Dalai Lama https://www.dalailama.com/ en-us Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:09:36 +0000 Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:09:36 +0000 Three Principal Aspects of the Path https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/three-principal-aspects-of-the-path Sun, 17 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/three-principal-aspects-of-the-path Mundgod, Karnataka, India - An estimated eight thousand people, almost entirely Tibetans and people from the Himalayan regions, gathered to listen to His Holiness the Dalai Lama teach this morning. Monks filled the assembly halls of both Ganden Lachi and Ganden Shartse Monasteries, while the remainder of the crowd spilled out onto the yard outside. Large video displays and towers of loudspeakers allowed them to remain in touch with what was going on inside.

His Holiness took the stairs from his apartment down to the temple where he paid his respects before the enshrined images and greeted the distinguished Lamas before ascending the throne.

The Chant Master leading prayers as His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives at the Ganden Lachi Assembly Hall in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 17, 2017. Photo by Jeremy Russell

“Our original plans changed because I caught a cold,” His Holiness explained. “I was tired after the ordinations in Drepung, but today, after a day’s rest, I feel better.

“Ganden is the mother monastery of our tradition, founded by Je Tsongkhapa, which Gyalwa Gendun Drup described so well in his ‘Song of the Eastern Snow Mountain’.

Above the peaks of the eastern snow mountains
White clouds float high in the sky.
There comes to me a vision of my teachers.
Again and again am I reminded of their kindness,
Again and again am I moved by faith.

To the east of the drifting white clouds
Lies the illustrious Ganden Monastery, Hermitage of Joy.
There dwelled three precious ones difficult to describe
My spiritual father Lobsang Drakpa, and his two chief disciples.

Vast are your teachings on the profound Dharma,
On the yogas of the path's two stages.
To fortunate practitioners in this Land of Snows,
Your kindness, O masters, transcends thought.

“Je Rinpoche was one of the greatest personalities to serve Buddhism in the Land of Snow. A Japanese scholar once told me he felt that reading what Je Rinpoche wrote you can tell the kind of person he was.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his teaching at Ganden Lachi Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 17, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Having come here to Ganden I decided to give this teaching so I won’t have visited without doing anything constructive.

“Je Rinpoche’s teacher Jetsun Rendawa inspired a generation to take special interest in the Middle Way View—including Je Rinpoche. Rendawa’s vast intelligence was compared to the unobstructed expanse of space. Now when we read Je Rinpoche’s writings based on his reading of numerous Indian commentaries we can trace the steady evolution of his view. Likewise, his works on Guhyasamaja illustrate the way his understanding of the illusory body clarified.”

His Holiness remarked that the tradition of studying the classic texts and great treatises was upheld by all Tibetan Buddhist Traditions, each of which also engaged in the application of epistemology and logic. He noted that while the Nalanda Tradition was influential in both China and Tibet, Dignaga’s and Dharmakirti’s major works on logic are all available in Tibetan, whereas only one small text of Dharmakirti’s was translated into Chinese.

Early Sakya scholars Kunga Nyingpo, Drogon Chögyal Phagpa and Sakya Pandita paid particular attention to the rules and function of logic. Rendawa was an heir to that tradition. He was among several superb scholars who deeply influenced Je Rinpoche. Another was Lhodrak Namkha Gyaltsen who gave him instructions in Dzogchen. His Holiness commended Tsongkhapa not only for being learned in many fields, but for applying what he learned in practice. This pattern of study and practice was maintained at the Three Seats of Learning around Lhasa—Ganden, Sera and Drepung---and Tashi Lhunpo.

Some of the more than 8,000 Tibetans and people from the Himalayan region attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching at Ganden Lachi Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 17, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Here in exile we have kept up this tradition and now nuns too have taken up rigorous studies. The determination of the people of Tibet serves as a constant source of encouragement. The tradition we uphold is the pure tradition of Nalanda—I urge all of you to continue to keep it up.

“Tsakho Ngawang Drakpa wrote to Tsongkhapa from Eastern Tibet asking how to practise the Dharma. He received this ‘Three Principal Aspects of the Path’ in reply and the reassurance, ‘If you follow my words, I’ll guide in all your lives and when I manifest enlightenment, I’ll teach you first.’

“I must have received transmission and explanation of this text from Tagdrag Rinpoche, as well as from Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche”

His Holiness explained that this text begins with an appreciation of the difficulty of finding human life and the importance of turning away attraction to this life. He remarked that this is different from the approach of the ‘Foundation of All Excellence’ that more closely follows the pattern of Atisha’s ‘Lamp for the Path’.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama commenting on the text "Three Principal Aspects of the Path" during his teaching at Ganden Lachi Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 17, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

He digressed to mention that 3 or 4 years ago a Chinese scholar from Columbia University told him that he had explored Chinese historical documents. They reveal the existence of three empires—Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese—as well as the fact that from the T’ang to the Qing dynasty—the Manchus who ruled at the time of the 13th Dalai Lama—there was no mention at all of Tibet being a part of China. What is also clear is that after Shantarakshita helped set up Samye Monastery, there were Chinese monks in the Department of Unwavering Concentration. In due course, Kamalashila, Shantarakshita’s disciple, came to debate with them.

By the 11th century King Jangchub Ö was so concerned by the decline of Buddhist traditions in Tibet that he requested Atisha to compose a text to restore them. The result was the ‘Lamp for the Path’. His Holiness explained that that text, and other subsequent Stages of the Path texts, begin with the need to rely on a Guru or spiritual mentor. His Holiness feels strongly that it’s more appropriate now to follow the approach of ‘Ornament for Clear Realization’, which starts by introducing the Two Truths, the Four Noble Truths and the qualities of the Three Jewels.

Monks in the audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his teaching at Ganden Lachi Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 17, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

The Four Noble Truths were taught on the basis of causality. All Buddhist schools teach them. However, only when we understand the third noble truth---cessation—will we begin to understand what the Buddha’s teaching was about. Related to understanding the origin of suffering are the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising—and the first link is ignorance, which is to misconceive reality. It can be countered by understanding emptiness. As Aryadeva recommends in his ‘400 Verses’:

First prevent the demeritorious,
Next prevent [ideas of a coarse] self;
Later prevent views of all kinds.
Whoever knows of this is wise.

His Holiness’s close reading of the text elaborated on the determination to be free, the advantages of developing the awakening mind of bodhichitta, as well as the disadvantages of not doing so. He pointed out that unless you train the mind to aspire for Buddhahood, you won’t achieve it. In touching on the disadvantages of a self-cherishing attitude and the advantages of cultivating concern for others he quoted Shantideva:

Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.

The crux of the correct view is that things do not exist the way they appear. Despite appearances things are empty of any intrinsic existence whatsoever. His Holiness quoted a verse from one of the 7th Dalai Lama’s songs of experience:

Just as a cloud disperses in the autumn sky,
In the vision of my mind as being inseparably one with emptiness
All experiences and perceptions dissolve;
I, an unborn yogi of space.

Coming to the end of the text, His Holiness clarified that the paradoxical lines of the penultimate verse,

Appearances refute the extreme of existence,
Emptiness refutes the extreme of nonexistence;

represent the Consequentialist Middle Way (Prasangika-Madhyamaka) view, which also asserts that things exist merely by way of designation. He concluded with the comment that this short text presents the very essence of the Buddha’s teaching. He recommended that his listeners build on it by carefully scrutinizing particularly what Je Rinpoche has to say in his treatises on the Middle Way View.

A view of the courtyard with over 8,000 Tibetans and people from the Himalayan region attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching at Ganden Lachi Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 17, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“I thought I would like to teach for an hour and a half, and now it’s been two and a half hours. I often tell people that once I start I can talk and talk. I’d like to thank everyone who has made this occasion possible. I’d also like to thank you all for your prayers for my good health.”

His Holiness is due to leave Mundgod tomorrow for a two day journey by road to the Tibetan Settlement of Bylakuppe.

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Inauguration of Jangchub Choeling Nunnery’s New Debate Yard and Arrival at Ganden Monastery https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/inauguration-of-jangchub-choeling-nunnerys-new-debate-yard-and-arrival-at-ganden-monastery Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/inauguration-of-jangchub-choeling-nunnerys-new-debate-yard-and-arrival-at-ganden-monastery Mundgod, Karnataka, India - Before leaving Drepung Lachi Monastery this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with pilgrims recently arrived from Tibet. He sat at the top of the steps to the temple while they were gathered in front of him.

“The spirit, courage and determination of Tibetans are amazing,” he told them. “I’m very happy to be able to meet you here. I’m not referring just to the last 60 years. Faced with all kinds of hardships since the time of Tri Ralpachen and the fragmentation of the country under Langdarma, Tibetans’ determined spirit has been unwavering throughout. Despite all kinds of political change and other pressures, it remains undiminished. This is something I really want to acknowledge.

“Many of you pray I will live long and will soon be able to go home. Of course I want to see Tibet again. And considering how the people of Tibet have kept their spirits up, I want to meet them in person. However, the Chinese authorities haven’t looked on this favourably. They still brand me a ‘reactionary’ intent on undermining their control. If I were just to turn up they might arrest me. Then what would we do? We have to take reality into account. To imagine that just making hopeful prayers will make everything all right is not practical.

“China seems to be changing under Xi Jinping. Holding firmly to a hard line won’t help China in the long run. I feel sure that things will change.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting elderly Tibetans as he arrives at the new debate yard at Jangchub Choeling Nunnery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 15, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

Once again, as His Holiness drove across the Mundgod Tibetan Colony, people thronged the roads, with smiles on their faces and flowers and white scarves in their hands. Reaching Jangchub Choeling Nunnery he was received by the Abbot, Geshe Lobsang Tsultim. His Holiness cut the ribbon to formally open the gate to the new covered debate ground. Walking to his seat on the daïs at the top he stopped to greet residents of the nearby Old People’s Home, as well as saluting the nuns and their teachers.

Addressing the assembly, His Holiness remarked that Jangchub Choeling is one of the oldest nunneries in exile and is distinguished too by its high standard of education.

“I’m glad to be here among you. I greet you all, as well as the residents of the Old People’s Home who have joined us. Tibet is a land with long history and a rich civilization. We have our own language in which the more than three hundred volumes of the Kangyur and Tengyur are written. Despite the difficulties we have faced Buddhism has become deeply ingrained in our minds. The people of Tibet have preserved their language and culture for centuries and yet now, under the pretence that they somehow represent an urge for separation from China, the Chinese have deliberately tried to obliterate them.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the inauguration of the new debate yard at Jangchub Choeling Nunnery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 15, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Here in Karnataka we have re-established our centres of learning. Buddhism is not dependent on faith alone; it relies on reason and logic. The Buddha taught about the two truths, the path to follow and the resultant state of Buddhahood. The two truths highlight the difference between appearance and reality—ideas familiar to scientists. He revealed the path, the way to practise it and explained how we can achieve our own realization.

“In the past many Tibetans had faith but didn’t know what Buddhism was really about. Consequently, after we’d come into exile I encouraged monasteries like Namgyal Dratsang, Gyumey and Gyutö, which had no tradition of rigorous study of the classic works of philosophy, reason and logic, to introduce opportunities for their members to become familiar with them.

Nuns from Jangchub Choeling Nunnery attending the inauguration of the new debate yard at the nunnery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 15, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“The Buddha allowed both men and women to take full ordination, and yet for a variety of reasons the Bhikshuni Sangha was not established in Tibet. Changing that is not something I can decide by myself. It requires a consensus of the Sangha. However, I have been able to encourage more people to study. One consequence is that last year twenty nuns, including several from here, were awarded Geshe-ma degrees. You’ve all worked hard and I’d like to thank you.

“There is no end to education; the purpose is to discipline the mind. Even though I’m nearly 83 years old I still read whenever I can. Those of you who have completed your education should be able to apply what you’ve learned to your own life as well as teaching it to others. If you’re peaceful and happy, it’s good for your health. If you give in to negative emotions, it not only upsets you, it disturbs the people around you.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the inauguration of the new debate ground at Jangchub Choeling Nunnery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 15, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

His Holiness recalled that there are Chinese and Korean nuns at this nunnery. They come from traditions that also recite the Heart Sutra even if they do not always know what it means. He reminded his listeners that it is important that the words, ‘form is emptiness, emptiness is form’ remind them of the lack of intrinsic existence.

The nuns then gave an assured demonstration of debate covering the five topics of monastic discipline; higher knowledge of philosophy, psychology and ethics; the middle way view; the perfection of wisdom; and logic and epistemology.

Nuns demonstrating debate in front of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the inauguration of the new debate ground at Jangchub Choeling Nunnery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 15, 2017. Photo by Jeremy Russell

From Jangchub Choeling His Holiness drove on to Ganden Lachi Monastery. He was welcomed at the foot of the steps by the Ganden Throne Holder and escorted into the temple. As he had done in Drepung Lachi, where he paid obeisance before the stupa commemorating Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, his Senior Tutor, here in Ganden he paid his respects before the statue of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, his Junior Tutor. Once he had sat down the Ganden Throne Holder presented a mandala and representations of the body, speech and mind of enlightenment. The Chant Master led a recitation of Je Tsongkhapa’s ‘Three Principal Aspects of the Path’.

“Here at Ganden Nampar Gyalwai Ling Monastery, the Abbots of Shartse and Jangtse Colleges have ensured that great efforts are made to study Buddhist philosophy, contributing to the flourishing of the Dharma,” His Holiness declared.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at Ganden Lachi Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 15, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“I had been planning to give Bhikshu ordinations tomorrow, but as I have a heavy cold I’m a little tired. The ordination procedure has to be followed in full without any abbreviation, so I’m thinking of teaching the ‘Three Principal Aspects of the Path’ instead. Let’s see how it goes.”

With that His Holiness retired for the day.

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The Drepung Loseling Meditation & Science Center Inauguration https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/the-drepung-loseling-meditation-science-center-inauguration Thu, 14 Dec 2017 01:30:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/the-drepung-loseling-meditation-science-center-inauguration Mundgod, Karnataka, India - The commanding buildings of the new Drepung Loseling Meditation & Science Center faced with red laterite stand in their own 11 acre compound beyond the Drepung Loseling campus. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove there this morning from Drepung Lachi Monastery, the road was lined with Tibetans eager to greet him as he passed.

At the door to the Center His Holiness cut the ceremonial ribbon and recited auspicious verses, tossing handfuls of flowers and grain into the air as he did so. Once inside, he lit the lamp and on the other side of the room pressed the button that launched the Meditation & Science Center’s new website.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama launching the Meditation & Science Center’s new website at Drepung Loseling Monastery, Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 14, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

He was escorted around the Center’s science exhibition. At each installation to demonstrate a key scientific principle, such as gravity, electromagnetism and the laws of light and optics, there was a clear written explanation in Tibetan. There were also articulate monks on hand to explain what was being demonstrated.

Four hundred monks and nuns, teachers, staff and supporters sat in a covered space shaped like an amphitheatre. Geshe Yeshi Kelsang welcomed His Holiness and other dignitaries and guests. Gelong Thubten Tsering, Co-Director of the Science Project, introduced the Center in the absence of Geshe Lobsang Tenzin who was teaching elsewhere. He explained that Drepung Monastery preserves the classic tradition of studying ancient India’s ten major and minor sciences.

Since 2009 modern science has been added to the curriculum. Because an understanding of mathematics and English is a precondition for such study, opportunities have been provided to learn them too. Consequently, 400 students have taken up these subjects at the instigation of Geshe Lobsang Tenzin and participate in the Emory Tibet Science Initiative, the unique project developed by Emory University, Drepung Monastery and the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala.

The Abbot of Drepung Loseling welcomed His Holiness and the other guests. He explained that it is largely due to His Holiness’s encouragement that Tibetan monasteries have taken an interest in the study of science. Since 2016 this has been formally incorporated into the curriculums of the three major monasteries of Drepung, Sera and Ganden. He said that while keeping in mind the importance for human happiness of inner values such as love and compassion, by also exploring the world of modern science, here at Drepung Loseling they are trying in a small way to fulfil His Holiness’s vision. He concluded with prayers for His Holiness’s long life and the accomplishment of his wishes.

The Abbot of Drepung Loseling Geshe Lobsang Yeshi welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama and guests to the inauguration of the  Meditation & Science Center at Drepung Loseling Monastery, Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 14, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

His Holiness began his remarks by expressing his deep appreciation of Drepung Loseling Monastery’s creating this Meditation and Science Center, a place where modern science can productively interact with science and philosophy that has its source in ancient India.

“This isn’t a short-term initiative but a long-term project. I’d like to thank Emory University and everyone else who provided support for this valuable endeavour.

“There are 7 billion people in the world and all of us want to be happy and avoid distress. And yet we see reports of incessant suffering, people killing each other, others dying of starvation. We need to take responsibility for seeing what can be done to help.

“In many places there has been great progress in education, but education focussed solely on material development, to the neglect of the factors like love and compassion that give rise to inner peace, is inadequate. Today, we even hear of religion being used to divide ‘us’ and ‘them’ and as an excuse for other negative behaviour.

“At the beginning of the 20th century there was little talk of world peace. However, after a series of wars and the development of hugely destructive weapons, by the end of the century attitudes had changed. People became aware that there was no need to go on fighting. They aspired instead to achieve world peace. In Europe, for example, historic foes like France and Germany decided that it was better to work for the common good and launched what became the European Union.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the inauguration of the  Meditation & Science Center at Drepung Loseling Monastery, Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 14, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“More and more people have come to understand that you can’t create lasting peace through the use of force. There needs to be a new approach based on peace of mind. Therefore, it’s necessary to identify the factors like pride, anger and jealousy that disrupt such inner peace and take steps to counter them. We need to observe an emotional hygiene that corresponds to the physical hygiene with which we protect our physical health. Creating peace of mind doesn’t involve building temples or monasteries, but working with the mind.

“The Judeo-Christian traditions’ focus on faith in a creator God has brought widespread benefit to many, but finds little room for working with the mind and emotions. The Buddha taught that whether we are happy or not is up to us and whether we tame our minds, overcoming anger, attachment and ignorance about reality. Nagarjuna made this clear:

“Through the elimination of karma and mental afflictions there is liberation;
Karma and mental afflictions come from conceptual thoughts;
These come from mental exaggeration;
Exaggeration ceases through emptiness.

“Thinking of others being intrinsically existent gives rise to mental afflictions on the basis of which we engage in negative conduct. In the traditions of ancient India we find the practices of single-pointed concentration and penetrative insight and on the basis of those I think we can discuss the workings of the mind in a secular way. I hope Indian scholars can participate in such discussions, but many contemporary Indians are more concerned with material rather than inner development.

Some of the more than 400 monks listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the inauguration of the  Meditation & Science Center at Drepung Loseling Monastery, Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 14, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Thanks to the dedication of Trisong Detsen, Shantarakshita and Guru Padmasambhava, we Tibetans have kept the glorious Nalanda Tradition alive along with its emphasis on the use of reason and logic.”

His Holiness spoke of scientists’ ever increasing knowledge of how the brain works. After mostly paying attention to sensory consciousness, scientists have lately begun to take more interest in mental consciousness. Many now recognise, for example, that meditation affects neuroplasticity. He expressed satisfaction, therefore, that this new center includes mediation along with science.

He cautioned that it’s necessary to distinguish between what science has proved not to exist and what it has not yet proved to exist. Just because something is not openly visible is not sufficient to deny its existence. At the same time he urged those who follow the Buddha to be 21st century Buddhists, relying not on blind faith but on understanding soundly based on reason.

His Holiness recalled Mao Zedong telling him he had a scientific cast of mind only to spoil the compliment by confiding that religion is poison. He joked that he likes to think that if Mao were still alive he could convince him to make an exception for the Nalanda Tradition.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the inauguration of the  Meditation & Science Center at Drepung Loseling Monastery, Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 14, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

The Loseling manager offered words of thanks, expressing gratitude to His Holiness, the former Ganden Tripa, the present incumbent and other dignitaries for attending the inauguration. He declared the Center’s explicit intention to make its facilities available to other monastics through programs like the Emory Tibet Science Initiative and the Emory Tibet Science Initiative for Nuns. He concluded with a prayer that His Holiness may soon return to the Potala Palace.

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New Dalai Lama App https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/new-dalai-lama-app Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/new-dalai-lama-app Mundgod, Karnataka, India - Coinciding with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s arrival at Drepung Monastery, which was known in Tibet as a New Nalanda University, and Ganden Ngachö, the anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelukpa Tradition, the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has released ‘Dalai Lama’, a new iPhone App now available for download at the Apple App Store (download from http://apple.co/2C5zpco). With Dalai Lama stay up to date with what His Holiness is doing, his travels, and his teachings. Get official news, videos, and photos from His Holiness’s Office, including live video streams when they are available.

Features enable users to:

 *  Stay up to date with official news
 *  Get His Holiness’s official schedule of events
 *  Browse through photo galleries
 *  Watch videos of His Holiness’s events, including live video streams
 *  Learn about His Holiness’s life
 *  Read His Holiness’s teachings

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Meeting the Mundgod Community https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/meeting-the-mundgod-community Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/meeting-the-mundgod-community Mundgod, Karnataka, India - An estimated 8500 people, including 5000 monks, 200 nuns, 400 schoolchildren, as well as 1000 lay residents of Mundgod and 1500 from other settlements, gathered to listen to His Holiness the Dalai Lama this morning. They were seated in the comfortable shade of Drepung Loselling’s new covered debate yard. As he made his way to the stage, His Holiness waved to the audience before respectfully saluting the former Ganden Throneholder and the current Sharpa Chöjey.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting members of the crowd as he arrives at the Drepung Loseling debate ground in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 12, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“After I reached here yesterday, I thought that I would like to meet and talk to the public,” His Holiness explained. “I’ve had a long acquaintance with this land. I was here when we first began to clear the trees and bushes and I wanted to meet those of you who live here now, especially the schoolchildren. This nearly 83 year old man has some difficulty climbing up to the throne, but once I’ve sat down I can talk and talk. There’ve been a lot of changes here. Nearly all those who were here to begin with have gone. The original school teachers have gone and in those early days, those of you who are schoolchildren now were still living your previous lives.

“We came into exile not because of famine or to secure our own livelihoods, but to preserve our culture and traditions that were under threat at home. Because we were intent on preserving our identity we asked to be able to create our own settlements. We also asked for help to set up separate schools so our children could learn their own language and culture as well as receiving a modern education. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru took a great deal of personal responsibility for fulfilling our requests.

“Monks who’d escaped were gathered in Misamari in Assam where the climate was unfavourable. They were initially shifted to Buxaduar, but we continued to ask the Government of India’s help in finding more suitable long term settlements. The first and most amenable response to requests to make land available to Tibetans came from Karnataka, then Mysore State, under the leadership of Nijalingappa. In settling here we aimed to preserve our culture and religion and represent our brothers and sisters still in Tibet. Like all Tibetans living in free countries, we have done what we can.

A view of the Loseling debate ground with over 8,500 attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama's talk in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 12, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Today Buddhism attracts interest from across the world, even among scientists. I believe the Nalanda Tradition’s logical and reasoned approach has facilitated that. I also believe this tradition includes knowledge about achieving peace of mind that is highly relevant in today’s world. When, more than 30 years ago, I mentioned to an American friend my interest in holding discussions with scientists, she warned me that science is a killer of religion. I thought about it and felt that since we followed the Buddha’s advice to examine and investigate his teaching, only accepting what was logically consistent, Buddhism should be able to hold its own.”

His Holiness went on to talk about the 20th century as a period of extensive warfare. He added that even today people persist in thinking that problems can be solved by the use of force. In fact it doesn’t help. Instead the use of violence means many people get hurt. He reiterated his commitment to promoting love and compassion in the world—the idea that if you have a warm heart, you’ll be happy. This is consistent with scientific findings that basic human nature is compassionate. The care we receive when we’re born sows a seed of compassion in each of us, but it needs to be nurtured as we grow up. This is something modern education seems unable to do because it is more focussed on materialistic goals.

His Holiness stressed the importance of addressing problems from a wider perspective, looking at them from other angles. It’s one thing to talk about peace, he said, but at root it requires people developing peace of mind. Without individuals finding inner peace there will be no peace in the world.

He also spoke of being committed to fostering inter-religious harmony. He cited his admiration for the way all the world’s major religions live together and flourish in India and have done so for generations. He declared that since all religions convey a message of love and compassion, they ought to be able live in harmony with each other.

Members of the crowd of over 8,500 listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Drepung Loseling debate ground in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 12, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“I am also committed to Tibet,” His Holiness continued. “Since the time of the Fifth, the Dalai Lamas have been responsible for both the spiritual and temporal affairs of Tibet. However, even during my childhood I was aware of the shortcomings of too much power in too few hands. Once I had the opportunity I introduced a reform committee, but it was unsuccessful because the Chinese wanted reforms to be done their way. Soon after coming into exile, I encouraged the introduction of democracy and the setting up of an elected assembly. Following the election of Samdhong Rinpoche as Kalon Tripa in 2001 I semi-retired and after Dr Lobsang Sangay was elected leader in 2011 I fully retired. As you know, I also happily and confidently put an end to the tradition of the Dalai Lama’s taking dual responsibility for Tibet’s affairs.

“Earlier this year I was in Assam, flying from Guwahati to Dibrugarh. The plane flew into such turbulence that I seriously feared I might lose my life. I wasn’t so concerned for myself, but the question arose in my mind, ‘What would become of the six million Tibetans who’ve placed their hopes in me?’

“I am determined to draw attention to the need to protect Tibet’s natural environment, bearing in mind that more than 1 billion people across Asia depend on the river waters that flow off the Tibetan plateau, and remain concerned to keep our Tibetan culture alive.”

His Holiness recalled the crucial role India played in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet. When Thönmi Sambhota was commissioned to develop a Tibetan mode of writing, he turned to India for inspiration. When Emperor Trisong Detsen looked for someone to bring Buddhism to his country, again he turned to India and invited Shantarakshita. Most of the Buddhist literature translated into Tibetan came from Indian Sanskrit sources. The classic volumes that continue to be studied today are the works of seventeen masters of Nalanda. As Je Tsongkhapa said, “Although Tibet may have been bright as the Land of Snows; it remained in the dark until illuminated by the light of knowledge that came from India.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Drepung Loseling debate ground in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 12, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

His Holiness reported that he regularly tells Indian friends that traditionally Tibetans regard Indians as having been Gurus, while they were chelas or disciples. Nevertheless, Tibetans have turned out to be reliable chelas because they’ve not only preserved what they were taught, but they are now more familiar with ancient Indian knowledge than many Indians today. He added that Chinese Buddhists too have told him that, whereas their own monks focus on prayers and rituals, they’ve found Tibetan Lamas much more capable of giving clear explanations.

“We don’t depend on faith; we rely on reason and logic. This gives us the liberty, for example, to question the accuracy of traditional Buddhist cosmology. In the 60s, a Chinese document proclaimed that Tibetan Buddhism rested on blind faith and there was no need to oppose it because it would wither away in the face of science. That hasn’t happened.

“Je Rinpoche declared that in the beginning he studied extensively, in the middle he came to see all he’d learned as instructions and in the end he engaged in practice day and night. He advised his followers to study the works of the Two Ornaments and Six Supremes—the great Indian masters. I urge those of you who have completed your Geshe studies to go on and study further. Read the great texts thoroughly. Today, being the commemoration of Je Rinpoche’s passing away, I commend you to read his commentaries on Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way’, Chandrakirti’s ‘Entering into the Middle Way’ and Aryadeva’s ‘Four Hundred Verses’.

Some of the over 5,000 monks and nuns attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama's talk at the Drepung Loseling debate ground in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 12, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“These days I am committed to reviving interest in ancient Indian knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions among contemporary Indians. I tell my Indian friends that we have several thousand scholars qualified to teach and assist in this project. In addition to scholarly monks, we now have Geshemas among the nuns too, twenty of whom graduated last year. And I’m clear that although we find a science of the mind in our religious literature, there is no reason why it can’t be analysed and applied in secular, academic way. If we fulfil this it will be of great service to humanity.”

His Holiness proceeded to lead a ceremony to generate the awakening mind of bodhichitta according to the approach of Purchog Ngawang Jhampa focussing on the popular single verse for taking refuge and generating the awakening mind. He followed this with transmissions of the mantras of the Buddha, Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Arya Tara and concluded by exhorting the students in the audience in particular to think about furthering the cause of love and compassion in the world.

Finally, His Holiness invited all assembled to join him in reciting a prayer he wrote in the 70s invoking the protectors of Tibet that begins, “Kye, Kye, through the power of merit and aspirational prayers…”

Tomorrow he will be giving monks ordination.

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Arrival in Mundgod https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/arrival-in-mundgod Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/arrival-in-mundgod Drepung Lachi, Mundgod, Karnataka, India - This morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama flew from Mumbai to Hubli. He was welcomed on arrival at Hubli airport by Sharpa Choejey Rinpoche, the Abbots of Drepung Lachi and Drepung Loseling, and a representative of Gaden Lachi. From the airport he drove to the Tibetan Settlement at Mundgod, where the road was lined with people, mostly Tibetans, young and old, monks, nuns and lay-people holding white scarves and flowers in their hands, happy to greet him as he passed. He was welcomed once more at the steps to Drepung Lachi Monastery by the former Ganden Throne-holder, Rizong Rinpoche and the Sharpa Choejey.

Sharpa Choejey Rinpoche welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his arrival at the airport in Hubli, Karnataka, India on December 11, 2017. Photo by Jeremy Russell

Inside the temple His Holiness paid his respects before the Buddhas and bodhisattvas and took his seat. Tea and sweet rice were served during a recitation of a prayer for His Holiness’s long life. The Karwar DC offered him a scarf.

Addressing the assembled Abbots, former Abbots, high Lamas and teachers of philosophy, His Holiness explained that this year he wished to make brief visits to Sera, Drepung and Ganden Monasteries and that his main aim on this occasion was to ordain monks. In addition, he will inaugurate Drepung Loseling Monastery’s Meditation and Science Centre and Sera Mey’s new Debate Yard.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama paying his respects in the Drepung Lachi Monastery Temple in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 11, 2017. Photo by Jeremy Russell

“I am very pleased to see all of you. Since coming into exile you have all worked to fulfil your worthy potential as human beings and as Tibetans. The Ganden Trisur Rinpoche, Rizong Rinpoche, from whom I have received many teachings, is here. He has served the Dharma to the best of his ability.

“During these difficult times for the teachings of the Buddha and for Tibet, everyone has done their best, which is a source of great merit. You’ll be able to continue to serve the Dharma in life after life in the future. You’ve made your lives worthwhile---rejoice and dedicate the merit to enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during the welcome ceremony at Drepung Lachi Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 11, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Buddha Shakyamuni passed away more than 2500 years ago, masters like Nagarjuna have come and gone, but through the practice of listening and reading, reflection and meditation the Buddha’s teachings have been preserved.

“As I regularly tell people, the Buddhism of Tibet is the pure Nalanda Tradition. It is a fount of understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions, logic and philosophy that has been preserved primarily at Sera, Drepung, Ganden, and to some extent Tashi Lhunpo. This is something to be proud of.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during the welcome ceremony at Drepung Lachi Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, India on December 11, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Today, in the world at large there is an urgent need for compassion and non-violence. Understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions, and the use of logic which can contribute to their development, can be found in works of religious literature. But these explanations can be studied and followed in a secular and academic way. This is why I’m making an effort these days to revive ancient Indian knowledge among contemporary Indians.”

His Holiness recalled that Sera and Drepung have had a special link to the Dalai Lamas since the time of the Second, Gyalwa Gendun Gyatso. Noting that tomorrow is Ganden Ngachö, the anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa’s passing away, he asked how the day is customarily observed here. He then suggested that he offer a short teaching tomorrow morning in the Drepung Loseling Debate Yard.

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Public Talk at Somaiya Vidyavihar https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/public-talk-at-somaiya-vidyavihar Sun, 10 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/public-talk-at-somaiya-vidyavihar Mumbai, Maharashtra, India - After driving to the Somaiya Vidyavihar, in the central suburbs of Mumbai, for the third consecutive morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was first requested to unveil a statue of Dr Shantilal Somaiya, father of the current President, Samir Somaiya and son of the founder. In the presence of close family members he inaugurated the seated image.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurating a statue of Dr Shantilal Somaiya, father of the current President, Samir Somaiya and son of the founder on his arrival at Somaiya Vidyavihar in Mumbai, India on December 10, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

He was then escorted to the daïs under an extensive awning where he was to give a talk to an estimated 2000 people. He was ceremonially welcomed by Namrata Mahabal, took his seat and began.

“Dear respected elder brothers and sisters, as well as younger brothers and sisters. I like to start in this way because I believe that all 7 billion human beings alive today are our brothers and sisters—all of them deserve our love and compassion.

“Just now we’re enjoying ourselves peacefully here, but elsewhere on this very planet other people like us are dying violently and children are starving to death. Natural disasters are beyond our control, but there are problems created by human beings that we have a responsibility to resolve. They come about because we are swayed by destructive emotions.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama making his way through the crowd of over 2000 on his way to the dias to begin his talk at Somaiya Vidyavihar in Mumbai, India on December 10, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Whoever I meet I think of as a fellow brother or sister. If, instead of thinking of others in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’, we cultivate a warm-hearted concern for them it brings about a self-confidence that prompts the kind of transparency that leads to trust. Trust in turn is the basis for friendship—genuine, reliable friendship that remains firm whatever happens.

“Scientists have conducted experiments that show that injured animals recover more quickly when they have caring companions than when they are alone. Companionship and concern for others provides a peace of mind that we can depend on when we face difficulties. When we’re disturbed by anger or attachment it’s difficult to use our intelligence clearly. This is important because adopting an unrealistic approach fails to lead to success.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at Somaiya Vidyavihar in Mumbai, India on December 10, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“We all face problems, but how we deal with them depends on our mental attitude.”

His Holiness explained that his understanding of how to tackle destructive emotions dates back to the ancient Indian knowledge, particularly Buddhist traditions, that the Nalanda Master, Shantarakshita introduced to Tibet in the 8th century. Tibetans have kept this knowledge alive through study and practice for more than a thousand years. He remarked that the Indian traditions of karuna and ahimsa, compassion and non-violence, as part of the message of the Buddha extended across Asia over the last 2000 years.

“I believe we need to combine modern education with the insights of ancient Indian knowledge. I believe that understanding the workings of the mind and emotions is very relevant in today’s world. That’s why I am committed to reviving this ancient knowledge in this country.

Members of the audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at Somaiya Vidyavihar in Mumbai, India on December 10, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“I describe myself as a ‘son of India’ because every cell of my brain has been filled with Nalanda thought, while, for the last 58 years my body has been nourished by Indian rice, dal and chapatis. What’s more, I admire the rich diversity that thrives in this country and the stability of India’s religious harmony.

“As as human being, I’m committed to encouraging warm-heartedness. As a Buddhist monk I’m committed to fostering religious harmony. As a Tibetan and someone in whom 6 million Tibetans have placed their hope and trust, I have a deep concern for their well-being. I’ve retired from political responsibility and put a stop to any future Dalai Lamas involving themselves in politics. My focus now is the preservation of Tibetan language and culture and the protection of the natural environment on the Tibetan Plateau

“At the same time I’m careful not to propagate Buddhist teaching in the West, for example, where they have a largely Judeo-Christian tradition. While I admire the work Christians have done across the world to further education, sometimes, as I have seen in Mongolia, they also engage in missionary activity, seeking converts to Christianity, which I don’t approve of.

Members of the audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at ccA view of the stage set up under a large awning, venue for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's talk at Somaiya Vidyavihar in Mumbai, India on December 10, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“My latest commitment is to reviving ancient Indian knowledge in India. Please think about what I have said, but if you find you have no interest in it, it’s fine to forget it. It’s not my intention to impose anything on anyone. Thank you.”

In his responses to questions from the audience His Holiness reiterated that basic human nature is compassionate. This is why if your neighbour’s house is on fire you help him put it out.

He mentioned that too much energy and resources are presently directed to the production and sale of weapons.

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during his talk at Somaiya Vidyavihar in Mumbai, India on December 10, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

His Holiness returned to the theme of religious harmony and how he admires the way India demonstrates that it something we can achieve. He reported he has repeatedly urged the Government of India to hold an international religious conference along the lines of the Buddha Jayanti that was launched in 1956. After due deliberations among delegates, he would like to see them make pilgrimages to each others’ places of worship.

Responding to question about the difference between atman and Buddha nature, His Holiness recalled a conversation he had with a good Swami in Bengaluru. They agreed that Hindu and Buddhist tradition have the practice of ethics, concentration and wisdom in common, which makes the two traditions like twin brothers. He suggested that while the Swami found the idea of atman useful to him, His Holiness finds the idea of anatman more useful to him. However, which they choose is their own private business. He advised that just as some people prefer sweets while others prefer savoury snacks—there’s no point in arguing about it.

A group of artists offering a traditional Indian dance performance dedicated to Avalokitishvara before His Holiness the Dalai Lama's departure after his talk at Somaiya Vidyavihar in Mumbai, India on December 10, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

His Holiness concluded his talk by thanking Veer Singh and Samir Somaiya for organizing the three day event. Samir Somaiya in turn thanked him for coming.

Maneesha Abhay and her group offered a traditional Indian dance performance dedicated to Avalokiteshvara before His Holiness left for his hotel. Tomorrow he will travel to the Tibetan settlement of Mundgod in Karnataka.

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Second Day of Talking to Vidyaloke Shishyas https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/second-day-of-talking-to-vidyaloke-shishyas Sat, 09 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/second-day-of-talking-to-vidyaloke-shishyas Mumbai, Maharashtra, India - The sky was misty, but Mumbai’s roads were relatively clear as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove to the Somaiya Vidyavihar Campus for a second day of talking to the Vidyaloke Shishyas. Reaching the auditorium he saluted the audience of 350 young people who gave him a warm and smiling reception.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arriving at Somaiya Vidyavihar Campus Auditorium at the start of the second day of his teachings in Mumbai, India on December 9, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Today, we’ll look at essential points in this text,” he told them. “And because my English is inadequate, I will say what I have to say in Tibetan.”

He repeated what he touched on yesterday that the first turning of the wheel of dharma dealt with the Buddha’s revealing the Four Noble Truths. He mentioned the 16 characteristics of these truths and clarified that the four characteristics of the truth of suffering were impermanence, suffering, emptiness and selflessness. He discussed different aspects of impermanence, not only the way things arise, abide, decay and disintegrate, but also the way they are subject to momentary change. He added that because it is subject to karma and destructive emotions, our very existence is in the nature of suffering.

Suffering is empty of being an entity separate from the mind-body combination. Its selflessness refers to a more subtle absence of a self-sufficient, substantially existent self. This was explained in greater detail in the second turning of the wheel, when the Buddha explained the perfection of wisdom. It is referred to in the ‘Heart Sutra’ where the five psycho-physical aggregates are described as also lacking any independent self. The person based on the five aggregates is empty of intrinsic existence, but so too are the aggregates.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking on the second day of his teachings at Somaiya Vidyavihar Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 9, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

Both the Mind Only and Middle Way Schools of thought assert the selflessness of phenomena. In his Precious Garland, Nagarjuna says,

As long as there is grasping for the aggregates,
So long is there grasping at the self.
Further, when there is grasping at self,
There is action, and from that there is also birth.

“Forty years or so ago, I had some insight into selflessness,” His Holiness revealed, “but when I examined it more carefully I realized that it was one thing to think of the lack of a self of persons, but more difficult to apply this to phenomena. Mine was a coarse understanding. It’s necessary to realize both the selflessness of persons and phenomena.

Members of the audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the second day of his teachings at Somaiya Vidyavihar Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 9, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“The Consequentialist Middle Way School doesn’t admit even a particle of intrinsic existence, nor does it accept a difference in subtlety between the selflessness of the person or phenomena, there is only a difference of object. The ground, path and result have no intrinsic existence, they exist as mere names. Nothing has any solid intrinsic entity, although that’s how things appear to exist. Understanding this helps reduce the exaggerated way we view things.”

Opening Shantideva's ‘Way of the Bodhisattva' at Chapter Nine, the chapter concerning  wisdom, His Holiness read the first two verses: ‘All these branches of the doctrine the Enlightened Sage expounded for the sake of wisdom. Therefore those who wish to put an end of suffering must cultivate this wisdom. The two truths are declared to be relative and ultimate, but the ultimate is not within the reach of intellect, for the intellect is said to be relative.’

His Holiness the Dalai Lama reading from the text on the second day of his teachings at Somaiya Vidyavihar Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 9, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

His Holiness concluded by reciting two verses from Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way’:

That which is dependent origination
Is explained to be emptiness.
That, being a dependent designation,
Is itself the middle way
.

There does not exist anything
That is not dependently arisen.
Therefore there does not exist anything
That is not empty.

During a break for tea, the Geshes and other qualified teachers who have been leading the afternoon review sessions gathered round His Holiness to hear his thoughts on how to revive ancient Indian knowledge in India. He told them to pay particular attention to the ancient Indian traditions of logic and epistemology, as well as the understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions. This is what he feels is relevant to people’s needs today.

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question on the second day of teachings at Somaiya Vidyavihar Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 9, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

In answering questions from the audience, His Holiness clarified that emptiness does not imply nothingness. It refers to an absence of independent existence. He encouraged the questioner to ask herself, who asked the question? Is the self the body, a part of the body, or the owner of the body? He quoted Je Tsongkhapa’s ‘In Praise of Dependent Origination’,

Whatever degenerations there are in the world,
The root of all these is ignorance;
You taught that it is dependent origination,
The seeing of which will undo this ignorance.

A psychologist asked about teaching children about compassion in the face of opposition from the authorities. His Holiness encouraged her to adopt a secular approach relying on scientific findings, common sense and common experience. Another questioner raised the issue of the world’s ever increasing population. His Holiness agreed that it is a serious problem, along with dwindling natural resources. While birth control offers a solution, he jokingly suggested it could be non-violently implemented if more people became monks and nuns.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama posing for a group photo with the young people who attended his teaching at Somaiya Vidyavihar Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 9, 2017. Photo by Jeremy Russell

Invited to explain how to tackle destructive emotions, His Holiness recommended gaining familiarity with their opposing forces. This also entails reflecting on the drawbacks, for example, of anger. Anger is always negative. It destroys our peace of mind. When we are angry, we have no interest in seeing even our best friend. He pointed out that Chapter Six of the ‘Way of the Bodhisattva' deals in detail with patience—the opposite of anger. Anger often accompanies a strong sense of self-centredness. Chapter Eight of the same book goes to great lengths to explain the disadvantages of self-cherishing and the advantages of concern for others.

Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.

Coming to the end of the session, His Holiness expressed the hope that those in the audience had found something to inspire them in what they had heard. He thanked Veer Singh for providing him with the opportunity to share his thoughts. A group photograph was taken before everyone moved to the Chanakya building to eat lunch together.

Tomorrow, His Holiness will be giving a public talk on reviving Indian wisdom in a contemporary world.

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Talk to Vidyaloke Shishyas https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/talk-to-vidyaloke-shishyas Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/talk-to-vidyaloke-shishyas Mumbai, Maharashtra, India - His Holiness the Dalai Lama travelled from Dharamsala to Mumbai via Chandigarh yesterday. This morning he drove across the city, as the sun shone in a hazy sky, to the campus of the Somaiya Vidyavihar, whose motto is ‘Knowledge Alone Liberates’. He was welcomed on arrival by the President, Samir Somaiya, the grandson of the founder who His Holiness also knew, and his wife.

First of all His Holiness spoke to school children from the steps of the building.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to school children on his arrival at Somaiya Vidyavihar in Mumbai, India on December 8, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Good morning, how are all of you? How did you sleep last night? I slept nine hours before getting up at 3am to begin my meditation. Meditation is about keeping the mind clear; thinking deeply about reality. It’s about thinking about our emotions, asking ourselves ‘Why do I feel angry?’ and coming to understand the advantages and sound basis of positive emotions like warm-heartedness. I’ve faced difficulties in my life, but the peace of mind I’ve gained from mind-training has helped me cope. I’ve found that peace of mind supports both physical and mental health and that emotional hygiene contributes to it.”

He asked the children if they preferred it if he smiled or frowned and pointed out that it’s smiling that reflects warm-heartedness, and not money or political power, that attracts friends. His Holiness mentioned that India is great not only in terms of population and its democracy, but because of its ancient knowledge, which he recommended incorporating into modern education.

In the Somaiya Campus Auditorium 350 young people awaited him. He made his way to the daïs, took his seat and began to talk.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Somaiya Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 8, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“I’m very happy to be here again,” he said, “since I’ve had a close relationship with the Somaiya family for a long time.

“One of the unique things about human beings is our brain. It’s given us language and the ability to analyse the reality behind appearances. This is something the Buddha taught about. Of course, he was the founder of Buddhism, but I also consider him to have been a great thinker and philosopher. Because he gave this unique advice, ‘O monks, just as the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing, Examine my words thoroughly And accept them only after you have investigated them—not just out of respect for me’, I also consider him to be something of scientist too.

“Nalanda masters like Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti and Buddhapalita followed this advice and challenged whether ten particular sutras could be accepted literally. Others like Dignaga, Dharmakirti and Shantarakshita developed logic as an investigative tool.

“I began to study the works of these masters reluctantly when I was about seven years old, but it wasn’t until I was about thirteen that I began to appreciate that what they taught was useful for keeping the mind sharp and helping us rein in our emotions. I learned that there are three objects of knowledge—things that are manifest that we know through direct perception; things that are slightly hidden that we understand through logical inference and things that are so obscure that we can only know about them by relying on the testimony of someone with experience.

Members of the audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Somaiya Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 8, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“When we came to India, our aim was to protect and preserve our knowledge and I sought the help of Nehru, Rajendra Prasad and Radhakrishnan. The Government of India gave special support to monastic students.

“In 1973, I visited Europe for the first time. In 1979, I also went to the USSR and the USA. Altogether I met a great number of people, scholars and scientists among them. I discovered that despite the physical development they enjoyed, people in these parts of the world experienced surprising levels of stress and anxiety. No one wants problems, yet it seems that many we face are of our own making. Disturbing emotions disrupt our peace of mind, destroy our health and upset our families and communities.

“As social animals we need friends, but we make friends on the basis of trust, which comes about as a result of affection and concern for others. You can’t buy trust or acquire it by use of force. Its source is warm-heartedness, which our modern materialistic education system fails to foster. It also doesn’t teach us how to tackle our disturbing emotions. Consequently, I began to realize that the knowledge we Tibetans had received from the masters of Nalanda could contribute to the well-being of our troubled world.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Somaiya Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 8, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“I mentioned to another gathering the other day that both the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi were shaped by their Indian cultural heritage. We too have the opportunity to study, practise and implement this ancient knowledge.”

His Holiness remarked that although there is a lot of talk about peace, we live in a violent world where nuclear weapons still exist. He suggested that it is not enough to wish to be free of them, there needs to be a timetable for their elimination and we have to stick to it. He said he was heartened by this year’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). He reported encouraging President Obama to keep up his work in this direction.

Answering questions from the audience after a short break for tea, His Holiness explained that we all have a seed of instinctive, biological compassion as a result of the affection we receive at the start of our lives. However, it tends to be limited and biased, we have to use reason to extend it to encompass others and see them too as our brothers and sisters. He commended ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ as the book that best explains cultivating compassion.

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during his teaching at the Somaiya Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 8, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

His explanation of the theory of rebirth included the notion that while the body creates a cooperative condition for consciousness, its substantial cause is consciousness, which therefore has no beginning. He cited evidence he has encountered of two young Indian girls and two young Tibetan boys who had clear memories of their past lives and mentioned that he too had such memories when he was young.

His Holiness referred to Buddha Shakyamuni as the fourth of this fortunate aeon, following Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni and Kashyapa. He quoted the verse expressing the Buddha’s thoughts after attaining enlightenment:

“I have attained this nectar-like Dharma, this profound, peaceful, unelaborated, uncompounded clear light, but if I were to teach about it, there is no one now who would understand it.”

However, after 49 days he met his former companions in austere practices and gave them his first teaching in Sarnath. He introduced them to the Four Noble Truths, the very foundation of his teachings—the truths of suffering, its origin, its cessation and the path to it.

A view from the stage at Somaiya Campus Auditorium during the first day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's two day teaching in Mumbai, India on December 8, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

His Holiness referred to the three trainings in ethics, a calmly abiding mind and wisdom and cited a verse from the Jonang tradition:

The self-reflection of illusion manifestly shows itself,
Unreliable awareness is clearly luminous,
Everything disappears into the inexpressible sphere of emptiness
In a blaze of great bliss.

He said that if his listeners really wanted to know what the Buddha had to teach about wisdom, they should read, study and think about Nagarjuna’s wonderful book, ‘Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way’, which like the ‘Guide’ is available in the original Sanskrit as well as in English translation.

His Holiness explained that the first turning of the wheel of dharma consisted of the Four Noble Truths. The second conveyed the perfection of wisdom and provided a much deeper explanation of the truth of cessation. The third turning of the wheel, which consisted of sutras like the Unravelling of the Thought and the Tathagata Essence Sutra, laid the basis of the Mind Only School of thought. He clarified that whereas the second turning dealt with the objective clear light, the third dealt with the subjective clear light, the most subtle consciousness, the basis of tantra and the practices of Mahamudra and Dzogchen.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama escorted by his hosts walking to lunch at the conclusion of the first day of teachings at Somaiya Campus Auditorium in Mumbai, India on December 8, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

He expressed a concern to keep this knowledge alive and a commitment to reviving an appreciation of ancient Indian knowledge among modern Indians.

Adjourning to the Chanakya Hall, His Holiness and the 350 members of the audience were served a wholesome traditional Indian lunch, after which he left. The students spent the afternoon reviewing what they had heard in groups with well qualified young Geshes.

His Holiness will teach a second session tomorrow.

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In the Path of the Buddha and Gandhi https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/in-the-path-of-the-buddha-and-gandhi Sat, 02 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/in-the-path-of-the-buddha-and-gandhi Dharamsala, HP, India - There was a brisk chill in the air and the Dhauladhar Mountains stood stark against a bright blue sky as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove to the Government College in Dharamsala this morning. He had been invited by the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, whose aim is to propagate the life, mission and thought of Mahatma Gandhi, to attend a Convention for Global Peace focussing on the Path of the Buddha and Gandhi. On arrival His Holiness walked the whole length of the front row greeting members of the audience, shaking their hands and having his photograph taken with them.

The entire gathering stood for the national anthem, following which His Holiness joined in the lighting of the lamp and offering floral tributes to the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. Students from Kulu sang an extensive invocation. Gifts were presented to the various guests on the stage.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama joins in lighting a lamp to open the Convention for Global Peace at the Government College in Dharamsala, HP, India on December 2, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Kuldip Chand Agnihotri, speaking in Hindi, remarked that recalling the Buddha and Gandhi today can contribute to world peace because the essence of the Dharma is ahimsa, non-violence. Shri Laxmi Dass of the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti spoke of the dangers of conflict and distrust in a world where nuclear weapons exist. Professor Samdhong Rinpoche expressed the hope that the gathering would point the younger generation in the direction of world peace. He drew attention to the example His Holiness the Dalai Lama has set in ensuring that the struggle for freedom in Tibet is non-violent.

“Respected elder brothers and sisters and in particular, younger brothers and sisters,” His Holiness began. “I always address people this way because we are all the same as human beings. Differences of religious faith, race or nationality are of secondary importance in the context that we are the same in being human. Focussing on such secondary differences gives rise to conflict. This is how we make problems for ourselves and reducing them is the responsibility of each and every one of us.

“These days, when I wake in the morning and start my meditation, I often wonder how many people have been killed and how many children have starved to death while I peacefully slept.

“People create these problems and people have to solve them. Those of us who belong to the 20th century will be gone after ten to fifteen years, but those of you who belong to the 21st century must work to make a happier world. You have the opportunity and the responsibility to do this. To start with you have to cultivate inner peace. Peace in the world can’t be created through anger, hatred and jealousy.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Convention for Global Peace at the Government College in Dharamsala, HP, India on December 2, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“Both Buddha Shakyamuni and Mahatma Gandhi were Indians, shaped by Indian traditions that involved transforming their inner world. They did not achieve inner peace through prayer alone, but by tackling their negative emotions. Traditions for generating peace of mind are important today. We too need to understand what gives rise to inner peace and what destroys it.”

His Holiness mentioned that he has heard of Sadhus who meditate naked, deep in the mountains where they cultivate inner heat through their practice, but he has not yet had the opportunity to meet and talk to any of them. He reiterated that to achieve peace of mind, we have to tackle our negative emotions. Ancient Indian psychology had a profound understanding of how to do this. He recommended that we approach such knowledge today less in a religious spirit than from a practical, secular and academic point of view.

Quoting the Buddha’s famous dictum ‘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 confirmed that the masters of Nalanda University examined what the Buddha taught in the light of reason. The knowledge they transmitted is contained in the more than 300 volumes of literature translated mostly from Sanskrit into Tibetan. He announced that compendia of extracts are being translated into Hindi, English and other languages.

“While modern India is making good material development it has tended to neglect its heritage of ancient knowledge. Fortunately, we Tibetans, chelas of Indian gurus have preserved much of this tradition. Today, what’s important is to combine modern education and technological prowess with the ancient knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions that shaped the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. India is the only country where this can be done.

A member of the audience taking notes as His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the Convention for Global Peace at the Government College in Dharamsala, HP, India on December 2, 2017. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

“In my discussions with modern scientists I’ve learned about the new insights of quantum physics. However, the great physicist Raja Ramana told me that he found that these were anticipated centuries ago in what Nagarjuna wrote. Similarly, where modern scientists tend to view the mind in terms of sensory consciousness, ancient India had a highly developed understanding of the depth of mental consciousness.

“On the basis of your ancient heritage I believe you Indians have the potential to make a great contribution to the welfare of humanity. Buddha Shakyamuni emphasised the dependent arising of phenomena—pratityasamutpada, but he also stressed the importance of karuna, compassion. Mahatma Gandhi looked like a beggar, but was highly educated and wise. We have the opportunity to follow the ancient Indian traditions that gave rise to these exemplary figures. This is something that we can do—that’s all, thank you.”

His Holiness then returned to his residence, but the Convention for Global Peace focussing on the Path of the Buddha and Gandhi will continue for a further two days.

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Dalai Lama: Our Future Is Very Much in Our Hands https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/dalai-lama-our-future-is-very-much-in-our-hands Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/dalai-lama-our-future-is-very-much-in-our-hands New York Times - This is an article from Turning Points, a magazine that explores what critical moments from this year might mean for the year ahead.

A crack in a floating ice shelf in Antarctica reached its breaking point and calved a huge iceberg, setting it afloat in the seas. It’s a fitting image for a world that feels under pressure and on the verge of, well, everything — ready to break off and set itself free. The global political temperature is on the rise, the future of truth is under debate and the specter of nuclear conflict hovers. We asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his thoughts on how to cope.

We are facing a time of great uncertainty and upheaval in many corners of our planet. When it comes to making the world a better place, concern for others is tantamount.

Our future is very much in our hands. Within each of us exists the potential to contribute positively to society. Although one individual among so many on this planet may seem too insignificant to have much of an effect on the course of humanity, it is our personal efforts that will determine the direction our society is heading.

Wherever I go, I consider myself just one of 7 billion human beings alive today. We share a fundamental wish: We all want to live a happy life, and that is our birthright. There is no formality when we’re born, and none when we die. In between, we should treat each other as brother and sister because we share this commonality — a desire for peace and contentment.

Sadly, we face all sorts of problems, many of them of our own making. Why? Because we are swayed by emotions like selfishness, anger and fear.

One of the most effective remedies for dealing with such destructive patterns of thought is to cultivate “loving-kindness” by thinking about the oneness of all the world’s 7 billion humans. If we consider the ways in which we are all the same, the barriers between us will diminish.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, HP, India on November 6, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Compassion enhances our calm and self-confidence, allowing our marvelous human intelligence to function unhindered. Empathy is hard-wired in our genes — studies have shown that babies as young as 4 months experience it. Research has shown again and again that compassion leads to a successful and fulfilling life. Why, then, do we not focus more on cultivating it into adulthood? When we’re angry, our judgment is one-sided, as we aren’t able to take all aspects of the situation into account. With a calm mind, we can reach a fuller view of whatever circumstances we face.

Humanity is rich in the diversity that naturally arose from the wide expanse of our world, from the variety of languages and ways of writing to our different societal norms and customs. However, when we overemphasize race, nationality, faith, or income or education level, we forget our many similarities. We want a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, to feel safe and secure, and for our children to grow and be strong. As we seek to preserve our own culture and identity, we must also remember that we are one in being human, and work to maintain our warmheartedness toward all.

In the last century, the inclination to solve problems through the use of force was invariably destructive and perpetuated conflict. If we are to make this century a period of peace, we must resolve problems through dialogue and diplomacy. Since our lives are so intertwined, the interests of others are also our own. I believe that adopting divisive attitudes runs counter to those interests.

Our interdependence comes with advantages and pitfalls. Although we benefit from a global economy and an ability to communicate and know what is happening worldwide instantaneously, we also face problems that threaten us all. Climate change in particular is a challenge that calls us more than ever to make a common effort to defend the common good.

For those who feel helpless in the face of insurmountable suffering, we are still in the early years of the 21st century. There is time for us to create a better, happier world, but we can’t sit back and expect a miracle. We each have actions we must take, by living our lives meaningfully and in service to our fellow human beings — helping others whenever we can and making every effort to do them no harm.

Tackling destructive emotions and practicing loving-kindness isn’t something we should be doing with the next life, heaven or nirvana in mind, but how we should live in the here and now. I am convinced we can become happier individuals, happier communities and a happier humanity by cultivating a warm heart, allowing our better selves to prevail.

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Clarification of an Answer to a Student's Question in Meerut, India https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/clarification-of-an-answer-to-a-students-question-in-meerut-india Sat, 25 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/clarification-of-an-answer-to-a-students-question-in-meerut-india It has been brought to our attention that media reports in Nepal have queried a reference His Holiness the Dalai Lama made to Lord Buddha's background while answering questions from students in Meerut, India on 16 October 2017.

We are concerned to know there was misunderstanding of the intent of his answer, and would like to clarify that His Holiness meant no disrespect towards his Nepalese brothers and sisters. Like Buddhists everywhere, he wholeheartedly accepts that the Buddha's birthplace was Lumbini. What he wanted to emphasize in contemporary terms is the importance of understanding what the Buddha taught and the scope of his influence throughout Asia. It is universally acknowledged that India, the land of the Noble Ones, is where the Buddha achieved enlightenment and subsequently gave profound teachings.

We trust that this clears up any misunderstanding or misapprehension.

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Addressing the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/addressing-the-indian-chamber-of-commerce-in-kolkata Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/addressing-the-indian-chamber-of-commerce-in-kolkata Kolkata, India - In his homily to about 150 Tibetans—sweater-sellers, students and monks—this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama remarked that he had been familiar with Calcutta since his childhood. Tibetans who had been to the city had described its sights to him. Then, on his first visit to India in 1956, he made he became acquainted with the city himself.

“Since 1959, as refugees,” he told them, “we Tibetans have been able to reveal our culture to the world. Wherever we live, whether we’re in India, Europe, Australia or America, we have maintained our identity and shared in the spirit of being Tibetan. Those of us who live in the free world represent those who live in Tibet. I’m grateful to all Tibetans for keeping that spirit alive.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing members of the Tibetan community in Kolkata, India on November 23, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Soon after we arrived in India, with the help of the Government of India, we set up schools for our children. After that, in the settlements in South India, we re-established our centres of learning where we have upheld the Nalanda Tradition, which was brought to us by Shantarakshita in the 8th century and Atisha in the 11th, both of whom hailed from where we are now, Bengal. One of the features of the Nalanda Tradition is its reliance on reason and logic. Indeed, the Buddha advised, ‘O monks, just as the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing, Examine my words thoroughly And accept them only after you have investigated them—not just out of respect for me’.”

His Holiness emphasized the value of the Tibetan language as a means of accurately expressing the psychology, reason and logic of what the Buddha taught. He reminded his listeners that it is the language of the Kangyur and Tengyur, the body of largely Buddhist literature translated from Sanskrit.

As he prepared to lead a simple ceremony for generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta, His Holiness explained that when it comes to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, it is essential to understand what the Dharma is. On that basis it will be possible to better understand the Buddha and the Sangha. He said that to understand the Dharma you have to have some idea what is meant by emptiness. Not just a nihilistic idea, what it means is that whatever exists arises in dependence on other factors and therefore is empty of intrinsic existence. This corresponds to quantum physics stating that things have no objective existence.

Members of the Tibetan community listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during their meeting in Kolkata, India on November 23, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness encouraged the students in the audience not to forget their Tibetan but to make an effort to keep it up. He recommended that they pay attention to Buddhist philosophy and psychology in an academic way, not necessarily from a religious point of view.

The Buddha taught the two truths, conventional and ultimate, which concern the gap between appearance and reality. When, in the ‘Heart Sutra’ it says ‘form is empty’, it means form has no intrinsic or inherent existence. It exists in dependence on other factors. On the basis of these Two Truths, the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths concerning suffering and its origin, cessation and the path to it. His Holiness remarked that he made this clear in one of the verses of the Praise to the Seventeen Masters of Nalanda:

By understanding the meaning of the two truths, the way things exist,
We ascertain through the four truths how we arrive in and how we leave the cycle of existence.
Engendered by valid cognition, our faith in the three refuges will be firm.
May I be blessed to establish the root of the path to liberation.

On this occasion His Holiness came to Kolkata at the invitation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). An audience of 250 members and invited guests made him welcome. Once he had lit the inaugural lamp, he sat down to speak to them.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama lighting an lamp to open his talk to members of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata, India on November 23, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“I always start my talks by greeting the audience as brothers and sisters, because that’s how I feel about all 7 billion human beings alive today. Each of us was born from our mother and then basked in her affection. That’s the seed that enables us to show affection to others. Scientists observe that our basic human nature is compassionate. As social animals, we all have a sense of compassion, but it tends to lie dormant. We need a sense of the oneness of humanity, a sense that we are all like brothers and sisters, to awaken it. As a human being, I am committed to encouraging people to appreciate this.

“As a Buddhist monk, I am committed to fostering religious harmony. India is a vivid example that religious traditions can live together. Indigenous traditions like the Samkhyas, Jains, varieties of Hinduism, Buddhism and later Sikhism, have for centuries lived in peace alongside Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which are traditions that originated elsewhere.

“As a Tibetan, I have retired from temporal responsibility since we elected leaders in 2001 ns 2011. I have also put an end to Dalai Lamas occupying such a position in the future. Because the custom is related to feudalism, it’s out of date and time to change it. Incidentally, I feel the same about the caste system, the classification of some people as untouchable, while others are privileged. It too is out of date and undemocratic. It’s time it was changed.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing members of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata, India on November 23, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Anyway, I am committed to drawing attention to the need to protect the natural environment of the Tibetan Plateau. This is of importance not only to Tibetans, but also to the 1 billion people across Asia who depend for their water supply on rivers that rise in Tibet.

“In addition, I’m concerned about keeping our Tibetan cultural heritage alive. In the past you Indians were our Gurus and Tibetans were your chelas or students. What we learned from you about philosophy and psychology, about the workings of the mind and emotions, and the uses of reason and logic, remains relevant and helpful in the world today.”

His Holiness explained his conviction that the world is facing a moral crisis. Many of the problems we face today come about because we lack moral principles—we lack compassion. One reason for this is that modern education is oriented to material goals with little time for inner values. He suggested that if we really believed that other human beings were like our brothers and sisters, we couldn’t let children die of starvation, nor stand by while people killed each other as they do today.

Members of the audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking in Kolkata, India on November 23, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

He observed that knowledge of how to deal with the root of such problems by tackling our negative emotions already exists in this country. His Holiness places great hope on India’s ability to combine modern education with its ancient understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions.

“Consequently,” he declared, “I will dedicate the rest of my life to reviving an understanding of India’s ancient knowledge in this country and trying to promote it through education.”

The audience smiled in appreciation as they applauded His Holiness’s words.

His answers to questions they asked touched on artificial intelligence and his doubt that it would overtake human intelligence. He further remarked that if the 21st century were to be more peaceful than the century that preceded it, it will be necessary to move beyond old ways of thinking, to forgo the inclination to meet problems and conflicts with a use of force. A more humane approach is required. This accords with India’s longstanding tradition of ahimsa or non-violence. He suggested that a long term target should be a demilitarized world. “It won’t happen in a hurry,” he said, “but it’s what we should aim for.”

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during his talk in Kolkata, India on November 23, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness noted that in an increasingly globalised world, national boundaries have less significance than they did. He reported California Governor Jerry Brown’s telling him that national boundaries are nowhere to be seen when this blue planet is viewed from space. He reiterated his admiration for the spirit of the European Union, the placing of a common European interest before that of individual states. He cited the fact that, in a historical precedent, peace has prevailed amongst members of the EU over the last 70 years.

Asked how to apply the Buddha’s advice in modern life, His Holiness recalled a conversation with a Swami in Bangalore in which they agreed that Buddhist and Hindu traditions have ethics, concentration and wisdom—shila, shamatha and vipashyana—in common. They may differ on their stance towards atman and anatman, but that is a matter of personal practice. Many Indian traditions involve an inner transformation that His Holiness has described as cultivating emotional hygiene.

Whereas there is evidence that constant anger, hatred and fear undermine our immune systems, warm-heartedness and a compassionate outlook bring a smile to the face.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to over 250 members and guests of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata, India on November 23, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

After the formal words of thanks, His Holiness had a few final words for the audience.

“Don’t think there isn’t much you can do. Change always begins with an inspired individual, who then influences ten others, who in turn may influence ten more—that’s how ideas spread and change comes about.”

Shortly afterwards, having eaten a quick lunch, His Holiness drove to Kolkata airport to fly to Delhi, from where tomorrow he will return to Dharamsala.

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Addressing the Students of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/addressing-the-students-of-the-kalinga-institute-of-social-sciences Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:08:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/addressing-the-students-of-the-kalinga-institute-of-social-sciences Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India - The air was clear, the sun was shining and Bhubaneswar’s broad roads were relatively uncongested as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove to the campus of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) University this morning. On the last stretch, the road was lined by smiling students, some holding placards inscribed with greetings, welcoming him to the University. On arrival, he was received by Dr Achyuta Samanta, founder of KISS and KIIT, and university officials. Groups of energetic dancing drummers lined the path as he entered the campus. He was invited to garland a statue of the Buddha, then unveil a plaque and plant a sapling that will commemorate his visit.

Students dancing on the side of the road as His Holiness the Dalai Lama makes his way to the stage at KISS University for the presentation of the KISS Humanitarian Award in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 21, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness drove to the stage, set up at the head of large field, in an electric golf cart. Once again the road was lined by students, some performing yoga, others dancing and playing drums. He clearly enjoyed this display of ebullience. Reaching the stage he was invited to light the lamp to inaugurate the occasion.

Speaking in Oriya, Dr Samanta introduced His Holiness to the audience of more than 25,000 students, explaining what the words Dalai and Lama mean and what the training of a Tibetan Buddhist monk entails. Mentioning that he invited His Holiness to come to the University in 2015 he declared his happiness in being able to actually welcome him at last. He then proceeded to offer His Holiness the 10th KISS Humanitarian Award before inviting him to address the students.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama holding the KISS Humanitarian Award presented to him at KISS University in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 21, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness began as he usually does by greeting the older and younger members of the audience as brothers and sisters, telling them how happy he was to be among them.

“I always consider that the shape of the future is in our hands,” he observed. “The past is past and can’t be changed, but the future has not yet arrived. Young people like you have the opportunity and responsibility to shape it by creating a better world. Despite many remarkable developments, the 20th century was an era of violence, a time when, sadly, scientists’ brilliant brains were put to destructive use.  For example, they participated in the design and manufacture of nuclear weapons that were used twice against Japan.

“Although killing has continued since the beginning of the 21st century, steps should be taken to make this a century of peace. Since peace is destroyed by negative emotions like anger and jealousy, we have to find ways to develop inner peace if we are to create peace in the world. It’s worth asking yourself whether you feel happy when you’re angry. Anger and extreme irritation all too easily lead to violence. So, how are we to reduce anger? By increasing our sense of love and compassion.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to a crowd of over 25,000 students at KISS University in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 21, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Scientists have evidence that basic human nature is compassionate. If it were not, there would be no hope. However, our common experience is that we are all born from a mother and survive in her care. Common sense tells us that even if our neighbours are poor, if they shows signs of affection, we think of them as good neighbours. What’s more, anger and violence bring disaster. They make you lose your peace of mind. They spoil the atmosphere wherever you are.

“When we are young we appreciate love and compassion, but as we grow up we become more interested in money and status. One of the reasons for this is that modern education is inadequate because it tends only to have material goals with little scope for inner values.

“It’s worth reminding ourselves that all 7 billion human beings are physically, mentally and emotionally the same. But if we allow ourselves to think in terms of being privileged or under-privileged, belonging to higher, lower or no caste, it will only fortify division. This is unhelpful, out of date and undemocratic. Reminding ourselves of the oneness of humanity, that we are all the same in being human, is, on the other hand, a great source of confidence.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama reaching out to some of the more than 25,000 students gathered at KISS University for the KISS Humanitarian Award presentation in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 21, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“The modern world lacks moral principles and doesn’t understand how to tackle negative emotions. Because of this, what we can learn from ancient Indian knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions can be very relevant today. Many Indians today neglect this knowledge, but I am encouraging young Indians I meet, like you, to pay attention to it because it’s on the basis of this kind of understanding that we can build a more compassionate society.”

In the auditorium of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) nearby, His Holiness mentioned to a capacity crowd of 1600 that he considers the Buddha to have been a great thinker and something of a scientist. He remarked that he thinks of himself too as half a monk and half a scientist.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 21, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

He highlighted one of the unique aspects of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition—that, in addition to revealing profound philosophy and psychology, it embraces reason and logic. It is this that makes it of interest to scientists. He reported that the Buddha’s own advice to his followers not to rely on blind faith, but to subject his teaching to reasoned investigation, has allowed him to reject traditional Buddhist cosmology.

Reverting to the shortcomings of modern education by itself, His Holiness repeated how important and more realistic it is to incorporate a secular approach to universal values.

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during his talk at KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 21, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

In his answers to several questions from the audience, His Holiness noted that all human beings wish to be happy and that happiness is their right. He mentioned the recent publication of two volumes, the ‘Compendium of Science’ and the ‘Compendium of Philosophy’, derived from material extracted from the Kangyur and Tengyur, the collections of translations of largely Sanskrit Buddhist literature. They focus on the science of the mind and correct views based on reconciling the gap between appearance and reality.

After lunch, 1600 Tibetans from the Phuntsokling Settlement in Chandragiri filled the KIIT auditorium. To begin with the Settlement Officer gave a report, mentioning the start of the settlement in 1963 on 849 acres of land, when the community included 300 monks and nuns. He described the development of schools, the construction of a hostel for old people with the support of Tibetans in Switzerland and the offer of 4 post-graduate places for Tibetan students at KIIT University.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to 1600 Tibetans from the Phuntsokling Settlement in Chandragiri assembled KIIT auditorium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 21, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness regaled the audience with the importance of study for personal satisfaction and to preserve the Buddha’s teaching. He told them that 40 years ago he urged monasteries and nunneries that had previously concerned themselves mostly with performance of rituals, to develop programs of study. One result was that last year 20 nuns were awarded Geshe-ma degrees in recognition of their completing their rigorous Buddhist education. Similarly, Penor Rinpoche’s determination to encourage study and debate at his monastery Namdrolling in South India, contrary to the advice of Chatral Rinpoche, has meant that today there are a good number of well-qualified Nyingma Khenpos.

He concluded, “We live as refugees, but we have kept our traditions alive. Our spirit is resilient and strong. The time will come when Tibetans in Tibet and those in exile come together again.”

Members of the Tibetan community from Phuntsokling Settlement in Chandragiri listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during their meeting at KIIT auditorium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 21, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Then, remarking that he might not visit them again so often, His Holiness decided to lead the community in a brief ceremony for generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta. He took time to describe the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, Indian and Tibetan masters they could visualise before them in witness to their aspirations. He encouraged them with the advice that all the happiness in the world comes from ensuring that others are happy. He ended by giving transmission of the mantras of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Tara.    

Many in the crowd clamoured to receive His Holiness’s smile or touch as he slowly left the auditorium and made his way to his car. Tomorrow, he will travel on to Kolkata.

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama Travels to Bhubaneswar, Odisha https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-travels-to-bhubaneswar-odisha Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 hhdloffice https://www.dalailama.com/news/2017/his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-travels-to-bhubaneswar-odisha Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India - Before setting out for Bhubaneswar this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met members of an Australian Parliamentary Delegation who were on their way to Dharamsala.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik exchanging greetings  at the Chief Minister's residence in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 20, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

After a comfortable two hour flight from Delhi, His Holiness arrived at Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar. He was received on behalf of the State Government of Odisha by Surya Naryana Patra, Minister for Civil Supply & Consumer Affairs; Ashok Panda, Minister for Culture & Tourism; Mrs Mona Sharma, Principal Secretary for Tourism and Nitin Jawale, Director of Tourism. Prof Achyuta Samanta, founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), who extended the invitation to His Holiness, the Phuntokling Tibetan Settlement Officer and Lhunpo Rinpoche, were also on hand to welcome him.

Outside the airport Tibetans who are settled in Odisha had gathered to greet His Holiness, who laughed and waved to them. A scrum of members of the media were also eager to record his arrival and he had a few words for them about the need for people to gain better control of their negative emotions to be able to contribute to a more peaceful world.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik looks on as His Holiness the Dalai Lama answers questions from the media at the Chief Minister's residence in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India on November 20, 2017. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik received His Holiness at his residence and the two shared a few minutes conversation. Once again His Holiness spoke briefly to members of the media outside, acknowledging that Mr Patnaik is one of the longest serving Chief Ministers in the country. He also expressed gratitude for the hospitality shown to Tibetans who have settled in the state. Arriving at his hotel, His Holiness retired for the day. Tomorrow, he will speak to more than 20,000 students at the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences.

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