His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Sixteen Drops of Kadam Empowerment – Day One
Dic 31st, 2015 by admin

Sixteen Drops of Kadam Empowerment – Day One

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 30 December 2015 – There was still a chill in the air this morning when His Holiness the Dalai Lama came down to the veranda of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. He was to begin preparations for the Sixteen Drops of Kadam empowerment. The early morning sun illuminated the ritual cakes arrayed before a thangka illustrating the Sixteen Drops. As the preparations proceeded, members of the audience arrived and took their seats. Once he was seated on the throne and facing them, His Holiness explained the context of the teaching.

Ritual cakes arranged before a thangka illustrating the 16 Drops hanging at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 30, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHD

Ngok Lepai Sherap, Dromtönpa and Atisha were on Mount Lhari in Yerpa. Ngok, noting that Drom always adopted a humble demeanour, asked Atisha to tell them about his previous lives. Drom protested that there was little to be gained from hearing about how he’d been spinning through the cycle of existence. Ngok took off his hat and said, ‘Look, I’ve become bald and grey, at this stage, please don’t stop the Master from answering my request.’ As Atisha began to tell the tale, he and Drom were filled with inspiration. In their elation, Drom vanished and they beheld a vision involving the sixteen drops.”

His Holiness said that for several generations the teaching remained secret. Phu-chungwa became the holder of the lineage and he explicitly passed it on. He added that since it was particularly related to Tibet, it would be good to begin with a recitation of the Words of Truth.

“The empowerment comes from a pure vision. There is a way in the Nyingma tradition of referring to the distant teachings that originate with the Buddha, closer teachings derived from treasures and profound teachings from pure visions. Dromtönpa and his disciples upheld the teachings common to the Great and Fundamental vehicles, teachings belonging to both the lineage of extensive conduct and the lineage of profound wisdom. Some people like to speak of a blessing lineage, but what is there other than the above mentioned lineages? Perhaps we can say there are instructions generally accessible to everyone and others suited to specific individuals or groups.
“Those who follow the ‘Lamp of the Path’ are those who integrate the practices relevant to the persons of the three capacities, the three trainings of morality, concentration and wisdom contained in the three scriptural collections of discipline, knowledge and wisdom.” Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings – Day 9
Dic 29th, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 9

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 28 December 2015 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama came early to the Tashi Lhunpo Assembly Hall this morning to sit quietly and take the bodhisattva vows before the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni prior to offering them to the public.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with elderly Tibetans at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 28, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

When he was done he met about 60 old and infirm Tibetans from the Dekyi Larso and Lugsam Settlements.

You elderly people are nearing the end of your lives,” he told them, “Buddha Shakyamuni passed away at the age of 80 and even Nagarjuna eventually had to go. The point is to have lived a meaningful life. You’ve said the prayers and taken refuge in the Three Jewels since you were young. Buddha is the teacher who shared his understanding and experience with us. Pay attention to what he taught. He was like us, but he made the effort to practise and eventually attained Buddhahood. Pray that you’ll be able to meet with the Buddha’s teachings in the next life. And when you actually come to die, in your last moments, be positive, think positively about the future.”

The immediate area around the throne on the veranda was decorated with fresh flower garlands. Addressing the crowd, His Holiness said:
“Today, we’ll hold a ceremony for generating aspiring bodhichitta, followed by the ceremonial taking of the Bodhisattva Vows. But before all that I’ll offer the lay person’s vow. First, we’ll say the Seven Limb Prayer together at an easy pace. You need to put your hands together. Let’s do it respectfully. When we’re obsessed with some worldly pursuit we are really excited. Let’s be that eager about our spiritual affairs too. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings – Day 8
Dic 28th, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 8

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 27 December 2015 – Following the usual recitation of prayers this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said: “Today, we’re going to continue to read this text which deals with the special insight section of the ‘Great Stages of the Path to Enlightenment’ by posing and answering questions.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with retired staff before the start of the eighth day of his Lam Rim Teaching at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 27, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

The Buddha taught about selflessness, an idea otherwise unheard of at the time. He related it to the practice of the path. If you read the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in 8000 lines along with the ‘Ornament for Clear Realization’ (Abhisamayalamkara), you’ll understand how to use this to progress on the path. The wisdom understanding selflessness is important in the beginning, middle and end. And it needs to be understood in the context of the Four Noble Truths as a source of peace, excellence and deliverance. It’s important to understand that true cessation too is a dependent arising.

The Four Noble Truths are fundamental to all Buddhist traditions. But you can really only teach the Four Noble Truths thoroughly when you understand emptiness thoroughly. In the Nalanda tradition it’s important to understand the reality of dependent arising. Dependent arising is the basis for cultivating faith in the Buddha.
“What was the purpose of the Buddha’s teaching emptiness? Was it so scholars could show off and boast about how bright they were? Seeing things as lacking any essence is in contrast to how they appear. When we’re shrouded in ignorance, things appear to have objective existence. If you sit and look at things, they seem to be there. When I look at you, you seem to be there. When you look at me, there seems to be a Buddhist monk here, it seems as if there is a person, a solid entity here. And yet if you seek for that person, you can’t find it. You can see the body of a Buddhist monk. When I speak you can hear my voice. Perceiving the actions of my body and speech, you have some idea of what is going on in my mind. Yet, when you look for the Dalai Lama under analysis, you can’t find him. It seems as if there is a solid entity there, but everyone is a mere designation on the basis of body and mind. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings – Day 7
Dic 27th, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 7

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 26 December 2015 – This morning the tone of the voices taking part in the debates prior to the teachings changed as nuns engaged in an exchange with monks. His Holiness arrived, the verses of salutation, Heart Sutra and Lam Rim Lineage Prayer were chanted and tea was served.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaching from the veranda of Tashi Lhunpo Temple in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 26, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Views may differ,” His Holiness began, “but we’re all the same in wishing to find happiness and avoid suffering. And the reason we don’t fulfil this wish is because our minds are untamed. We are troubled by disturbing emotions like attachment and anger. Skilful means alone don’t undermine such negative emotions, to do that we need to understand emptiness. It’s because he taught emptiness and dependent arising that Nagarjuna refers to the Buddha as an incomparable guide. Dependent arising is a profound observation, because in general everything depends on causes and conditions. If we could interest politicians in dependent arising it would broaden their otherwise quite narrow minds.

The most profound of the Buddha’s teachings are contained in the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. The wisdom we need to understand, emptiness and dependent arising, are presented in those books. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings – Day 6
Dic 26th, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 6

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 25 December 2015 – Events on the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery veranda began this morning with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s launching the autobiography of Jampa Kalden, who died on this day three years ago. Born in Chamdo in 1923, Jampa Kalden joined the Chushi Gangdrug resistance in the 1950s. In exile he worked principally in the Department Security until he retired in 1987. His Holiness said Jampa Kalden’s family had asked him to launch the book, which is published in Tibetan by the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, and he was glad to do so in the presence of his wife and daughter.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama launching the autobiography of Jampa Kalden at the start of day six of his Lam Rim Teaching at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 25, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

His Holiness then mentioned the Ganden Tri Rinpoche: I’ve received explanations of ‘Buddhapalita’ and Chandrakirti’s ‘Clear Words’ (Prasannapada) and other teachings from him. He’s been very kind to me. In his time as Abbot of Gyumey and Loseling College of Drepung he worked hard to raise the standard of the monks’ education. This will be his final year as Ganden Tripa, we should all pray for him.

“Three days ago, Taglung Tsetrul Rinpoche passed away. The Fifth Dalai Lama established close relations with Pema Trinley and Terdag Lingpa and the Northern Treasure lineage of Dorje Drak monastery. Taglung Tsetrul Rinpoche was the principal Lama of Dorje Drak and that lineage in exile. Late in life he also became Head of the Nyingma tradition. He was great master. I was asked to compose a prayer for his swift return and was glad to do so straight away. Please pray for its swift fulfilment. ‘Today is also the 32nd anniversary of the passing away of my ordination preceptor and Senior Tutor, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche. His reincarnation, here, suffered a serious road accident three years ago, but has now recovered well. Please pray for his good health, we have great hopes for him.
“I also had great hopes for the reincarnation of my Junior Tutor Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, but his circumstances are unclear.
“Those of you who have come to be with us here from the West, you are physically here, but I wonder if in your hearts you are at home today with your families for Christmas? My special greetings to you.” Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings – Day 5
Dic 25th, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 5

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 24 December 2015 – At Tashi Lhunpo there are three major areas where people are sitting to listen to the teachings and observe what is happening on big video screens. One large group of people is sitting directly in front of the monastery, facing His Holiness. Another large group is sitting adjacent to the monastery to the east and a third group is slightly behind and to the west of the monastery. All three areas are covered by awnings to protect people from the sun. In the period between people taking their seats and the teachings beginning, monks from all the major monasteries are engaging in debate.

Chant Masters from Tashi Lhunpo reciting the Lam Rim Lineage Prayer at the start of day five of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Lam Rim Teaching at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 24, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

The teaching sites remain in relatively good order because there are cleanup teams of monks from the monastery who clear up all the empty water bottles, which they sell on for recycling.

Although the prayers are much the same, principally the Lam Rim Lineage Prayer at the beginning and the Lam Rim Dedication Prayer at the end. They sound different from day to day because Chant Masters from different monasteries are taking it in turns to lead the recitation. The prayers culminate in the offering of the mandala and three representations of the body, speech and mind of enlightenment. Today, the Gyumey Khenpo made the offering, followed by Thupten Zopa Rinpoche. Subsequently, His Holiness the Dalai Lama announced that Zopa Rinpoche had approached him with a request for prayers for the people of Nepal. This year the trouble they have faced as a result of the April earthquakes has been compounded by a blockade of the border with India. His Holiness said: Tibet and Nepal have had neighbourly relations since the time of Songtsen Gampo, 33rd King of Tibet. The murals in the Jokhang were painted by Nepalese artists and we have many other art works that are of Nepalese origin. Many people died and many more lost their homes in the earthquakes. I was pleased to hear that monks and nuns worked hard to help people where they could. There is not a lot those of us outside can do. I did make a donation to the relief fund. When, as now, it’s beyond our ability to do anything more practical, we can only pray that the Nepalese people’s sufferings will be relieved. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings – Day 4
Dic 24th, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 4

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 23 December 2015 – Golden early morning sunlight suffused the land around Tashi Lhunpo Monastery today as His Holiness the Dalai Lama met more than 270 Tibetan pilgrims prior to beginning the day’s Lam Rim Teachings. He told them:
“We always say that it’s those who live there who are the real owners of Tibet. Over the last 60 years, and particularly during the Cultural Revolution, Chinese behaved as if they regarded Tibetan culture as backward. And yet, now there are said to be 400 million Chinese Buddhists, many of them interested in Tibetan Buddhism. It’s easy for us Tibetans to learn about Buddhism because the scriptures containing the Buddha’s words and commentaries by later Indian masters are available to us in our own language. Preserving this tradition is not about keeping sets of Kangyur and Tengyur at home, it’s about reading and study. I’ve met people in the Himalayan Region for example who are Buddhists, but have no clear idea who the Buddha is.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with Tibetan pilgrims before the day’s Lam Rim Teaching at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 23, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

I began to study when I was about six years old and what I’ve learned has really helped me. Today, even scientists are interested in what Buddhism, with its inner values and knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions, has to say. So, study and use what you learn in your life. As well as the Kangyur and Tengyur, there are also 10,000 works by Tibetan masters. Our literature is truly rich.

Meanwhile, we all have marvellous brains. Use them. If you have money you’d think it foolish not to use it. You invest it in doing business. You should think of your intelligence as just such an asset too. Learn about the mind and emotions. I urge Indians to study too.”

At this point, a woman in the group piped up, “We are studying, we are.” His Holiness smiled and responded,  “That’s really good. And it shouldn’t just be monks and nuns; lay people can study and engage in debate too.” And again, the same woman chimed in, “We do, we do.” His Holiness went on:
“Education is so important. Without it we will just be backward. We need knowledge of our own culture. We Tibetans and Chinese have strong ties that go back to when our Kings married their Princesses. Sometimes we have fought each other, but we’ve also had long periods of friendship. We need to be friends with China. In the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries we were completely independent, but we’re not seeking independence now. It could be that China can help us, can set up schools and help us in other ways. If they do that, we can preserve our own religion and culture, and use it so that China can also benefit. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings – Day 3
Dic 23rd, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 3

December 22nd 2015

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 22 December 2015 – Before the start of the morning’s teachings today, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with more than 150 Chinese. He told them that most religious traditions talk about love and compassion. However, people who believe in God tend to pray to him to seek his help, whereas Buddhism is more focused on doing something for yourself.

“I’ve heard that there are now more than 300 million Buddhists in China,” he said. “If you think of yourselves as disciples of the Buddha you should study. Reciting the name of Amitabha over and over again is not enough. You should note that worthwhile teachers tend not to be concerned about receiving lots of offerings. Also keep in mind that President Xi Jinping remarked in Paris and Delhi that Buddhism has an important contribution to make to restoring Chinese culture.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with Chinese attending his teachings at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 22, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Most of our suffering arises because of attachment, anger and ignorance, among which the Buddha taught that ignorance is the source of suffering. How can we overcome it? Not by prayer or the blessings of the Buddha, but by engaging in the Three Trainings of which wisdom is the most important. Wisdom concerns selflessness and you can come to understand it by listening to or reading explanations, reflecting on them and the meditating and making your mind familiar with what you’ve understood.

“The explanation of emptiness doesn’t say things don’t exist, rather that things exist and function as merely designated. We say form is emptiness; emptiness is form because the two are interdependent. We say things are empty because they lack intrinsic existence. You can read about this in Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom’, which is available in Mandarin and in Chandrakirti’s ‘Clear Words’, which is presently being translated in Taiwan.

“In 1954-55 I spent 6 months in Beijing and met Mao Zedong several times. He took an interest in me and gave me advice about how to promote the welfare of Tibetans in Tibet. At that time he had a positive vision and if that had been followed through, Tibet might not have faced the problems it later encountered. He told me I had a scientific turn of mind, but then added that religion was poison. I think if he were here today and he became acquainted with the Nalanda tradition, he might have thought differently.” Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings, Day 2
Dic 22nd, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 2

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 21 December 2015 – The Karnataka countryside around Tashi Lhunpo was shrouded in mist early this morning as His Holiness the Dalai Lama continued his teaching of the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting members of the audience as he passes through the assembly hall to the outside steps of Tashi Lhunpo Assembly Hall to continue his teachings on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 21, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

All sentient beings on this earth want happiness and don’t want suffering. It’s quite evident. While wishing to avoid pain, they seek pleasure from sensory experience. We human beings have evolved particularly sophisticated brains that enable us to use our intelligence. For us, mental experience is stronger and more effective than sensory experience. About 200 years ago scientific developments led to more rapid material development. Because the consequent sensory pleasure seems more immediate it gives a measure of satisfaction.

One consequence is that modern education now tends to focus on material development to the neglect of inner values. Greater material development has not been matched by greater inner peace. If your mind is not at ease, it disturbs your physical well-being too. Cultivating inner values is the source of peace of mind, but no single religion will satisfy this need for everyone and an estimated one billion human beings have no interest in religion. The solution therefore is to cultivate a sense of secular ethics. This is an approach pursued for centuries in India, where the hedonist and nihilist sect the Charvakas attracted intense philosophical opposition and yet their teachers were referred to as Rishi or Sage.

“I believe that if the Buddha appeared among us today, he would teach secular ethics. What was unique about his teaching was his explanation of selflessness, and yet there were occasions when what he taught seems to have implied the existence of such a self. This was because that is what helped the particular people listening to him. Therefore, in the present context, we could imagine he would teach secular ethics because that is what we need today. This is consistent with the Buddha’s teachings being meant for overcoming suffering and achieving happiness.” Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Resuming the Jangchub Lam Rim
Dic 21st, 2015 by admin

Resuming the Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 20 December 2015 – When he arrived at Tashi Lhunpo the other day and reached the deep veranda at the top of the steps His Holiness the Dalai Lama turned to his attendants and stated emphatically, “This is where we should put the throne”. Therefore, today, he walked through the temple, where Tibetans lately come from Tibet welcomed him with a poignant mix of joy and sadness, and took his seat where he could be seen by the greatest number of people. Ling Rinpoche, the prime instigator of this series of teachings, prostrated before him three times and offered the mandala and three representations of the enlightened body, speech and mind. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Inauguration of the New Tashi Lhunpo Assembly Hall
Dic 20th, 2015 by admin

Inauguration of the New Tashi Lhunpo Assembly Hall and Introduction to “Commentary on Valid Cognition”

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 19 December 2015 – A grand inauguration ceremony was held this morning in full public view on the veranda of the new Tashi Lhunpo Assembly Hall. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama emerged into the sunshine, Tibetan opera dancers performed the Tashi Shölpa Long Life dance. Everyone stood as Tibetan Children’s Village Students played the Tibetan National Anthem.

Tibetan Children’s Village Students playing the Tibetan National Anthem at the start of the inauguration ceremony for Tashi Lhunpo Monastery’s new assembly hall in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 19, 2015.
Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Abbot of Tashi Lhunpo, Kachen Lobsang Tsetan welcomed His Holiness as the emanation of Avalokiteshvara, Ganden Tri Rinpoche, Sharpa Chöjey and Jangtse Chöjey, senior lamas, other dignitaries and guests. He thanked them all for attending this formal inauguration. He explained that Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Tibet was originally founded by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama, when he was 57 in 1447. After Gendun Gyatso was recognised as Gendun Drup’s reincarnation he was enthroned at Tashi Lhunpo. Under the 4th Panchen Rinpoche, Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen, the Monastery became a seat of learning for studies of both Sutra and Tantra. Consequently it became a bastion of Tibetan culture in Central Tibet.

In the 1970s a few Tashi Lhunpo monks re-established the Monastery here in Bylakuppe. Since then, due to His Holiness’s kindness and with the support of the Dalai Lama Trust, all the traditions of Tashi Lhunpo have been completely restored.  The Gyalwang Karmapa has been unstinting in his interest and support too.

The Abbot pointed out that the statues in the new Assembly Hall were consecrated by Ganden Tri Rinpoche according to the rituals of 13 Deity Vajrabhairava. He also declared that with regard to the malignant spirit Dolgyal, Tashi Lhunpo, its monks and supporters have no connection with it whatsoever. What’s more, there are some in the guise of monks who have, particularly in Tibet, sought to propagate this bad practice in the name of the Panchen Rinpoche. He said, “We forthrightly oppose them.”
He added that Tashi Lhunpo supports the Middle Way Approach. While thanking all the guests for coming, many of them from distant parts of the world, the Abbot concluded with the wish that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the 11th Panchen Rinpoche, Gendun Chökyi Nyima live long and healthy lives.
To mark His Holiness’s 80th birthday this year and as a token of gratitude, the Monastery presented him with a delightful sandalwood statue of Gyalwa Gendun Drup, a gold coin and a conch shell ornament. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Third Day of Mind & Life XXX
Dic 19th, 2015 by admin

Third Day of Mind & Life XXX, Perceptions, Concepts and Self

Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 16 December 2015 – Before the Mind & Life meetings began this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met a group of 72 senior Sera monks who were among those who originally escaped from Tibet in 1959. After greeting and teasing several of them individually, His Holiness addressed the group.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting senior Sera monks who originally escaped from Tibet in 1959 before their meeting at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 16, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

“When we first came to Missamari in Assam we didn’t know what to do. We believed the truth of our cause would eventually prevail. But in Missamari it was hot remote and the food was poor. Many of you monks fell ill. We thought of shifting to another place, but the Abbots felt that if they were dispersed many of the monks would disrobe, so it was better to stay together where they were. Eventually we were able to realize a plan to establish settlements elsewhere and you were able to come together to South India.
“You are the monks who worked hard to preserve our tradition in those hard times, you had faith in me, and I thank you. As the Chinese have found they can’t uproot our religious culture, they have been forced to interpret our dedication to it as an expression of an urge for separatism. However, we are following a non-violent path; we are united and will not give in.
“In the past, monks used to come to our monasteries from Mongolia and China. Now we have people coming to join us from places that have not traditionally been Buddhist, scientists among them. We’ve seen ups and downs in Tibetan history, but we still remain together because of the dedication of our great religious kings in the past. Nowadays people offer Long Life Offerings, but the time will come when we have to go. It’s the same for you, and when that time comes what you’ve learned and practised of the Buddha’s teachings will be important.
“I’m giving each of you a statue of the Buddha. Keep it in your room and recite Nagarjuna’s verse of salutation to the Buddha as I do.” Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Long Life Offering
Dic 19th, 2015 by admin

Long Life Offering at Sera Lachi and Arrival at Tashi Lhunpo

Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 18 December 2015 – The rumble of long horns early this morning heralded the concluding event of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s stay at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe; a Long Life Offering. It was conducted according to Sutrayana prayers, the Prayer to the Sixteen Arhats, Long Life Prayers to Amitayus, and dedication from the Samantabhadra prayer.

A ritual cake being presented during the Long Life Offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Sera Lachi Temple at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 18, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

When the prayers were over, His Holiness announced that the Abbots of Sera Mey and Sera Jey Monasteries had requested him to give a teaching, which he had agreed to do.

We are at a crucial juncture in our history,” he said, “but the spirit and courage of the people in Tibet is unwavering. Most of the monks who first came into exile initially stayed at Missamari. Some of them went to build roads in Chamba, where they had to wear lay clothes. Eventually we moved down here to create settlements, which meant cutting and burning trees and clearing the land. Once the settlements had been established, monks from Buxa and elsewhere were shifted here too. Many of them had faced much hardship by the time they reached here.

Today, I’m going to Tashi Lhunpo, where I will inaugurate their new prayer hall and I’ll complete the transmission of the Collected Stages of the Path Texts that I started two years ago. It’s important to keep our spiritual bonds. How do we do that? By studying and putting the teachings into practice. This is the only way to preserve them. We study the Three baskets and engage in the Three Trainings, When we say in our prayers, ‘May the Dharma flourish’, we should mean ‘May it flourish in me’. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Second Day of Mind & Life XXX
Dic 18th, 2015 by admin

Second Day of Mind & Life XXX, Perceptions, Concepts and Self

Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 15 December 2015 – Early this morning, under cloudy skies, His Holiness the Dalai Lama made several visits to other parts of Sera Monastery before the Mind & Life meetings resumed.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama looking at a display at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives Climate Change Exhibition at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 15, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

At Sera Jey members of the Mind & Life Institute joined him in visiting the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives Climate Change Exhibition. He also greeted Bobby Sager who has been a long term supporter of LTWA’s participation in the Monk-Science Education programme.

The Exhibition consisted of a series of displays, similar to Tibetan thangka paintings, illustrating aspects of climate change under headings such as How do Earth Systems Work? Earth’s Energy Balance, Weather or Climate, the Carbon Cycle and What Can We Do? Each display included explanations in Tibetan and English. Several monks and Library Director, Geshe Lhakdor, escorted His Holiness round the exhibition in which he took a close interest. At the end he remarked that it’s worth noting the place trees had in the Buddha’s life. He was born under a tree, was enlightened under the bodhi tree and passed away between two sal trees. Also, the Buddha gave monks instructions not only about planting trees, but on continuing to care for those planted by others before them, particularly during the rainy season retreat. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Final Day of Mind & Life XXX
Dic 18th, 2015 by admin

Final Day of Mind & Life XXX, Perceptions, Concepts and Self

Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 17 December 2015 – Roshi Joan Halifax opened the final morning session today saying how grateful the Mind & Life participants were to have had the opportunity to explore perception, concepts and self here at Sera Lachi. She invited Ven Mathieu Ricard and Richie Davidson to talk about ‘Self and Ethics, the Science of Altruism’.

Ven Mathieu Ricard delivering his presentation during the final day of the Mind & Life XXX conference at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 17, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Ricard began by asking how we can work together to create a better world. He said there are those who might ask “Why should I care for future generations? they’ve done nothing for me.” One answer is that our concept of self is linked to a constantly changing stream of consciousness. Based on an understanding of interdependence we increase our concern for others. This is altruism, the wish that others have happiness and the causes of happiness.

Others may respond that altruism is a naive or utopian attitude. They say it has no relevance to economics or politics. But this is to see things only from a short term perspective. A longer term view takes future generations into account. We need a sense of concern for others when you think of the poverty in the midst of plenty that we find in the 36 richest countries in the world. We also need to take account of how we have hugely exceeded planetary boundaries in relation to climate change and are heading towards the 6th extinction. In Tibet, the permafrost is melting which will release methane into the atmosphere, which is more serious that CO2. The meat industry treats animals as objects. His Holiness acknowledged this is where selfishness leads.

Ricard asked, “What can we do?” He quoted Freud as describing most human beings as rascals, while the writer Ayn Rand said, “I consider altruism is evil.” Faced with such views, we tend to take basic human goodness for granted. The reality is that people enjoy cooperating. Cooperation is more important than competition. In the struggle to survive, it is better to struggle together than against each other. Ricard quoted Martin Luther King Jr as saying, “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness”. He outlined the activities of the Karuna – Shechen Foundation in Nepal and Tibet. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: First Day of Mind & Life XXX
Dic 17th, 2015 by admin

First Day of Mind & Life XXX, Perceptions, Concepts and Self

Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 14 December 2015 – When His Holiness the Dalai Lama entered the Sera Lachi Temple again this morning, he found chairs arranged for the Mind & Life presenters and other members of the Institute in the centre. Surrounding them were Senior Lamas, some of whom he greeted as he came through, many hundreds of other monks and nuns and interested lay people. Considerable efforts had been made to cater to both English and Tibetan speakers, with provision of readily visible screens displaying presenters’ materials in the two languages and simultaneous translation via FM radio. His Holiness warmly greeted several old friends before taking his seat.

Roshi Joan Halifax moderating the first session expressed deep thanks for the invitation to Sera Monastery for Mind & Life’s 30th dialogue between modern science and Buddhist science. She said it was an appropriate gathering immediately following the COP 21 climate change conference in Paris which has confirmed the need to seek a more sustainable future. She acknowledged the influence of Francisco Varela, one of the pioneers of the Mind & Life meetings.

Mind & Life Institute President Susan Bauer-Wu speaking at the start of the Mind & Life XXX conference at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 14, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Susan Bauer-Wu, the new President of the Mind & Life Institute spoke next of the partnership of Buddhist science with modern science working together to relieve suffering. She said it was amazing to be meeting in this great monastery and that it was beautiful to be surrounded by so many clad in the robes of monks and nuns. She mentioned that five years ago she had been part of the Emory Science Initiative teaching Sera monks in Dharamsala. She thanked co-sponsors the Dalai Lama Trust and its Secretary Jampel Lhundrup for bringing the idea of the meeting to fruition.

Joan Halifax introduced the first two presenters, Richie Davidson and Jay Garfield who would discuss the main theme of this conference, perception, concepts and what we designate as self. But before they spoke she invited His Holiness to open the session.

“Since many of you monks are new to this, let me tell you about how the Mind & Life Institute came about and evolved,” he began. “30 years ago I had a wish to have in-depth discussions with scientists. I’d been interested in science since I was a child in Tibet. I thought it would be good if I were able to meet with scientists in person. And when I did, I was struck by how unbiased they were. Our subsequent discussions were mutually beneficial. I discovered that those of us who come from the Nalanda tradition were able to learn from them about matter and the material world, but that they too could learn from us about the mind.
“I realised that not only could modern scientists and Buddhist scientists profitably work together, but that it would be good to introduce the study of science into our monasteries. This we have done and science is now a part of the final exams. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Long Life Offering
Dic 15th, 2015 by admin

Long Life Offering at Gyumey and Departure for Sera Lachi

Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 13 December 2015 – Once His Holiness the Dalai Lama was seated in the Gyumey Tantric College temple this morning, piles of books were delivered to the dignitaries. They consisted of volumes by the Dalai Lamas that are to make up the new programme of philosophical studies at Gyumey. A monastic representative said there was a sense that these works had been neglected, that Gyumey had a close connection to Gendun Drup and that it would be a fitting tribute to the Dalai Lamas’ achievements. The set of 13 texts was released today with the wish that His Holiness live long and Je Tsongkhapa’s teachings flourish in the world.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arriving inside Gyumey Tantric College temple in Hunsur, Karnataka, India on December 13, 2015. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL

The Gyumey Chant Master led the Long Life Offering. The Abbot recited the eulogy and requests. Expressing the Tibetan people’s gratitude for His Holiness’s leadership and pledging to listen to his advice as a child heeds his or her mother, he requested him to live forever. A long line of local people processed through the temple bearing offerings. His Holiness responded:

Today Gyumey Tantric College has made this Long Life Offering to me with great devotion. All of you here and people in Tibet have expressed unwavering faith. On my part I’ve been fortunate to have been able to give the Guhyasamaja Empowerment and teach the Eight Essential Texts. The Abbot, who is a good monk I’ve known for years, recited the eulogy and requests well.

I want you to know that when I came across the pledges of Tseley Ngatso Rangdol not to ride a horse from place to place, to eat only vegetarian food and not to accept any payment for teaching, I decided I too would take nothing for teaching. The offerings made today will be returned tomorrow. What is more important than such offerings is to please the Vajra Master through practising what he has taught.

Doing lots of rituals, but not actually practising yourself will not be very effective. When Milarepa’s sister complained to him that other teachers were wealthy but he had nothing to give to her, he answered that he had already abandoned the eight worldly concerns. Sometimes it happens that people who start out as simple monks become quite inflated when they gather students, particularly in the West. Be vigilant to defend against the eight worldly concerns. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Teaching at Gyumey Tantric College
Dic 14th, 2015 by admin

Teaching the Eight Great Tantric Commentaries of Gyumey Tantric College

Hunsur, Karnataka, India, 12 December 2015 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama took his seat this morning and looking out into the temple and beyond saw monks distributing copies of the text he was to teach. They were in small traditional woodblock format and wrapped in yellow cloth. He intervened to announce that the ‘Eight Great Tantric Commentaries of Gyumey’ were not for everyone.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaching at Gyumey Tantric College in Hunsur, Karnataka, India on December 12, 2015.
Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

It’s a sealed and restricted text that can only be seen by someone who does the practice of Vajrabhairava or Guhyasamaja. Only someone who can keep the commitments should take a copy. If those of you who have taken it are determined to do the practice, you’re welcome, but only a few hundred have been printed. In Gyutö too I taught the ‘Seven Chapters of Vajrabhairava’ which was similarly restricted and I said then please only take it if you’ll do the practice.

Sakya Dagtri is here with us today to listen to this teaching, so he will become not only a holder of the ‘Path and Fruit’ tradition but also of Se-gyu. At the end his work on Guhyasamaja, at the end to the Guhyasamaja Prayer Je Tsongkhapa says: ‘This is a means to lead you to enlightenment in one lifetime.’”

His Holiness explained that the eight texts deal mostly with completion stage practices related to the various tantric traditions upheld at Gyumey Monastery, which are based upon the Guhyasamaja system. He said that Kalachakra has its own system and the Ka-gye of the Nyingmas has its own system. Dzogchen too distinguishes between the unenlightened mind and pristine awareness.

“In Tibet, Gyumey Monastery had a custom of 32 monks doing a strict sealed Guhyasamaja retreat at Chumiglung. I don’t know if they would really meditate on Guhyasamaja, but the abbot would teach these texts. Even if someone died they wouldn’t open it up; the doors were sealed. When Jamyang Shyepa Ngawang Tsöndrü was in such a retreat at Chumiglung he also managed to meditate on the 173 aspects of the three types of knowledge. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Giving the Actual Guhyasamaja Empowerment
Dic 13th, 2015 by admin

Giving the Actual Guhyasamaja Empowerment at Gyumey

Hunsur, Karnataka, India, 11 December 2015 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s day began even earlier today. He descended to the Gyumey temple at 6 o’clock and once again sat with Gyumey monks and other senior lamas before the sand mandala to perform the preparatory rites for the Guhyasamaja Empowerment. The Gyumey monks chant with an energetic determination, with regular lulls for meditation, and the rite was complete by 9.30.

The Chant Master making a traditional mandala offering as the gathered monks chant praises at the start of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching at Gyumey Tantric College in Hunsur, Karnataka, India on December 11, 2015.
Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

His Holiness took a short break. When he returned, he took his seat on the throne and the body of monks launched into chanting the ‘Praise to Jetsun Sherab Sengey’. A huge thangka depicting him, surrounded by four disciples, hangs on the wall behind the mandala pavilion. The prelude complete, His Holiness began to teach.

A verse in the ‘General Secret Tantra’ says, ‘Someone who wishes to enter into tantra should be one who has entered the Buddhadharma.’ He or she has to be a member of the Sangha. There are different ways of counting them, but, I think, Abhayakara has written that there are monks and nuns, as well as laymen and laywomen with vows. The monastics have novice and full ordination vows and it is good if laypeople hold vows too. Amongst laypeople holding vows are those with one, some or all five. Gyalwa Dromtonpa took a vow of celibacy in addition, which is excellent if you can do it. In the word in Tibetan for a lay vow-holder, the first part refers to virtue that leads to true cessation. In other words, restraining wrong-doing is the path to liberation. It’s something good to do, but it’s not obligatory.

Recently in Nashik to attend the Kumbha Mela, I met a Swami I know, a scholarly person who is familiar with Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom’. He told me about vows in the Hindu tradition and that people who enter his ashram do so after first taking certain pledges.
“Here we are talking about vowing not to kill, steal, lie or engage in sexual misconduct, which entails having sex with someone else’s partner that can lead to a lot of trouble. These vows are at risk if you get drunk, so it’s better to avoid liquor too. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Preliminary Guhyasamaja Empowerment
Dic 12th, 2015 by admin

Preliminary Guhyasamaja Empowerment

Hunsur, Karnataka, India, 10 December 2015 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama made an early start today, coming down to the Gyumey temple at 7 o’clock in the morning. He greeted Ganden Tri Rinpoche, the Sharpa and Jangtse Chöjeys, and Sakya Trizin.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and senior monks performing the  preparatory rituals for the Preliminary Guhyasamaja Empowerment at Gyumey Tantric College in Hunsur, Karnataka, India on December 10, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

With the present and former abbots of Namgyal Monastery and a team of Gyumey monks they sat down together before the octagonal mandala pavilion. The Chant master set a brisk pace as they embarked on the preparatory rituals for the Preliminary Guhyasamaja Empowerment that His Holiness was to give in the afternoon. The sound of the monks chanting, periodically punctuated by the penetrating ring of their bells, was probably much as it was when Je Tsongkhapa conducted the same rituals with his disciples 600 years ago.

Once the procedures were complete, at about 10.30, His Holiness was escorted out of the temple to the adjacent covered debating yard where a ceremony was held to celebrate his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 26 years ago. The crowd stood while first the Indian and then the Tibetan national anthems were played. Students of the Snowland School then performed a song originally composed to celebrate His Holiness’s receiving the award.

Representatives of the Rabgyeling community in Hunsur presented His Holiness with a golden butter lamp for daily use at his residence as a mark of gratitude for his leadership. The Gyumey Abbot read the accompanying eulogy. Next the Snowland students and staff offered an image of Buddha Amitayus, the Buddha of Limitless Life. Read the rest of this entry »

Tibet: il Partito chiede al Panchen Lama di Pechino di sconfessare il Dalai Lama
Dic 11th, 2015 by admin

Tibet: il Partito chiede al Panchen Lama di Pechino di sconfessare il Dalai Lama

Panchen Lama cinese 59 dicembre 2015. Chen Quanguo, capo del Partito Comunista della cosiddetta Regione Autonoma Tibetana, ha chiesto a Gyaltsen Norbu (nella foto), il Panchen Lama unilateralmente riconosciuto da Pechino nel 1995, si sconfessare il Dalai Lama.

In una dichiarazione rilasciata al quotidiano Tibet Daily, Chen ha affermato di sperare che il Panchen Lama voglia sostenere il Partito e salvaguardare l’unità nazionale. Nel corso di un incontro svoltosi a Shigatse il 7 dicembre per celebrarne i vent’anni dall’ insediamento, il leader del partito ha direttamente chiesto a Gyaltsen Norbu di “tracciare una riga netta con il XIV Dalai Lama e di opporsi con risolutezza ad ogni attività sovversiva e separatista”.

Vent’anni dopo la scomparsa di Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, il Panchen Lama legittimamente riconosciuto dal Dalai Lama e scomparso all’età di soli sei anni, il governo cinese non ha ancora fornito alcuna prova del suo essere in vita. Il 7 dicembre, un membro del Fronte Unito per il Lavoro ha tuttavia riaffermato che Gedhun vive una vita normale, è in buona salute e non vuole essere disturbato.

Le autorità cinesi hanno inoltre fatto sapere che compileranno un database con i nomi di tutti “i Budda viventi legittimi”. La scorsa settimana, Zhu Weiqun, presidente del Comitato per gli Affari Etnici e Religiosi, ha dichiarato alla TV di stato cinese che “alcuni falsi Tulku, o Budda viventi, rappresentano una minaccia per la sicurezza nazionale in quanto usano il denaro che raccolgono per finanziare attività illegali e separatiste in Tibet”. Risale al 3 agosto 2007 la normativa emessa dall’Amministrazione cinese per gli Affari Religiosi che sancisce la necessità dell’approvazione del governo nel riconoscimento di tutti i Tulku del Buddismo tibetano. La mancata approvazione governativa comporta l’illegalità o l’invalidità del riconoscimento. La stessa norma stabilisce inoltre che il processo di selezione del candidato non deve essere influenzato da alcun gruppo o individuo straniero e che il tempio o il monastero facenti richiesta devono essere “legalmente registrati” nei preposti elenchi governativi. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Preliminary Teachings at Gyumey
Dic 11th, 2015 by admin

Preliminary Teachings at Gyumey Tantric College

Hunsur, Karnataka, India, 9 December 2015 – When he left Bangalore yesterday, instead of travelling directly to Gyumey Tantric College in Hunsur, His Holiness the Dalai Lama elected to go to Mundgod. The purpose was to consecrate the newly completed Official Residence of the Ganden Throneholder. Consequently, he reached Hunsur late in the afternoon. Today, he started to teach promptly at 12 midday, after lunch. The elevator brought him from his quarters upstairs directly into the Gyumey temple. He paid his respects before the throne, greeted the pre-eminent Lamas, Ganden Tri Rinpoche, Sakya Dagtri, Sharpa Chöjey, Jangtse Chöjey and Ling Rinpoche, as well as abbots and former abbots and took his seat.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama joining in recitations at the start of his teachings at Gyumey Tantric College in Hunsur, Karnataka, India on December 9, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Verses of homage to the Buddha, the Heart of Wisdom Sutra, and the mandala offering were recited, followed by the Praise to the 17 Masters of Nalanda and the Praise to Jetsun Sherab Sengey, founder of the tantric college. Recitations complete, His Holiness began to address the gathering.

Nowadays, there has been great material progress. At the same time Tibet has been in turmoil. Some of us came into exile and have been able not only to secure our livelihood, but also to preserve our traditions. These include our culture and the wisdom of the Nalanda masters, which can be verified through logic and reason. The Three Great Seats – Sera, Drepung and Ganden – Gyumey and Gyutö Tantric Colleges and Tashi Lhunpo have been instrumental in this.

“We’ve been in exile nearly 60 years. Many who came in 1959 have passed away, but among them were teachers inspired by the masters of Nalanda, who taught and nurtured the younger generation. In the past, when Je Tsongkhapa asked his disciples who would take care of his teaching, especially with regard to Guhyasamaja, Jetsun Sherab Sengey pledged to do so.

“Now, here, I’m going to give a Dharma discourse and the Guhyasamaja empowerment. Guhyasamaja is known as the King of Tantras. The essence of tantra is union and the attainment of the three bodies of a Buddha. Union refers to a union of body and mind. Guhyasamaja has special explanations of how to take the three states of death, intermediate state and birth into the path. Nagarjuna, Aryadeva and Chandrakirti all wrote about Guhyasamaja and of Je Tsongkhapa’s 18 volumes of collected writings, 5 volumes focus on that too. Without the Tantric Colleges, the explanation of Guhyasamaja would not have survived. I would like to thank everyone who has worked to create this opportunity.” Read the rest of this entry »

Il Dalai Lama: “Dobbiamo dialogare anche con l’Isis per avere pace”
Dic 8th, 2015 by admin

Dalai Lama: Ogni uomo ha una sua religione e una sua verità

Dalai Lama: Ogni uomo ha una sua religione e una sua verità

Il Dalai Lama: “Dobbiamo dialogare anche con l’Isis per avere pace”

Di Paolo Crecchi, 7 dicembre 2015, La Stampa

«Bisogna dialogare anche con l’Isis». Il Dalai Lama porge il suo ramoscello d’ulivo al mondo da Bangalore, la capitale indiana del software e mondiale dei call center, dove ieri la Camera di commercio arabo-asiatica ha organizzato un convegno dai toni molto pratici, Peace for Economy. Terrorismo e affari sono incompatibili e la massima autorità del buddismo tibetano ha riconosciuto che lo sviluppo, rispettoso dell’uomo e dell’ambiente, è un ottimo antidoto al fondamentalismo religioso.

Santità, lei ha detto che il nemico è sconfitto quando diventa nostro amico.

«Vero! Verissimo!».

Vuole Sua Santità spiegare come si fa a diventare amici dell’Isis?

«Con il dialogo. Bisogna ascoltare, capire, avere comunque rispetto dell’altro. Non c’è altra strada».

L’Isis taglia le teste. Senza la testa, non ci sono più le orecchie per ascoltare.

«Bisogna farlo con il cuore. Essere compassionevoli. Educare. La Germania è stata molto generosa ad accogliere i rifugiati, li sfama e li veste: ma adesso dovrà educarli».

Perché possano essere assimilati dall’Europa?

«Perché possano tornare indietro! Se non loro, i loro figli. Devono tornare con le conoscenze e le abilità per cambiare il Paese d’origine, perché non ci siano altri fuggiaschi e altri rifugiati. Questa è l’unica soluzione».

Santità, l’Europa ha paura anche dell’Islam pacifico. Teme di perdere i suoi valori fondanti che sono la libertà, l’uguaglianza, la parità fra uomo e donna: la sharia, che un giorno potrebbe essere democraticamente applicata, non li accetta.

«Ogni uomo ha una sua religione e una sua verità, ma in una comunità ci devono essere tante religioni e tante verità. L’islam è una religione di pace, gli intolleranti danneggiano il proprio credo e i propri fratelli». Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Conference at National Institute of Mental Health
Dic 8th, 2015 by admin

Addressing a Conference at National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, 7 December 2015 – This morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave interviews to Elizabeth Jane of the Trans Asia News Service and BD Narayankar of PTI. Ms Jane began by asking whether it was true that His Holiness has suggested the next Dalai Lama could be a woman. He agreed that it is possible and cited the established precedent of Samding Dorje Phagmo, a line of female reincarnations almost as old as the line of Karmapas, the first reincarnate Lama in Tibet.

When she asked if the violence and extreme behaviour of certain Buddhist monks in Burma and Sri Lanka could be justified, His Holiness straightforwardly replied: “No, never.” He compared these disturbances with the longstanding tolerance and harmony that has prevailed among religious traditions in India, those that originated in India as well as those that came from outside. She asked if he felt ISIS or Daesh is driven by religious or political motives and he told her that if their motives were religious, all Muslims would be killing each other, which they are not.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama responding to a question from Elizabeth Jane of the Trans Asia News Service during an interview in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India on December 7, 2015. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL

As to whether there are ways to counter the radicalization that is taking place, he suggested that generally speaking the human mind not only resists being told what to do, but is curious about what is forbidden. A better approach may be to explain that if people behave in one way, this will be the result, whereas cultivating harmony, another approach, will yield a different result.
“One of the features of Nalanda University,” he said, “was that a wide range of views were expressed and explored. People were able to study and compare them, drawing their own conclusions, without having to follow any rigid line of thought.”
Discussing relations between Tibet, China and India, His Holiness said that while there is no formal Sino-Tibetan dialogue currently taking place, informal links with informed businessmen, retired officials and so on exist. He said it is hard to say how things will work out. There have been reports that when President Xi Jinping seemed to be about to take a more conciliatory view of Tibet, hardliners strongly opposed it.
He regretted the fragmentation of Tibet that took place after the 9th century assassination of the Tibetan Emperor. He speculated that things might also have been different if the 13th Dalai Lama has remained in Lhasa when the Younghusband expedition reached there in 1904. He noted several other lost opportunities such as when the advice of a high Tibetan official, who visited India on pilgrimage in 1946 and witnessed the Indian drive for independence, was ignored. He had recommended making contact with Indian leaders, but nothing was done. Similarly, in 1948 the Government of India sent a message to the Government of Tibet warning of the impending Communist victory in China and its potential ramifications. This too was ignored. Once Chinese troops occupied parts Eastern Tibet in 1950/51, the Tibetan Government tried to raise the issue at the UN, without success.

“I don’t feel Nehru made big mistakes over Tibet. The Government of India tried to warn Tibetans, who didn’t respond. Narasimha Rao pointed out to me that India didn’t recognise Tibet as a part of China, but as an Autonomous Region of China. The Shimla agreement is regarded as valid.” Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama at National Institute of Advanced Studies
Dic 7th, 2015 by admin

Talks to Diplomatic Consular Corps of Karnataka and at National Institute of Advanced Studies

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, 6 December 2015 – This morning in Bengaluru His Holiness the Dalai Lama was the guest of the Diplomatic Consular Corps of Karnataka, He was welcomed to the platform by Anatole Kuschpeta from France and invited to participate in lighting a lamp to inaugurate the occasion. HE Sabit Subasic, Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina introduced His Holiness to the gathering, which included representatives from nearly twenty countries, referring to him as a symbol of hope, brightness, justice and humanity. Wishing him good health and a long life, he requested His Holiness to address them, which he did:

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to members of the Diplomatic Consular Corps of Karnataka in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India on December 6, 2015.
Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Dear brothers and sisters whenever I meet people, I always consider them to brothers and sisters. In ancient times the idea of the oneness of humanity was something people might refer to in their religious prayers, but it didn’t have much relevance to their daily lives. Today, the oneness of humanity is a living reality. Conflict arises when we dwell too much on secondary differences between us: nationality, faith, whether we are rich or poor, educated or uneducated. Instead we should remember that we are all human beings. We were all born from a mother and nurtured by her milk. This is true even of troublemakers like Stalin and Hitler. All appreciate affection and are capable of showing affection to others.

Scientists have conducted experiments on infants and established that they clearly respond favourably to images of others being helped and flinch from images of harm. Different experiments have shown that constant anger and fear disrupts our immune system. From these findings they conclude that basic human nature is positive and compassionate, which gives me hope.

“Many of the problems we face result from short-sighted and narrow-minded attitudes, from bias and prejudice. At a meeting in Argentina, biologist Humberto Maturana, mentor of my friend Francisco Varela, explained that although biology was his field of study, it was not proper that he should become attached to it. I reflected too that I am a Buddhist, but that I shouldn’t become attached to Buddhism, which would introduce a sense of bias. What is important today is that we consciously cultivate a sense of the oneness of humanity because we all depend on each other. This naturally gives rise to a sense of universal responsibility. In this context, given the current refugee problem in the world, to remain indifferent would be immoral.
“With regard to the word ‘peace’ in your theme ‘Peace for Economy’, I can talk about that, but as for ‘economy’, I don’t know. An example of the importance of recognising that we all belong to one human family, is that in discussions about what to do about climate change, we can no longer put national interests ahead of the global interest. We will only create a more peaceful and harmonious world if we adopt a peaceful approach by engaging in dialogue.”

Asked whether there is a solution to growing intolerance, His Holiness noted that India has for centuries been a multi-religious country. He remarked that in the West there are those who say the word secular reflects a disdain for religion, but here in India it represents respect for all religious traditions and even the views of those who have no faith. Read the rest of this entry »

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Indian Philanthropy Initiative
Dic 6th, 2015 by admin

Indian Philanthropy Initiative

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, 5 December 2015 – Having flown from Dharamsala to Delhi yesterday, this morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama left early again to fly to Bengaluru. After landing early at the airport, he was welcomed by Tibetan representatives, including a delegation of abbots and senior Lamas, Ling Rinpoche among them. Reaching his hotel in Bengaluru city, he found the road as usual lined with Tibetans young and old eager to greet him, while costumed dancers performed on the forecourt.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama taking part in prayers for Ganden Nga-cho in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India on December 5, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Today, the 25th day of Tenth Tibetan month, being Ganden Nga-chö, the anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa’s passing away 596 years ago, His Holiness had agreed to take part in prayers with a group of Abbots, former Abbots and senior monks. They sat before a thangka of Je Rinpoche in a room in the hotel named the ‘House of Lords’. Chanting in crisp unison, they recited Tsongkhapa’s ‘Praise for Dependent Arising’, ‘Destiny Fulfilled’ and his ‘Secret Biography’ by Jamyang Chöjey Tashi Palden, founder of Drepung Monastery, concluding with praises to Mahakala, Dharmaraja and Mahakali. Stopping at the end to explain his plans over the coming days, His Holiness advised:

Now we should follow the example Je Rinpoche set and shun the path of the eight worldly concerns.”

On his way to his room, His Holiness was greeted by a group of Indian Guides and Scouts who presented him with a Scout scarf. He told them that whether the world in future becomes a happier, more peaceful place or not will be in the hands of young people like them.
After lunch, His Holiness attended the fourth meeting of the Indian Philanthropy Initiative at the invitation of Azim Premji, the noted entrepreneur who led Wipro to widespread success and who was the first Indian to sign up for the Giving Pledge initiative started by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Introducing His Holiness to what he described as a larger turn out than expected, he said the theme was empathy and kindness and invited him to address them.
“I always start my talks by greeting my brothers and sisters,” His Holiness began. “Basically we are all the same human beings. We’re born the same way and whether we are religious leaders, kings and queens or beggars and AIDs patients we all go the same way. We all want to live a happy life; we wish to be undisturbed and we all have the same right to achieve happiness. Read the rest of this entry »

La Cina riafferma il suo diritto a decidere sulla reincarnazione del Dalai Lama
Dic 3rd, 2015 by admin

La Cina riafferma il suo diritto a decidere sulla reincarnazione del Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama 20152 dicembre 2015. Nel corso di un’intervista rilasciata all’agenzia di stato Global Times, Zhu Weiqun, presidente del Comitato per gli Affari Esteri e Religiosi ha dichiarato che la Cina non rinuncerà mai al diritto di decidere in merito alla reincarnazione del Dalai Lama.

La questione non è mai stata solo di natura religiosa né ha a che fare con i diritti individuali del Dalai Lama” – ha detto Zhu Weiqun – ma è in primo luogo e soprattutto un’importante questione politica e un’importante evidenza della sovranità del governo centrale cinese in Tibet. Ha inoltre aggiunto che, essendo il Dalai Lama il primo leader politico del Tibet “chiunque avrà il titolo di Dalai Lama deterrà il potere politico in Tibet”. Per questo motivo, ha affermato Zhu, la Cina non rinuncerà mai al diritto di decidere sulla questione della reincarnazione.

Da Dharamsala, Dhundup Dorjee, Segretario del Dipartimento Religione e Cultura del Governo Tibetano in Esilio, ha così replicato: “Solo Sua Santità ha la prerogativa di scegliere il suo successore. Questa bizzarra e unilaterale dichiarazione non ha alcun peso ed è senza alcun fondamento”.

Il Dalai Lama, pur avendo dichiarato in alcune interviste di poter essere l’ultimo del suo lignaggio – dichiarazione peraltro contestata dalla Cina che afferma che la tradizione della reincarnazione deve continuare e che il Dalai Lama non ha il diritto di abbandonarla – ha sempre sostenuto che sarà il popolo tibetano a decidere sulla necessità della prosecuzione dell’istituzione. Tuttavia, “ove l’istituzione del Dalai Lama continuasse sarò io stesso a decidere la mia reincarnazione, nessuno ha il diritto di farlo al mio posto”, ha affermato il leader religioso tibetano.

Fonte: Phayul

The Last Dalai Lama?
Dic 2nd, 2015 by admin

hhThe Last Dalai Lama? By Pankaj Mishra Dec. 1, 2015 NY Times.

At 80, Tenzin Gyatso is still an international icon, but the future of his office, and of the Tibetan people, has never been more in doubt.

On a wet Sunday in June at the Glastonbury Festival, more than 100,000 people spontaneously burst into a rendition of ‘‘Happy Birthday.’’ Onstage, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, blew out the solitary candle on a large birthday cake while clasping the hand of Patti Smith, who stood beside him. The world’s most famous monk then poked a thick finger at Smith’s silvery mane. ‘‘Musicians,’’ he said, ‘‘white hair.’’ But ‘‘the voice and physical action,’’ he added in his booming baritone, ‘‘forceful.’’ As Smith giggled, he went on: ‘‘So, that gives me encouragement. Myself, now 80 years old, but I should be like you — more active!’’

The crowd, accustomed to titanic vanity from its icons — Kanye West declared himself the ‘‘greatest living rock star on the planet’’ the previous night — looked uncertain before erupting with cheers and claps. The Dalai Lama then walked into the throng of celebrities wandering about backstage, limping slightly; he has a bad knee. He looked as amused and quizzical as ever in his tinted glasses when Lionel Richie approached and, bowing, said, ‘‘How are you?’’ ‘‘Good, good,’’ he replied, clasping Richie’s hands.

When the Dalai Lama entered his dressing room, I stood up hurriedly, as did the Tibetan monk who was sitting beside me. ‘‘Sit, sit,’’ he said and then noticed a black-and-white photo of naked young men and women dancing during Glastonbury’s earliest days. He turned to me with a mischievous smile, and said, ‘‘Please sit and enjoy the photo.’’ He then spoke in rapid-fire Tibetan to the monk, cackling with delight: ‘‘These pleasures,’’ he said, ‘‘are not for us.’’ Read the rest of this entry »

Tibet, partita a scacchi per la reincarnazione del Dalai Lama
Dic 2nd, 2015 by admin

Tibet, partita a scacchi per la reincarnazione Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama 2015

Il cielo è di un azzurro intenso e la luce del sole accecante, anche se siamo nella seconda metà di novembre e a 3700 metri di altezza.

Un gruppo di monaci accetta di parlare con i giornalisti stranieri sul tetto del Jokang, il più sacro dei templi tibetani nel centro di Lhasa, capitale della Regione Autonoma del Tibet (Tar) e cuore pulsante del buddhismo tibetano. Quello che dicono lascia pochi dubbi sulla loro opinione sull’ ultimo scambio di battute polemiche tra il leader spirituale del Tibet, il Dalai Lama, e le autorità’ cinesi che dal 1951 controllano il territorio. Uno di loro, che si identifica come “Laba, un monaco del Jokang”, sottolinea che i “bodhisattva”, i saggi che decidono di loro volontà di tornare nel mondo di sofferenza dei mortali per aiutarli a liberarsi e a diventare loro stessi dei Buddha, sono in grado di scegliere il momento e il luogo della loro reincarnazione.

Questa è’ la vera essenza del buddhismo”, dice con un sorriso.  Laba non lo dice ma sicuramente il Dalai Lama, che è’ ritenuto una reincarnazione di Avalokistevara, il Buddha della compassione, rientra in questa categoria. Tra il Dalai Lama, che dal 1959 vive in esilio in India e le autorità cinesi, che lo accusano di promuovere il secessionismo e di aver organizzato la violenta rivolta del 2008, è in corso da anni una estenuante partita di scacchi che ha come posta il futuro del lignaggio dei Dalai Lama – che domina il territorio dal 17/mo secolo – e dello stesso Tibet. Read the rest of this entry »

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