswati with other members of the ashram and they meditated together.
Subsequently, His Holiness drove to the banks of Yamuna where, with Maharaj-ji and Swami-ji, he took part in an aarti ritual that involves the offering of light. When a journalist asked what parts of Indian culture are relevant in today's world, His Holiness replied:
“I’m convinced that cultivating India's age-old traditions of ‘ahimsa’, non-violent conduct and ‘karuna’, its compassionate motivation, are the only way to put an end to violence in the world. As human beings we are much the same. We are born the same way and we die the same way. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the kind of basic human values that have been cultivated in this country for thousands of years.”
Back at the ashram His Holiness inaugurated the gate to the Buddha garden that has been established there by ringing a large bell, which will eventually be hung over the entrance. He paid his respects before the statue of the Buddha, reciting following prayer:
With the coming of the Teacher into this world,
The Dharma’s shining like the rays of the sun,
A sense of brotherhood and sisterhood amongst the followers
May conditions be auspicious for the Teaching to endure.
His Holiness remarked that while it is noble to create statues of the Buddha, since they cannot speak, it is also important to establish centres of learning if we want to contribute to the preservation of the teachings.
Next, His Holiness was escorted to the Shiva Temple where he joined Maharaj-ji in performing a Rudra Abhishek offering to the Shivling. The Lingam was bathed and anointed with the five nectars, flowers and other sacred substances.
After a short break, His Holiness came to the ashram’s auditorium where he answered questions from journalists and members of the ashram. Regarding India's role in an increasingly fragmented world, His Holiness made clear the importance of ‘ahimsa’ and ‘karuna’ and India’s setting an example of inter-religious harmony. These qualities contribute to the country’s strength. His Holiness added that India should lead a global movement towards demilitarisation.
His Holiness also advised that India is specially positioned to integrate modern education that involves science and technology with a traditional understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions. Modern education by itself is not adequate because it fails to bring about inner peace. Despite the diversity of their philosophical views, India's religious traditions all focus on inner values, which is one of the reasons that harmony has prevailed.
His Holiness recommended that inner values be inculcated in young people from their early years until they reach university, pointing out that ‘ahimsa’ and ‘karuna’ are the perfect antidotes to anger. He stressed that study of these subjects need not be done in a religious manner. They can be adopted in an objective academic way. Whether or not you choose to practise religion is a matter of personal choice, but the whole of humanity is in need of peace of mind
Maharaj-ji praised His Holiness and the way he has worked tirelessly for the good of humanity, emphasizing the importance of wisdom and love. He reported how much he appreciates His Holiness’s advice to develop love and compassion from within. He also agreed with His Holiness about the basic common message of Indian traditions. He recited verses from the Gita that illustrated how wisdom and love counteract anger and attachment
“It’s not to his physical flesh and bones that we pay our respects, but to the wisdom that abides within His Holiness. Since His Holiness embodies truth and wisdom, followers of truth is are also followers of His Holiness. I consider His Holiness to be one of the masters of this ashram and so the ashram belongs to him. He is free to stay here whenever he wishes.”
After lunch with Maharaj-ji and Swami Chidanand Saraswati His Holiness left for Delhi.