Dalai Lama https://www.dalailama.com/ en-us Fri, 27 Jan 2023 12:22:11 +0000 Fri, 27 Jan 2023 12:22:11 +0000 Congratulating New Zealand’s New Prime Minister https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/congratulating-new-zealands-new-prime-minister Wed, 25 Jan 2023 08:48:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/congratulating-new-zealands-new-prime-minister Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India - His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to the Rt. Hon. Chris Hipkins to congratulate him on becoming the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

“Over the years,” he wrote, “I have been able to visit your beautiful country several times and have been deeply touched by the interest that people from all walks of life have shown in my efforts to promote a sense of the oneness of humanity and the need for inter-religious harmony.

“Today, the world is passing through very testing times. I wish you every success in meeting the challenges that lie ahead in fulfilling the needs and aspirations of the people of New Zealand.”

In a separate letter to the outgoing Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, His Holiness expressed admiration for the exemplary leadership she had shown during her tenure. He particularly applauded the way she responded with calm, compassion and respect for others in the face of the tragic deaths and many injuries that occurred as a result of the shootings in Christchurch in March 2019.

His Holiness added that, although she will no longer be Prime Minister, he is confident that she will continue to do whatever she can to benefit the people of New Zealand and bring peace to others around the world.

]]>
Delivering the Inaugural TN Chaturvedi Memorial Lecture https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/delivering-the-inaugural-tn-chaturvedi-memorial-lecture Sat, 21 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/delivering-the-inaugural-tn-chaturvedi-memorial-lecture New Delhi, India - His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Delhi from Bodhgaya yesterday. This morning he drove to the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) where he had been invited to give the inaugural TN Chaturvedi Memorial Lecture. TN Chaturvedi was a distinguished member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Following his retirement, he served as Comptroller and Auditor General of India and later as Governor of Karnataka. Members of the Chaturvedi family, Director General of the IIPA, SN Tripathi, Deputy Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library RK Mishra and others received His Holiness on arrival and accompanied him to the TN Chaturvedi Memorial Hall.

Atulindra Nath Chaturvedi welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the start of the program at the Institute of India Public Administration in New Delhi, India on January 21, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness took part in the lighting of a lamp to open the occasion. He was felicitated by DG IIPA, SN Tripathi, welcomed by Atulindra Nath Chaturvedi and introduced to the audience by Aatil Nath Chaturvedi, who then invited him to address them.

“As I child in Tibet I learned about aspects of ancient Indian thought,” His Holiness observed. “Later I came to this country as a refugee, became a guest of the Government of India and have spent the majority of my life here. In that time, I’ve come to appreciate such qualities of ancient Indian thought as ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’. Humanity needs these concepts in practice.

“Although I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Mahatma Gandhi, I was able to meet Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri and as a result of talking to them developed sincere respect for them. India is a democratic country, a place where many religious traditions live together under secular principles—which is wonderful.

“My life now is dedicated to promoting ‘karuna' and ‘ahimsa', but I express my admiration for them just as an ordinary human being. We are all the same as human beings. We’re born the same way and we survive because of our mother’s compassion. As human beings it’s our nature to be compassionate. We’re social animals. We depend on our community to survive, therefore we in turn to support the community. By extension, all eight billion human beings alive today have to learn to live together.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivering the Inaugural TN Chaturvedi Memorial Lecture at the Institute of India Public Administration in New Delhi, India on January 21, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“When we talk about ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’ we’re not thinking of the differences between us, but rather ways in which we are the same. Where there is ‘karuna’ ‘ahimsa’ naturally comes about. When you have ‘karuna’ within, it gives you inner strength and self-confidence. And on that basis, you can see other human beings as your brothers and sisters.

“Dividing people into ‘us’ and ‘them’ is out of date. Instead, we should think of them in terms of ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’. If we cultivate this precious thought of ‘karuna’, we’ll be free from fear, anger and hatred. We’ll sleep soundly and enjoy good physical health.

“My life has been difficult, but difficulties have brought opportunities to put these deeper inner values into practice. It’s foolish to think only in narrow terms, dwelling on our national, ideological or religious identity, because as human beings we are all the same and we have to live together.

“When I think of TN Chaturvedi, I remember that he lived his life in the spirit of ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’. I’m now 87 years old, but I look younger than I am because I have peace of mind. Nevertheless, having an attractive external appearance isn’t nearly as important as revealing the inner beauty of ‘karuna’.”

In answering questions from the audience, His Holiness mentioned that modern education with its materialistic outlook has tended to come mainly from the West. He feels that if education today is to train people to be truly warm-hearted it needs to be combined with the inner values of ancient Indian thought. Material progress brings many benefits, but they should not come at the cost of inner peace and inner strength.

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during the program at the Institute of India Public Administration in New Delhi, India on January 21, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness remarked that the time has come to think about the whole of humanity, not just this or that nation. In the 21st century, faced with the consequences of climate change, he said we cannot afford to think only in terms of individual nations; we have to learn to live together. The seriousness of global warming means we have to talk about what we can do about it and what we can do to preserve the world’s natural ecology.

When it comes to taking care of nature, His Holiness advised that we have to remind ourselves that we are part of nature and our lives depend on nature.

Challenged to say whether he ever gets angry, His Holiness declared that as someone who has studied Shantideva’s book ‘Entering into the Way of the Bodhisattva’ and for whom compassion is a core practice it rarely occurs.

He denied that ‘karuna’ is a source of weakness that leaves you open to being mocked and exploited by others. He reiterated that taking care of your community is the way to take care of yourself. He stated that one of the things he most appreciates about people from Tibet and the Himalayan region is their generally warm-hearted wish to help each other.

A view from the back of the TN Chaturvedi Memorial Hall during the program with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Institute of India Public Administration in New Delhi, India on January 21, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Asked how to make positive use of Artificial Intelligence His Holiness replied that no matter how sophisticated machines may be, they have a long way to go to emulate the human mind.

When invited to name someone he considers a role model today, His Holiness answered that a person he really admires is the great Indian master Nagarjuna. He lived long ago, but what he taught was how to think clearly. He was someone who took to heart the Buddha’s advice to his followers, "As the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, so, bhikshus, should you accept my words—after testing them, and not merely out of respect for me." His Holiness remarked, “I respect all religious traditions, but the unique feature of the Buddhadharma is that it encourages us to investigate.”

The moderator, Amitabh Ranjan, Registrar IIPA, thanked His Holiness for pointing out that ‘karuna’ brings inner strength and peace of mind. TN Chaturvedi’s second son Avanindra Nath Chaturvedi then presented a memento to His Holiness. Dr RK Mishra offered the word of thanks: “We have all been privileged to listen to what His Holiness has to say about ‘karuna’. Thank you all for coming.”

]]>
Long Life Prayers Offered by the Nyingma Tradition https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/long-life-prayers-offered-by-the-nyingma-tradition Wed, 18 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/long-life-prayers-offered-by-the-nyingma-tradition Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - This morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove the short distance from his residence at the main Tibetan monastery here to Palyul Namdroling Monastery. There members of the Nyingma Tradition were to make offerings and prayers for his long life as part of their Great Prayer Festival. His Holiness beamed with joy as he walked through the temple and sat down on the throne.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arriving at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India to attend Long Life Prayers offered by members of the Nyingma Tradition on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Five Lamas led by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoché, including Dudjom Rinpoché, Khochhen Rinpoché, Minling Khenchen Rinpoché and Ringu Tulku, sat facing His Holiness as the Long-Life Ceremony began.

Tea and sweet rice were served.

At a certain point in the proceedings an elaborate three-dimensional mandala was wheeled out of the temple followed by another trolley supporting an array of ritual cakes and an effigy of His Holiness, which symbolized the removal of obstacles to His Holiness’s long life. Shechen Rabjam Rinpoché approached the throne to offer long life nectar and long-life pills to His Holiness.

Shechen Rabjam Rinpoché offering a mandala to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Long Life Prayers offered by members of the Nyingma Tradition at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

A Senior Khenpo recited a tribute to His Holiness along with requests that he live long. He mentioned the five excellent factors — teacher, place, time, entourage and teaching — in relation to His Holiness and alluded to the qualities of members of the lineage of Dalai Lamas, of whom His Holiness is the unmistaken reincarnation, especially Gendun Gyatso and the Great Fifth Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso.

The Khenpo requested, “Please do not pass away, stay to teach us. May the Dharma protectors help our master to live a long life. May all sentient beings purify their defilements and find true happiness.”

Kunsang Dechen, Abbot of Namdroling Monastery, reciting a tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama along with requests that he live long during Long Life Prayers at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Next, His Holiness addressed the gathering: “Today, this Long-Life Prayer is being offered to me with unwavering faith and devotion on behalf of all Tibetans. Since circumstances are interconnected, I have been able to serve them at this critical time in Tibetan history.

“These days there is new-found interest in Buddhism across the world, even among those of different faith such as my Christian brothers and sisters. Our teachings on love and compassion are widely admired. I have been able to take part in making them more widely known. Although they adopt a different philosophical stance, our Christian friends’ work to help the poor and needy is a practical expression of love and compassion for sentient beings.

“I have long had Muslim friends too. When we were still in Lhasa, they would pay their respects to me and regularly took part in government celebrations.

“Everyone in the world is the same in not wanting suffering and wishing to find happiness. This is true of all eight billion people alive today and I have done what I could to show them how to be happy. Even scientists have shown an interest in this.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the congregation during the Long Life Prayers offered by members of the Nyingma Tradition at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Tibetans and people of the Himalayan region, linked by previous actions and prayers, have long paid me respect, as we say in the single verse prayer for my long life:

In the heavenly realm of Tibet, surrounded by a chain of snow mountains,
The source of all happiness and help for beings
Is Tenzin Gyatso—Chenrezig in person—
May his life be secure for hundreds of aeons!

“I’ve seen indications in my dreams that I may live to be more than 100 years old. I’m in good health, apart from some trouble in my knees, so I’ll be able to continue to support Tibet’s Dharma traditions for some time to come.

“People from all Tibet’s Buddhist traditions have gathered here today to pray that I live long and I too pray to fulfil their wishes. Indeed, what follows is the prayer I make every day:

As long as space endures,
And as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then, may I too remain
To help dispel the misery of the world.

“I also believe that truth will prevail and the issue of Tibet will become clear. It’s not independence that we seek, but genuine autonomy so we can keep our language, culture and religion alive and so our people can live in dignity. It’s to fulfil these goals that I will live as long as I can.

Members of the Nyingma Tradition lined up holding offerings to present to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during Long Life Prayers at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“I work to help people achieve peace of mind by cultivating love and compassion. That inner peace is the basis for peace in the world. I try to live a good life free from anger and hatred, and I pray that the world may become demilitarized. If that goal is fulfilled the purpose of my life will have been achieved.

“Today we’ve been praying that obstacles to my living long will be overcome. I look forward to a time when we can hold another long-life prayer like this in the park in front of the Potala Palace.”

As the ceremony came to an end a thanksgiving mandala, the eight auspicious substances, seven royal emblems and eight auspicious symbols were offered to His Holiness and dedication prayers were recited.

“May all beings find peace and joy.”

As His Holiness left the temple many individuals pressed forward bowing low before him and he patted them affectionately on the back of the head.

]]>
Congratulating Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/congratulating-speaker-kevin-mccarthy-and-democratic-minority-leader-hakeem-jeffries Sun, 08 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/congratulating-speaker-kevin-mccarthy-and-democratic-minority-leader-hakeem-jeffries Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - In separate letters His Holiness the Dalai Lama has congratulated the Honourable Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the US House of Representatives and House Democratic leader, the Honourable Hakeem Jeffries, on their victories in the recent elections to their respective posts.

“I have long been an admirer of the United States for its role in upholding fundamental values such as democracy and the rule of law,” His Holiness declared. “As a major power in the free world, the United States can make a special contribution to shaping a more peaceful world by addressing economic challenges, social issues, and climate change. The US offers freedom and opportunity to all its citizens. This is what has made it a beacon of hope.

“Since 1979, I have had the pleasure of visiting the United States many times and have had the opportunity to share my thoughts on a broad range of issues with the leadership, including some of your predecessors as Speaker. I have also been able to inform them of my concern for the Tibetan people in Tibet, who look to me with trust and hope. The Tibetan people are grateful for the broad-based bipartisan support we have received from the United States. Our struggle is about our people being able to live with dignity while preserving and promoting our ancient culture -- a culture of peace, non-violence and compassion – that has the potential to benefit humanity as a whole.

His Holiness added, “I believe the situation in China is evolving and I am hopeful that this will lead to positive change. At the same time, I am pleased to inform you that the determination and spirit of the Tibetan people in Tibet remain indomitable.

“In my own life I am committed to promoting human values, encouraging inter- religious harmony, working to preserve Tibetan Buddhist culture, and to protecting Tibet’s fragile natural environment, as well as creating awareness of and interest in the ancient Indian understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions.”

He concluded by wishing both leaders “every success in your efforts to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the American people and in contributing to a happier, more peaceful world.”

]]>
Laying Foundation Stone of Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/laying-foundation-stone-of-dalai-lama-centre-for-tibetan-indian-ancient-wisdom Tue, 03 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/laying-foundation-stone-of-dalai-lama-centre-for-tibetan-indian-ancient-wisdom Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - Under a wintry sky this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove out past the Magadh University to the prospective site of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan and Ancient Indian Wisdom. There, as monks of Namgyal Monastery chanted prayers, accompanied by the Hon’ble Kiren Rijiju, Minister for Law and Justice, Government of India, Shri Sushil Modi, MP, Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Ambassador Kumar Tuhin, Director General ICCR, he unveiled the foundation stone. He closely examined an architectural model of the proposed buildings before taking his seat on the stage.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama blessing a model of the proposed building before taking his seat on stage at the the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 3, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Interim director of the project, Tempa Tsering, greeted everyone present and welcomed the special guests. He announced that the Centre was being established to fulfil His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s vision that if awareness of ancient Indian wisdom, particularly with regard to the workings of the mind and emotions, could be revived and shared more widely, it would contribute to the creation of a more peaceful, more compassionate world. He expressed gratitude to the Government of Bihar and the Government of India for their support. He declared that the Centre will be open to everyone who wishes to learn about Tibetan and Ancient Indian Wisdom.

Interim director of the project, Tempa Tsering, welcoming those attending the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 3, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

In a speech delivered in Hindi, Prof Samdhong Rinpoché recalled that many years ago Vinobha Bhave suggested that a time would come when Indian culture would take a leading role in the world. His prediction was widely dismissed, but in retrospect it seems he was a far-sighted visionary. Rinpoché went on to say that since the materialistic outlook associated with science and technology has failed to bring peace and satisfaction to the world, ancient Indian knowledge and values may fill the gap.

Prof Samdhong Rinpoché speaking at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 3, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

In the past, Rinpoché asserted, Indian schools of thought were mutually enriched when they engaged in an exchange of ideas founded on reason and logic. Tibetan tradition has kept this approach alive. With the establishment of this Centre, these traditions will be restored to India.

Kumar Sarvjeet, MLA for Bodhgaya and Minister of Agriculture in the Government of Bihar spoke next on behalf of the Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar. He informed the gathering that the Chief Minister is completely supportive of His Holiness’s vision. He has made clear that he and the Government of Bihar will do whatever they can to help bring the project to fruition. He disclosed that the Government and people of Bihar, and the local people especially, are grateful that the Centre is being established in Bodhgaya.

Kumar Sarvjeet, MLA for Bodhgaya and Minister of Agriculture in the Government of Bihar speaking on behalf of the Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 3, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Hon’ble Kiren Rijiju, Minister for Law and Justice in the Central Government, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, paid his respects to His Holiness, the Sakya Throne-holders and other honoured guests. He stated that whenever he comes to Bodhgaya and reflects that 25 centuries ago the Buddha actually walked in this locality, he feels at peace. This is what makes Bodhgaya a sacred place and now His Holiness reinforces that status by his presence. The Buddha showed the world how to attain enlightenment and, in our time, this is what His Holiness does too.

“His Holiness has made India his home and has committed himself to helping to revive awareness of ancient Indian wisdom,” he said. “People from around the world come to India to pay their respects to him. His Holiness refers to India as the guru and Tibetans as the students, but I say that it is he, an apostle of peace, who is the guru to world. On behalf of the people and government of India I express gratitude to him. It’s a privilege for us to have him among us here in India.

“I’m honoured to have been able to take part in laying the foundation stone for this Centre for Tibetan and Ancient Indian Wisdom. His Holiness states that the wisdom of Nalanda nurtured by such masters as Nagarjuna, Aryadeva and Chandrakirti, a tradition grounded in reason and logic, was kept alive in Tibet. It was concerned less with religion and more with a science of the mind. A centre to study along these lines is being established and people from around the world will be able to come and study here.

Hon’ble Kiren Rijiju, Minister for Law and Justice in the Central Government addressing the audience at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 3, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“His Holiness is committed to extolling such human values as compassion and tolerance, forgiveness and self-discipline. He is pledged to work to preserve Tibetan culture and protect the natural environment of Tibet.

“The Government of India is committed in turn to supporting this centre, which will encourage us to look within. The Centre will be a world-class institution, a gift to humanity, where it will be possible to discover the link between peace of mind and world peace.”

Tempa Tsering then invited His Holiness to address the gathering.

“Today, we’re all gathered here out of our admiration for the Buddha’s teaching,” he observed. “We all wish for peace, so we need to cultivate compassion and the practice of doing no harm. The Buddhadharma not only reveals peace and happiness to the world, it shows us how to overcome suffering.

A view from the stage during His Holiness the Dalai Lama's talk at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 3, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Indulging in wishful thinking is not enough, we have to look at the causes of suffering, which are rooted in our self-cherishing attitudes and destructive emotions, and put an end to them. Peace in the world depends on individuals achieving peace of mind.

“Shantideva has made the situation abundantly clear in his work, ‘Entering into the Way of a Bodhisattva’

All those who suffer in the world do so because of their desire for their own happiness. All those happy in the world are so because of their desire for the happiness of others. 8/129

Why say more? Observe this distinction: between the fool who longs for his own advantage and the sage who acts for the advantage of others. 8/130

For those who fail to exchange their own happiness for the suffering of others, Buddhahood is certainly impossible - how could there even be happiness in cyclic existence? 8/131

Proceeding in this way from happiness to happiness, what thinking person would despair, after mounting the carriage, the awakening mind, which carries away all weariness and effort? 7/30

“If you’re warm-hearted and determined to help others, it will make you happy. Therefore, we can be grateful to the Buddha for his teaching.” His Holiness continued.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the gathering at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 3, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“India is a land where, because of the fundamental and long-standing traditions of ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’, many different spiritual traditions flourish. To ensure peace in the world we need to encourage the notion of non-violence or doing no harm— ‘ahimsa’. Tibetan refugees are fortunate to have been able to come to live in a land that explicitly upholds ‘ahimsa’.

“I don’t have much more to say. I thank the Government of Bihar and the Central Government for their support, without which it would be difficult to bring this project about. We are grateful.

“We need to think of the welfare of others and continuously cultivate a warm heart; to be of service to others is a practical and realistic way to lead our lives. Thank you.”

Karma Chungdak offering words of thanks at the conclusion of the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 3, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Karma Chungdak offered words of thanks. He first of all expressed gratitude to His Holiness for inspiring the establishment of this Centre for Tibetan and Ancient Indian Wisdom and for taking part in the laying of the foundation stone today. He thanked representatives of Tibet’s several spiritual traditions, monks and nuns, for their attendance. Finally, on behalf of the Dalai Lama Trust, he offered thanks to Hon’ble Kiren Rijiju, for representing the Government of India, and Kumar Sarvjeet, for representing the Government of Bihar, as well as Sikyong Penpa Tsering and Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, for representing the Central Tibetan Administration, on this great occasion.

]]>
Congratulations to Lula da Silva https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/congratulations-to-lula-da-silva Mon, 02 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/congratulations-to-lula-da-silva Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to congratulate him on being sworn in once more as President of Brazil.

“I have had the opportunity to visit your country several times,” he wrote. “I deeply appreciate the interest people from many walks of life have shown in my efforts to promote an appreciation of basic human values like warm-heartedness and concern for the well-being of our fellow brothers and sisters.

“I also very much appreciate your commitment to eliminating hunger, closing the gap between rich and poor as well as your efforts relating to climate change, particularly in terms of protecting the ecologically important Amazon forests.

“May I wish you every success in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people of Brazil, and in contributing to the development of a happier, more peaceful world.”

His Holiness ended his letter with prayers and good wishes for the New Year.

]]>
Offering of Prayers for Long Life https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/offering-of-prayers-for-long-life Sun, 01 Jan 2023 13:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/offering-of-prayers-for-long-life Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - This morning, as part of the Geluk Great Prayer Festival, the Geluk International Foundation, the organization representing the entire Geluk Tradition, offered prayers for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

A group of Abbots wearing their yellow crested hats and carrying white scarves and incense welcomed His Holiness as the golfcart in which he was¯ riding entered the Kalachakra Ground. They escorted him to the stage and were joined on the last section by the Gaden Tri Rinpoché, Sharpa Chöjé and Jangtsé Chöjé. His Holiness waved to the crowd, saluted the eminent Lamas and took his seat on the throne. Gaden Tri Rinpoché, Sharpa Chöjé and Jangtsé Chöjé presiding over the ceremony sat facing His Holiness.

A view of the stage at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground during the Long Life Prayers offered to His Holiness the Dalai Lama by the Geluk Tradition in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 1, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Today’s Long-Life Ceremony was based on the ‘Offering to the Spiritual Master’ (Lama Chöpa). It began with the more than 16,000 monks and nuns, many of them from the Himalayan Regions, briskly chanting the preparatory self-generation rite. Once that was done His Holiness addressed the gathering.

“It so happens that today, on the first day of the new year of the common calendar, we are gathered in this sacred place where monks from the three great seats of learning, Ganden, Sera and Drepung, are offering prayers. We are also joined by masters of the Sakya, Nyingma and other traditions. It is because the interdependence between us that we have gathered here on this occasion.

“As for me, I am determined to continue to serve the Buddhadharma, especially the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, until I’m at least 100 years old. As you know, I am driven by the following prayer:

For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I too abide
To dispel the suffering and misery of the world.

“People in Tibet are facing difficulties, but it is the people of the Three Provinces—Amdo, Kham and U-tsang—, the Himalayan Regions, as well as Mongolia, Kalmykia, Buryatia and Tuva, who most fervently pray for me to live long. These heartfelt wishes will bear fruit. I am determined to live for a long time and in my dreams I’ve had indications that I will live to be more than 100. The karmic connections between us serve as conditions for this to come about.

Offerings to be distributed to the crowd stacked high at the back of the Kalachakra Teaching ground during the Long Life Prayers offered to His Holiness the Dalai Lama by the Geluk Tradition in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 1, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“We’ve gathered here, not to picnic and have a good time, but to lay the foundation for study, reflection and meditation in order to be able to practise the Three Higher Trainings year by year.”

His Holiness remarked that Buddhism that began as an Asian tradition now attracts interest from around the world. Scientists in the West, but also in China, are keen to explore what it has to say about the workings of the mind and emotions. China, he said, has traditionally been a Buddhist country, but under the communist system the authorities have sought to undermine it. However, of late, popular interest in Buddhism has been growing. He suggested there are signs that things may be changing that will lead to a better world.

“I’m well,” His Holiness declared. “My brain is sharp and alert. I’m still able to smile and will continue to do so for years to come.

“You too should feel happy and determined to continue your practice of the Dharma. We Tibetans and our neighbours have followed the Nalanda Tradition since Shantarakshita came to Tibet. Let’s pray that this tradition will flourish far into the future.

“I’ve done my best. People all over the world have become familiar with the name of the Dalai Lama. They know what I have to say about peace and compassion and I intend to continue to talk about these qualities for another 15 years or more.

Lay and mnonastic members of the Geluk Tradition lined up waiting to parade in front of His Holiness the Dalai Lama holding their offerings during the Long Life Prayer at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 1, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“I reflect on the awakening mind of bodhichitta and the meaning of emptiness whenever I can. And although Tibet, the Land of Snow, has undergone tremendous tragedy, one of the positive consequences has been that people have become aware of our culture and traditions. There is now a wider acknowledgement that Tibetan Buddhism is part of the treasure of humanity.

“That we have gathered here today at the start of a new year seems to be an indication that things are changing for the better. Please pray that all will be well. Tashi Delek.”

At the appropriate point in the ritual the Gaden Tri Rinpoché, Sharpa Chöjé and Jangtsé Chöjé came forward to offer a mandala representing the universe to His Holiness. While a group of Tibetan performers sang and danced down on the ground, and a Mongolian violinist played her fiddle at the corner of the stage, the Gaden Tri Rinpoché read a tribute reviewing His Holiness’s life and requested him to live long.

A Mongolian violinist performing as Gaden Tri Rinpoché reads a tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Long Life Prayer at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 1, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“When Tibetans had no one else to lead them,” Tri Rinpoché pronounced, “you took responsibility for Tibet when you were just 16 years old. Later, in exile you introduced a system of democracy.

“You studied extensively under great and accomplished masters. You have become the custodian of the complete teaching of the Buddha and in your turn have given a great many teachings. You have outshone other learned scholars.

“Before leaving Tibet you opened the ‘Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines’ and read from it until you reached the point where it says, ‘Do not lose heart; keep up your courage.’ Then you left Tibet and reached India safely.

“Tibetan refugees suffered, some of them even having difficulties finding food. You took responsibility for setting up settlements for them. You re-established our monastic institutions. These now flourish and our traditions have become known around the world. People from foreign lands, Mongolians in particular, have been able to study with us in our monasteries as they did in Tibet.

“The Central Tibetan Administration is based on a democratically elected system. You’ve set up a Cabinet, a Parliament and a Judiciary. Gradually you have transferred your responsibilities to this elected leadership.

Tibetan performers singing and dancing as Gaden Tri Rinpoché reads a tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Long Life Prayer at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 1, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“You have worked to attract support for our cause. Tibetans in Tibet face much hardship, but to resolve the difficulties they face you have proposed and adopted the Middle Way Approach. This has involved exchanges and discussions between Tibetans and Chinese through representatives. You have also drawn supporters such as the US Congress and so forth to our cause.

“Tibetans outside Tibet have been able to study and then go back to spread what they’ve learned in Tibet and China.

“You are committed to promoting human values in the cause of happiness, to encouraging inter-religious harmony, to working to preserve Tibetan culture and protecting Tibet’s natural ecology and to raising awareness of the benefits to be found in ancient Indian knowledge.

“In fulfilment of your wishes we have established an office for the Ganden Throne-holder. We have convened meetings to explore and discuss the writings of Maitreya and other classic texts. In addition, 50 Geshés and Geshé-mas have graduated this year. We have introduced opportunities for scholars to take up specialized studies and to engage in research and we have opened discussions to establish relations with other educational institutions.

“We have gathered here at Vajra-Asana where Your Holiness has taught the ‘Commentary on the Awakening Mind’ and given the permission of the Twenty-one Taras. Out of gratitude we have recited the Manjushrinamasangiti and Guhyasamaja Tantra 3000 times. We have read the ‘Essence of Eloquence’ 10,000 times. We have recited two million mantras of the deities of long life, twenty million Tara mantras, twenty million six-syllable mantras, ten million Vajra Guru mantras and so forth. Amongst lay people are those who have given up eating meat and drinking alcohol. The biography of Jé Tsongkhapa has been published and we are offering you images of Green Tara and the long-lived adept Thangtong Gyalpo.

Gaden Tri Rinpoché reading a tribute reviewing His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s life and requested him to live long during the Long Life Prayer at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 1, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“The merit of all these positive deeds we have dedicated to your long life. May Tibetans continue to be guided and cared for by the series of incarnations of Avalokiteshvara. Your Holiness we make a fervent request that you live long.”

A statue of the Buddha, a scripture and a chörten were offered to His Holiness, followed by a monk’s staff, the seven royal emblems and the eight auspicious substances.

The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu and his brother Tashi Tsering, who is an MLA, made a presentation of a twig, leaf and seeds of what is now regarded as an auspicious tree as a souvenir to His Holiness. They reminded him that after entering Indian territory at Khen Dze Mani in the Tawang District of Arunachal Pradesh on 31st March 1959 he planted his walking stick on a rock at ‘Grong Kukpa’. That stick has since grown into a beautiful and revered tree and the twig, leaf and seeds came from it.

Secretary of the Geluk International Foundation, Geshé Lobsang Gyaltsen, former Abbot of Gomang Monastery, gave an account of income and expenses before offering thanks to everyone who had supported and participated in today’s Offering of Prayers for His Holiness’s Long Life.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama waving to the crowd at the end of the Long Life Prayers at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 1, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness warmly acknowledged the senior Sakya and Geluk hierarchs before waving once more to the crowd. Then he boarded the golfcart to ride back to Gaden Phelgyeling.

]]>
Condolences on the Death of Pope Benedict https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/condolences-on-the-death-of-pope-benedict Sun, 01 Jan 2023 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2023/condolences-on-the-death-of-pope-benedict Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to the Apostolic Nunciature in New Delhi to express his sadness on learning of the passing away of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

“I pray for our spiritual brother,” he wrote, “and offer my condolences to the members of the Catholic Church.

“When I had the opportunity to meet Pope Benedict I found there was much we agreed about in relation to human values, religious harmony and the environment. During his papacy, he worked hard to promote these issues. He lived a meaningful life.

“I have been engaged in dialogue with members of the Catholic community for several decades and have learnt much about their experience. I believe these exchanges have contributed to a better religious understanding between us.

“At a time when we are seeing tension in several parts of the world, we can take a lesson from the life of Pope Benedict and do what we can to contribute to religious harmony and global peace.”

]]>
Commentary on the Awakening Mind - Third Day https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/commentary-on-the-awakening-mind-third-day Sat, 31 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/commentary-on-the-awakening-mind-third-day Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - This morning at the Kalachakra Ground, as soon as His Holiness the Dalai Lama had taken his seat, a group of monastics and lay-people began to chant the ‘Heart Sutra’ in Chinese. Tea and bread were served and the day’s patrons offered a mandala and the threefold representation of the body, speech and mind of enlightenment to His Holiness.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama performing preparatory rites to giving the permission of 21 Taras on the third day of teachings at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 31, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Here, on behalf of this great gathering of people,” His Holiness declared, “I’ve been requested to give a permission related to Arya Tara. As I have already made clear, this is a special place and the most important thing we can do here is to generate bodhichitta, aspiring to achieve full enlightenment in the interest of self and others. This is how we can make our lives meaningful.

“Tibetans have been cultivating bodhichitta since the time of the religious kings when Shantarakshita was invited to Tibet. If your mind is relaxed and at peace, as a result of developing the awakening mind of bodhichitta, you’ll find you enjoy good physical health and sound sleep. You’ll be happy day and night.

“Today, I’m going to give the permission of the 21 Taras, which is found in the Rinjung Gyatsa and Sukha Gyatsa collections. I received the Rinjung Gyatsa from Tagdag Rinpoché in Tibet among many other empowerments and transmissions. I don’t remember receiving the Sukha Gyatsa from him, but Kyabjé Trijang Rinpoché gave it to me later, after we’d come into exile.

“While I go through the preparatory rites, please pray to Arya Tara that the Dharma may flourish, that people may be well and that teachers and those gathered here may live long. Keep in mind that the longer you live, the greater will be your opportunity to accumulate merit. What’s more, since Avalokiteshvara sits on the crown of my head, you all share a special bond with him, which means you’ll be cared for him in life after life.”

As he began to formally give the permission, His Holiness instructed the disciples to make a request for the teaching. He noted that he had given a general introduction to the Dharma over the last two days. He also acknowledged that Tibetans, Mongolians, Chinese and people from the Himalayan regions have been practising the Dharma for generations and consequently share a karmic connection.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the crowd on the third day of teachings at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 31, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

To start with the disciples were to request the bodhisattva vows. His Holiness advised them to visualize the Buddha in the space before them accompanied by Arhats, the Eight Bodhisattvas: Mañjushri, Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani, Maitreya, Kshitigarbha, Akashagarbha, Sarvanivaranavishkambhini and Samantabhadra, as well as great Indian masters represented by the Six Ornaments: Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga and Dharmakirti and the Two Supremes: Gunaprabha and Shakyaprabha.

His Holiness then led the congregation in reciting verses for taking the Bodhisattva Vows three times.

I take refuge in the Three Jewels,
Individually disclose all my unwholesome deeds,
Rejoice in the virtues of all beings and
Mentally take up the enlightenment of a Buddha.

Until I am enlightened, I take refuge in the
Buddha, the Dharma and the Supreme Assembly.
I generate the spirit of enlightenment
to fully attain my own and others' welfare.

Having generated the spirit of supreme enlightenment
I invite all sentient beings as my guests,
And engage in the supreme and wonderful conduct of a Bodhisattva.
May I attain Buddhahood to benefit all wandering beings.

Next, the disciples were to request the body of Arya Tara. His Holiness confirmed that he had visualized himself and the front-generated deity in that form and recited a description of the 21 Taras with their colours and attributes as follows:

Depiction of the 21 Taras that accords with the textual description starting at the bottom, with the red Tara, and proceeding clockwise.

(1) Tara who is swift and heroic—red in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a red vase of subjugation.

(2) Tara of immense peace—white in colour like the moon in autumn—right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a white vase that pacifies disease and negative forces.

(3) Tara of a golden colour—right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a yellow vase that increases lifespan and merit.

(4) Tara (of life) who is golden in colour—right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a yellow vase that extends life.

(5) On a sun disc sits Tara who utters the sound [HUM]—orange in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding an enchanting (orange) vase.

(6) On a sun disc sits Tara who is victorious over the three worlds—dark red in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (dark red) vase that befuddles evil spirits.

(7) On a sun disc sits Tara who averts the spells of others—black in colour and slightly wrathful, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (black) vase that counters the spells of mantras.

(8) On a sun disc sits Tara who conquers evil forces—dark red in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (dark red) vase that overcomes enemies.

(9) Tara who symbolizes the Three Jewels—white in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (white) vase that protects from fears.

(10) Tara who conquers maras and subjugates the world—red in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding in her outstretched palm a (red) vase that conquers maras and subjugates.

(11) Tara who invokes (the guardians of the ten directions and so forth) and rescues from poverty—orange in colour, resembling refined gold, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding in her outstretched palm a (red) vase that protects from poverty.

(12) Tara who brings good fortune—orange in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding an (orange) vase that brings good fortune.

(13) Tara of blazing fire—red in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (red) vase that overcomes enemies.

(14) On a sun disc sits frowning Tara—black in colour and frowning slightly, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (black) vase that pierces obstructers.

(15) Tara of great peace—white in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (white) vase that pacifies negative actions.

(16) Tara who liberates through the HUM of knowledge—red in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (red) vase that spreads knowledge mantras.

(17) Tara who moves the world—orange in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding an (orange) vase that subdues knowledge mantras.

(18) Tara who pacifies and removes sicknesses due to poison—white in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (white) vase that removes sicknesses due to poison.

(19) Tara who eliminates disputes and bad dreams—white in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (white) vase that removes disputes and bad dreams.

(20) Tara who eliminates epidemics—orange in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding an (orange) vase that eliminates epidemics.

(21) Tara of enlightened activities—white in colour, right hand in the gesture of bestowing sublime attainments, holding a (white) vase that accomplishes different enlightened activities.

All these Taras have one face and two hands, the left of which is in the gesture of giving refuge and holds the stem of an utpala (a blue lotus) flower. They are (mostly) peaceful and smile enchantingly. They wear silken garments, are adorned with a variety of jewels, and (most of them) are seated on moon disc seats. They meditate with their legs in the bodhisattva position (which is to say, right leg slightly extended and left bent inward).

Monks distributing ritual pills to members of the audience during the permission of 21 Taras on the third day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 31, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Next, the disciples requested the speech of Tara, the mind of Tara and the blessing of the mantra. The ritual concluded with the offering of a thanksgiving mandala.

His Holiness resumed his reading of Nagarjuna’s ‘Commentary on the Awakening Mind’ from verse 67 commenting that we need to overcome clinging to true existence. He added that unless we can overcome the obstructions to knowledge, we’ll be unable to attain enlightenment.

When practitioners see sentient beings overwhelmed by karma and mental afflictions, they recognize that these obstructions can be eliminated from the mind. They reflect that they can help sentient beings do this and resolve to do so to repay the kindness they have received. As verse 105 makes clear, ‘the awakening mind is stated to be the highest ideal of the great vehicle, so with a determined effort generate this awakening mind.’ His Holiness read to the end of the text, including the colophon.

“We have gathered here in this sacred place where the Buddha became enlightened and which was later blessed by the presence of Nagarjuna and others,” he observed. “We are doing our best to become closer to all of them by fulfilling their instructions. Now, please dedicate whatever merit has been created for the benefit of all beings.”

Members of the crowd following along with the text "Commentary on Bodhichitta" by Nagarjuna on the third day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 31, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

The discourse ended with a recitation of the prayer that concludes Tsongkhapa’s ‘Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path’ that includes the following verse:

Wherever the Buddha's teaching has not spread
And wherever it has spread but has declined
May I, moved by great compassion, clearly elucidate
This treasury of excellent benefit and happiness for all.

Before His Holiness left the stage and the congregation dispersed, Jamphel Lhundrup, Secretary of the Dalai Lama Trust that organized these teachings gave an account in Tibetan of the income and expenses involved in the event. He thanked His Holiness for his teaching and expressed gratitude to local officials for all their support. Zumchung Tashi then repeated the summary in English.

As has become his custom, His Holiness came to the front of the stage to wave to the crowd and then paid his respects to the most senior Lamas before boarding the golfcart to return to Gaden Phelgyeling Monastery, smiling and waving to well-wishers on the way.

]]>
Commentary on the Awakening Mind - Second Day https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/commentary-on-the-awakening-mind-second-day Fri, 30 Dec 2022 13:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/commentary-on-the-awakening-mind-second-day Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - This morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama returned to the Kalachakra Ground for a second round of teachings. The ground, filled to capacity, was packed with 50,000 people while there were another 15,000 outside following proceedings on large screens. Of these 65,000 people, 3000 were foreigners from 80 countries.

Ratö Khensur, Nicholas Vreeland, presenting His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the first copy of a newly published book that contains His Holiness’s spiritual biography composed by the late Ratö Khyongla Rinpoché at the start of the second day of teachings in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 30, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

After he had waved to the crowd and saluted the senior lamas, His Holiness took his seat on the throne. A group of children, students of the Root Institute school, sat down before him and fervently recited the ‘Heart Sutra’ in Sanskrit. Meanwhile, Ratö Khensur, Nicholas Vreeland, presented His Holiness with the first copy of a newly published book that contains His Holiness’s spiritual biography composed by the late Ratö Khyongla Rinpoché.

Next, eight representatives—five from Japan and one each from Austria, Israel and the USA—of the project 'Flame of Hope' presented a lantern to His Holiness, the flame of which had been lit from the flame of peace in Hiroshima. 'Flame of Hope' wishes to change the world by lighting the spark of hope for peace in children's hearts. Working hand in hand with spiritual leaders and other concerned persons, Flame of Hope aims to spread this wish around the world. Their slogan is One Earth—One Prayer—One Flame.

Representatives of the project 'Flame of Hope' posing for a photo with His Holiness the Dalai Lama after presenting him with a lantern which had been lit from the flame of peace in Hiroshima on the second day of teachings in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 30, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

After tea and bread had been distributed, blessed by being offered to the Three Jewels, and enjoyed, His Holiness spoke.

“Today, we have a second opportunity to hold a discourse in this sacred place, which is most fortunate. Buddha Shakyamuni came, walked this land, and attained enlightenment here.

“I’ve been given this flame from Hiroshima, which was the first place on which an atomic bomb was dropped and so very many people perished. I’ve been there, heard about those who died and met survivors whose health was frail. Thinking of them all I felt immensely sad. I thought how good it would be if the world were free from nuclear weapons, which is something I have deeply prayed for.

“Even now war goes on and weapons are being used by one side against others. Although nuclear weapons have not been employed since the bombing of Japan, too many countries wish to possess them. Today, in this sacred place of Vajra-asana, we have here a flame of hope and an opportunity to pray for lasting peace in the world.

“There may be no immediate danger of a wider war breaking out, but we all face the threat of the Covid pandemic. This is a serious risk and we should all pray for the pandemic to subside. As human beings we are all subject to the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. Let’s pray together that as far as the pandemic is concerned, we may soon find relief.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the crowd on the second day of teachings at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 30, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness led the congregation in reciting the mantras of Avalokiteshvara and Arya Tara together for several minutes. He remarked that having the opportunity to gather merit and purify negativity for a second day, being in such a sacred place makes a difference. Doing practice here with a positive motivation evokes the blessings of the Buddha and other great masters who have practised here in the past.

“This is why I remind you to find the time to cultivate bodhichitta and an understanding of emptiness while you are here. And if you can continue to cultivate these qualities through calm abiding and analytical meditation in your day-to-day life, after some time you’ll notice that you can bring about change in your mind. You may not yet have experience of these qualities, but if you focus your mind on them, it will come.

“All the flaws within us arise because we cling to the inherent existence of people and things. We can reduce this misconception by meditating on emptiness and combining that meditation with the awakening mind of bodhichitta. If you do this, you will feel some effect. This is just what the Buddhas of the past have done.

“Although Tibet and its surrounding regions come under the care of Avalokiteshvara, where I was born in Amdo, I had no role model to follow. Having come to Central Tibet, I began to study the classic philosophical books with my two tutors, Kyabjé Ling Rinpoché in particular. Then, in exile, I had the opportunity to become better acquainted with the practice of bodhichitta, so I have personal experience of the change it can bring. If you meditate on bodhichitta and emptiness you’ll be helping yourself and others in this and future lives.

“Study, reflect and meditate on what you’ve understood. If you practise in this way, over days, months and years, you’ll see a change come about in your mind. This is what I wanted to tell you.”

Monks in the audience following the Nagarjuna’s ‘Commentary on the Awakening Mind’ being taught by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the second day of teachings in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 30, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness resumed his reading of Nagarjuna’s ‘Commentary on the Awakening Mind’ with verse 57 that tells us that just as sweetness is the nature of molasses and heat is the nature of fire, the nature of all phenomena is emptiness. He noted that we all have Buddha-nature. We are human beings who have encountered the Buddha’s teachings and have the opportunity and resources to tame our minds by expanding our understanding.

Reading on, His Holiness observed that to speak of emptiness is to propound neither nihilism nor eternalism. He further stated that when ultimate truth is explained the conventional is not obstructed, but no ultimate truth can be found that is independent of the conventional.

His Holiness mentioned that Buddhist tradition entails scripture and realization and it is kept alive through study and practice, which involves the three higher trainings in ethics, concentration and wisdom. Besides philosophical assertions, realization also requires a knowledge of the workings of the mind. Through daily acquaintance with the minds of whitish appearance, reddish increase and black near attainment, as well as the three empties that presage the subtle clarity and awareness of the clear light of death, we hope ultimately to reach the state of ‘all-empty’ giving rise to the illusory body.

His Holiness concluded: “All suffering comes from ignorance; that is what is to be eliminated. And we can do that by coming to understand dependent arising, the king of reasons. This is what I wanted to say.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama returning to his residence at the Tibetan Monastery at the end of the second day of teachings at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 30, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

As he left the stage His Holiness saluted several senior Lamas in the traditional Tibetan manner of mutually touching brows. Young tulkus he acknowledged with a pat on the head. Smiling broadly, he waved to the crowd, then rode back to his monastery by golfcart.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in conversation with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at His Holiness's residence at the Tibetan Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 30, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

After lunch, the Chief Minister of Bihar, the Hon’ble Nitish Kumar paid His Holiness a visit and the two of them discussed the importance of ancient Indian wisdom and the value of culture.

]]>
Offering Condolences to PM Narendra Modi https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/offering-condolences-to-pm-narendra-modi Fri, 30 Dec 2022 09:55:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/offering-condolences-to-pm-narendra-modi Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell him how sorry he was to have learned of the passing away of his dear mother.

“I offer you my condolences,” he wrote. “I am currently staying in Bodh Gaya and I will pray for her.

“Your mother lived to a good age of 99. She must have been proud to see her son rise to the position of Prime Minister of this great country.”

His Holiness ended his letter with prayers and good wishes,

]]>
Commentary on the Awakening Mind - First Day https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/commentary-on-the-awakening-mind-first-day Thu, 29 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/commentary-on-the-awakening-mind-first-day Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - This morning, under a clear blue sky, His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove the short distance to the Kalachakra Ground, smiling and waving to well-wishers who had gathered on either side of the road. Climbing down from the golfcart at the front of the stage, he made a point of waving to the crowd in front and to his right and left as is his custom. Then he turned and greeted the Sakya Gongma Trichen, the Gaden Tri Rinpoché, as well as the Sharpa and Jangtsé Chöjés, following which he also saluted the Sakya Trizins before taking his seat on the throne.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama waving to well-wishers gathered on road to the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 29, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

To His Holiness’s left sat the Gaden Tripa, Sharpa Chöjé, and Jangtsé Chöjé; Ling Rinpoché, Kundeling Taktsak Jedrung Rinpoché; Jonang Gyaltsab; Kirti Rinpoché;

the Abbot of Namgyal Monastery, Thomtog Rinpoché; Chökyi Nyima Rinpoché; Trulshik Rinpoché; Druk Jangtrul Rinpoché and others.

To His Holiness’s right sat the Sakya Gongma Trichen Rinpoché; the 42nd Sakya Trizin Ratna Vajra Sakya; the 43rd Sakya Trizin Gyana Vajra Sakya; Kongdung Abhaya Vajra Sakya; Khondung Akasha Vajra Sakya; the 26th Chogyé Tripa (Chogyé Shabdrung Bista Lama); the 27th Chogyé Tripa (Rinzin Paljor Bista); Jetsunma Kunga Thinley Palter Sakya; Jetsunma Kunga Chimé Wangmo Sakya; Khangsar Shabdrung; Thiksé Rinpoché; Trulshik Rinpoché Tenzin Chökyi Lodoe; Lelung Rinpoché and Kalu Rinpoché.

Theravada monks, mostly from two Thai monasteries, chanted the ‘Karuniya Metta Sutta’ in Pali—the Buddha’s words on loving kindness, which was followed by a recitation of ‘The Three Continuous Practices’ in Tibetan. Tea and bread were distributed.

Theravada monks chanting the ‘Karuniya Metta Sutta’ in Pali at the start of the first day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 29, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Today, in this special place where the Buddha attained enlightenment, I would like to hold a ceremony for generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta and taking the Bodhisattva Vows,” His Holiness declared. “This, the Seat of Enlightenment, is the most sacred of the sites associated with the Buddha. Elsewhere he taught the Four Noble Truths and the Thirty-seven Harmonies of Enlightenment, but here we are reminded of the essence of all his teachings, which is to discipline the mind for the benefit of sentient beings extensive as space.

“I generate bodhichitta every day, cultivating a concern for the welfare of others. The more you become acquainted with such motivation, the more you’ll find you hold others dearer than yourself. In this way you’ll realize self and others are interdependent.

“Since I received the transmission of ‘Entering the Way of the Bodhisattva’ (Bodhicharyavatara) I have engaged in the practice of equalizing and exchanging self and others every day. Doing so is a source of true happiness. The practice of bodhichitta is the essence of all the Buddha’s teachings. With this in mind we need to remember that all 8 billion human beings alive today wish to be happy and to avoid suffering. As far as this is concerned, we’re all the same. Once you’ve developed bodhichitta, you’ll find unfavourable circumstances become favourable.”

His Holiness began to describe how to visualize the Buddha in front and was reminded that a couple of days ago, at the Wat-pa Thai Temple, he gazed at a painting of the Buddha on the wall. He revealed that during the inauguration of a program that will see monks belonging to the Pali and Sanskrit Buddhist traditions exchanging experiences and getting to know each other’s traditions better, he felt as if the Buddha was stroking his head in approval and rewarding him with a chocolate. He added that if we carry out the practice of what the Buddha taught it’s reasonable to feel he will be pleased.

“It’s through practice that you taste the real flavour of the teaching. The Buddha himself cultivated bodhichitta, engaged in the practices of a bodhisattva and became a fully awakened being. We should think, ‘Just as the Buddha has done before me, I will achieve this goal.’ The Buddha will not fail us. He has taught the Four Noble Truths as well as the Perfection of Wisdom. The crucial point is for us to transform our unruly minds into the mind of a Buddha.

His Hoiness the Dalai Lama speaking on the first day of teachings at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 29, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Listen to and study the Buddha’s teachings. Reflect on them over and over again, then meditate on what you’ve understood. Be determined to work for the welfare of others. This is how you will reach the domain of the enlightened ones. If you have bodhichitta within, you’ll be at peace.”

His Holiness again advised his listeners to visualize the Buddha accompanied by the great Buddhist masters of India and Tibet before them.

“We’re all human beings, we’ve met with the teachings, wherever we are we can determine to work for all sentient beings.”

His Holiness then led the congregation in reciting the verses that are at the core of the ceremony:

I seek refuge in the Three Jewels;
Each and every wrongdoing I confess.
I rejoice in the virtues of all beings.
I take to heart the state of Buddhahood.

I go for refuge until I am enlightened
To the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Supreme Assembly,
In order to fulfil the aims of myself and others
I develop the awakening mind.

Having developed the aspiration for highest enlightenment,
I invite all sentient beings as my guests,
I shall enact the delightful supreme enlightening practices.
May I become a Buddha to benefit all sentient beings.

“I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity to give the Bodhisattva Vows,” His Holiness remarked, “you too can rejoice at having been able to take them. Study them and protect them.”

Members of the audience taking Bodhisattva vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the first day of teachings at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 29, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness took up the text he was going to teach and commented that he wouldn’t finish reading it today. First the title, is given in Sanskrit ‘Bodhichittavivarana’ and next, it is written in Tibetan ‘byang chub sems kyi ‘grel pa’. Both mean Commentary on the Awakening Mind.

His Holiness read up to verse 41 which indicates that the mind is empty of true existence. Reading on, he noted that ‘dependent arising’ is a profound instruction. It demonstrates that things are empty of inherent existence on the one hand, yet do function on a conventional level on the other. He summarized the morning’s events as having taken the Bodhisattva Vow and engaged in profound practice in this most sacred place. He undertook to continue tomorrow.

Coming to the front of the stage, before leaving for his monastery, His Holiness made a point of waving to the audience again, to the right, left and the front, and they responded with cheers and applause.

]]>
Inauguration of a Pali & Sanskrit International Bhikkhu Exchange Program https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/inauguration-of-a-pali-sanskrit-international-bhikkhu-exchange-program Tue, 27 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/inauguration-of-a-pali-sanskrit-international-bhikkhu-exchange-program Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - This morning, as the sun hung in the misty sky over the Mahabodhi Temple, His Holiness the Dalai Lama rode in a golfcart from Gaden Phelgyeling Tibetan Monastery to Wat-pa Thai Temple. He smiled and waved to people, who lined the way several rows deep, holding silk scarves, or flowers in their folded hands.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama making his way to the Wat-pa Thai Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 27, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness was warmly welcomed by the monks at the temple and escorted inside. He was invited to consecrate a statue of the Buddha before taking his seat on the platform among other guests who included Ven Dr Warakagoda Dhammasiddhi, Sakya Gongma Trichen Rinpoché and the Gaden Tri Rinpoché.

Buddhist refuge prayers were chanted in Pali, followed by a recitation of the ‘Heart Sutra’ in Tibetan.

In his welcome address Ven Khensur Lobsang Gyaltsen first paid his respects and expressed his appreciation to His Holiness and the principal guests for their presence. He explained that the five-year Pali and Sanskrit International Bhikkhu Exchange Program being inaugurated today has been organized in partial fulfilment of His Holiness’s commitment to promote human values, to encourage harmony among the world’s religious traditions, to ensure the preservation of Tibetan culture and to prompt a revival of awareness of the value of ancient Indian knowledge.

“We are all followers of Buddha Shakyamuni,” he declared, “and bringing about world peace is our common goal. The program is intended to strengthen relationships between followers of the Pali and Sanskrit traditions, allowing them to learn about each other.“

Ven Dr Phra Bodhinandhamunee, Abbot of the Wat-pa Temple, expressed his appreciation that this was the third occasion on which His Holiness had blessed the community. He noted that the five-year exchange program was to begin today from these very premises.

Ven Dr Phra Bodhinandhamunee, Abbot of the Wat-pa Temple, delivering his opening remarks at the inauguration of the Pali & Sanskrit International Bhikkhu Exchange Program at Wat-pa Thai Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 27, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Ven Dr Dhammapiya, Secretary General of the International Buddhist Confederation, remarked that the Buddha spoke of one path, one dhamma, therefore we have to keep our hearts and minds open and appreciate how Buddhism has evolved in the array of Buddhist countries.

“Let us connect with one another,” he urged and noted a slogan he saw in the airport yesterday— ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. “On such a basis we can create a peaceful, harmonious world.”

The Chief Guest Most Ven Dr Warakagoda Dhammasiddhi, who was sitting next to His Holiness, praised the intention to create mutual understanding among different Buddhist cultures with closer interaction among their monks. He expressed a wish to convey the heartfelt gratitude of the Sri Lankan Maha Sangha for this precious opportunity.

The formal launch of the exchange program took place with the unfurling of banners by the principal guests and signing of a declaration of intent.

His Holiness was then invited to address the gathering:

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the gathering at the inauguration of the Pali & Sanskrit International Bhikkhu Exchange Program at Wat-pa Thai Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 27, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“All of us gathered here at this sacred site of Bodhgaya are followers of the Buddha. We all try to implement his teaching on the basis of an understanding of the four seals.

"All conditioned phenomena are transient.
All polluted phenomena are unsatisfactory or in the nature of suffering.
All phenomena are empty and selfless.
Nirvana is true peace.

“We all want to be happy, therefore we should seek friendship and harmony between us. Since religious practice is about cultivating goodwill and affection it’s very sad when we witness quarrelling among members of this or that tradition. As far as we are concerned, we must do our best to follow the teaching of the Buddha sincerely. If the Buddha were to observe us arguing or criticising each other, I think he might ask us not to do that.

“We follow the same teacher and essentially the same teaching, therefore there’s every reason why there should be harmony between us whether we belong to the Pali or Sanskrit tradition.

“When I look at the image of the Buddha on the wall over there and see the position of his hands, I’m reminded that they indicate not that he would stroke our heads, nor that he would clench a fist to hit us. It was teaching he gave us and encouraged us to put it into effect. This means practising steadily day by day. That’s how we too can eventually become like the Buddha.

A view of the hall at the Wat-pa Thai Temple during the inauguration of the Pali & Sanskrit International Bhikkhu Exchange Program at Wat-pa Thai Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 27, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“The Buddha taught us that the whole of the cycle of existence is empty of any essential core. Consequently, it’s possible to thoroughly purify the mind. I’ve tried to be a sincere practitioner and follow the Buddha’s teaching in my own life. As the mantra in the ‘Heart Sutra’ indicates, by applying what the Buddha taught we can proceed towards enlightenment ourselves. This is a goal I wish to fulfil and I seek the Buddha’s blessings to be successful in doing so.

“There may be some differences between our various traditions, but the important point is that we are all followers of the same teacher. Therefore, it’s essential that we are friendly and respectful towards one another.

“I try to cultivate the awakening mind of bodhichitta and an understanding of emptiness every day and I urge you too to try to cultivate an altruistic state of mind. I am motivated by the following prayer:

“Wherever the Buddha’s teaching has not spread
And wherever it has spread but has declined
May I, moved by great compassion, clearly elucidate
This treasury of excellent benefit and happiness for all.

“Whatever the circumstances, it’s always important to generate a kind heart.”

The Ven Dr Ratneswar Chakma, General Secretary of the Buddhist Thai-Bharat Society announced in conclusion:

“It gives me great pleasure to offer a vote of thanks to everyone who has taken part in the inauguration of this exchange program. I thank the guests, and especially His Holiness, for joining us today. I also thank the organizers and the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for their support.

“May all beings be happy and well.”

After commemorative photographs had been taken, everyone present was invited to a delicious lunch.

]]>
Visiting the Mahabodhi Temple https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/visiting-the-mahabodhi-temple Fri, 23 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/visiting-the-mahabodhi-temple Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - Having arrived in Bodhgaya yesterday, this morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama made a visit to the Mahabodhi Temple to pay his respects at the Seat of Enlightenment. He drove from the Tibetan Monastery, Gaden Phelgyeling, to the main entrance in a golfcart from which he could easily see the devout who lined the street and they could see him. He was welcomed by the Secretary of the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC), Nangzey Dorjee.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a short moment of quiet prayer as he walks through the Mahabodhi Temple grounds in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

As he carefully descended the steps, His Holiness occasionally glanced up at the Stupa on top of the temple and said a quiet prayer. At other moments he looked down to the Bodhi Tree beneath which the Buddha sat. In between times he looked to his right and his left, smiling and waving to the throngs of people gazing up in hope of catching his eye.

His Holiness bowed and paid his respects at the foot of the Bodhi Tree and proceeded to circumambulate the temple, waving and smiling at people, young and old, peering through the stone railings. On the far side of the temple His Holiness entered the chapel, paid his respects, and sat down before the renowned statue of the Buddha. With him were Theravada monks as well as monks from Namgyal Monastery.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama leaving the chapel after joining in prayers at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

While an Indian monk belonging to the BTMC wrapped silken yellow stoles around the statue in lieu of an offering of robes, His Holiness and the Namgyal monks chanted prayers that included: The Three Continuous Practices; the Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra; In Praise of Dependent Arising; a Supplication to the Seventeen Nalanda Masters; an Ecumenical Prayer to the Buddhist Traditions of Tibet; Verses of Auspiciousness Connected with the Three Jewels; and a prayer for His Holiness's long life composed by his two Tutors.

The recitation was concluded with several dedication prayers including:

May the sublime precious bodhichitta
Arise where it has not yet grown;
Where it has grown, may it not decline
But develop and flourish.

As a result of the Buddha’s coming into the world,
His teaching shines as bright as sunlight,
And those who guard it are harmonious like siblings,
May his teaching endure for a long time.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting the devout gathered at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Emerging from the chapel His Holiness completed the circuit of the temple, climbed the steps to the gate and drove in the golfcart back to Gaden Phelgyeling.

]]>
Talking to the Salwan Education Trust About Secular Ethics https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/talking-to-the-salwan-education-trust-about-secular-ethics Wed, 21 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2022/talking-to-the-salwan-education-trust-about-secular-ethics Delhi, India - This morning the weather was chilly and a little misty as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove to the Salwan Public School in Gurugram. He was greeted on arrival by the Chairman of the Salwan Education Trust, Sushil Dutt Salwan, who escorted him into the school lobby. Principals and staff of 58 schools from across Gurugram took the opportunity to greet His Holiness while he enjoyed tea and biscuits.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting students on his arrival at Salwan Public School in Gurugram, India on December 21, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness walked to the stage set up under a grand ‘shamiana’ and took his seat looking out over an estimated 6000 students, teachers and parents who had come to listen to him. Mr Salwan welcomed him on behalf of everyone present. He recalled that the Salwan Education Trust’s association with His Holiness began when he first visited their Rajendranagar Campus 24 years ago. He noted the great respect the Trust has for His Holiness’s message about our general need for love and compassion. He also mentioned that on that occasion His Holiness had blessed a sapling that has now grown into a Bodhi tree that is a significant landmark on the campus.

“Life is about learning,” Mr Salwan remarked, “and it’s an honour for us to learn from His Holiness.”

Chairman of the Salwan Education Trust, Sushil Dutt Salwan, delivering his welcome address at the start of the program with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Salwan Public School in Gurugram, India on December 21, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Brothers and sisters,” His Holiness began. “All eight billion of us human beings actually are brothers and sisters. We’re born the same way and nearly all of us have been nurtured by our mothers in the same way. Ultimately everyone in this world depends on warm-heartedness.

“As children we play with each other with no regard for what our religion or nationality may be. If our companions smile and play, we’re happy to play with them. This is because, essentially, we are all the same as human beings. However, education tends to teach us to focus on superficial differences between us, which can lead to friction and discrimination.

“India has long-standing traditions of ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’—compassion and doing no harm. We must try to follow these basic human values. Tigers and lions have sharp teeth and claws that indicate their need to prey on and eat other animals, but the human form suggests that we are much more inclined to being compassionate and not doing harm. From a biological point of view, we should be peaceful creatures.

“Since we survive in dependence on the kindness of others, we need to maintain a sense of ‘karuna' and ‘ahimsa' towards them. In the past, there has been too much violence because we have used our intelligence to develop weapons and make plans to destroy our neighbours.

“When we meet, we recognize another human being by their human face. If we met someone with a third eye it would be a real surprise. We are all physically similar in having one face, two hand and two legs. We should live according to our basic human nature, which is to be compassionate. Did the violence of the past build a better and safer world? —it did not. Therefore, we should make an effort to create a happier, more peaceful world. This means living happily together as brothers and sisters.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the more than 6000 6000 students, teachers and parents from 58 schools during the program at Salwan Public School in Gurugram, India on December 21, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“I’ve had the opportunity to visit different countries on different continents and I found the same kind of human faces everywhere. Wherever I go, I smile and by and large people respond in a friendly way.

“Peace will not fall from the sky. It depends on us developing a genuine sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. On a superficial level there are differences between us, but they are no grounds for fighting with others. We need to make a peaceful world free of weapons our goal. If disagreements arise, we must solve them by talking them through. Weapons are of no use.

“This is what I want to share with my young brothers and sisters here.”

His Holiness remarked that western values tend to focus on material goals while in ancient India people explored the workings of the mind. They recognised that we have sense consciousnesses, but also appreciated the importance of mental consciousness. They learned that when we die our coarser minds dissolve into our subtler minds. This can be observed when we fall asleep too. His Holiness acknowledged that Indian yogis, like Tibetan monks, have deep experience of working with the mind.

When we go through the process of dying the elements of the body dissolve and coarser levels of mind dissolve into subtler levels. This gives rise to what are known as the three visions—whitish appearance and the cessation of 33 conceptions, reddish increase during which 40 conceptions cease and black near-attainment during which the final seven conceptions cease.

Members of the audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the program at Salwan Public School in Gurugram, India on December 21, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness recalled that in the seventh century of the common era the Tibetan king commissioned the creation a Tibetan form of writing based on the Indian Devanagari alphabet. When a century later another king invited the great Nalanda master Shantarakshita to Tibet he encouraged the translation of Buddhist literature into Tibetan. A consequence is that today Tibetan remains the best and most accurate language for explaining Buddhist psychology and science of the mind. His Holiness suggested that Indian students need to learn more about training and controlling their minds on the basis of ancient Indian tradition, which has been kept alive in Tibet.

In answering questions from students His Holiness observed that everyone has some interest in peace of mind. To maintain such inner peace, we have to learn that it is destructive emotions like anger and suspicion that disturb our minds, while ‘karuna’ brings peace and self-confidence. He remarked that if, as he does himself, you think about ‘karuna’ the moment you wake up and again as you’re going to sleep, it brings peace of mind.

When asked who he regards as a source of inspiration, His Holiness was unhesitating in mentioning Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti, two Indian masters whose thought and intelligence were brilliant.

Another student wanted to know how to control anger and remain peaceful. His Holiness advised her to familiarize herself with ‘karuna’— compassion. Then, he said, when anger arises it will not run away with you. Anger and attachment are associated with coarse states of mind, which have no sound basis, whereas compassion is well-founded in reason. He noted that this is why constructive emotions are stronger than their destructive counterparts in the long run.

In our materialistic world, His Holiness commented, we pay too much attention to material things. What we ought to do is pay more attention to the state of our minds.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama answering a student's question during the program at Salwan Public School in Gurugram, India on December 21, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Asked how to become warm-hearted in a world where most other people are self-centred, His Holiness reflected that we have a strong sense of community and our dependence on it when we are very young and we need to preserve and nurture such an understanding. He reiterated that compassion brings happiness and self-confidence.

“I want to encourage these young Indian boys and girls to keep ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’ in mind. If you do so your lives will follow a positive direction. When you’re compassionate it automatically makes you smile.

“When you get married, genuine love is very much connected with being able to smile. When money’s involved, marriage tends to be only temporary. And if you marry a politician, that also won’t last. But when two people marry because they both love each other, their marriage is long-lasting. Human beings tend to marry for life, especially if their relationship is rooted in a deep sense of loving kindness.

Smt Rashmi Malik, the Principal of Salwan Public School, Gurugram, offered thanks to His Holiness and everyone who had contributed to the school’s opportunity to host him.

Smt Rashmi Malik, the Principal of Salwan Public School, Gurugram thanking His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the conclusion of the program at Salwan Public School in Gurugram, India on December 21, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

In his final remarks His Holiness noted that China and India are the two most populous nations on earth. But, while China has had its ups and downs, India cherishes democracy and religious freedom.

“This custom of regard for democracy and respect for all religious traditions,” His Holiness affirmed, “based on secular values, is both good and wise.

“Thank you.”

]]>