His Holiness the Dalai Lama teachings in Leh, Ladakh
Agosto 21st, 2016 by admin

His Holiness the Dalai Lama teachings on ‘A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’

Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India, 18 & 19 August 2016 (from news reports) – Almost thirty thousand devotees thronged the Shiwatsel ground to attend teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama here today. Four days of teachings, with sessions in the mornings only, have been organized by the Ladakh Buddhist Association of Leh in collaboration with various volunteer organizations.
As a prelude to His Holiness’s teachings, monks and scholars from various monasteries participated in formal debates with each other, employing dialectical methods to explore the niceties of the doctrine.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama waving to the crowd of almost 30,000 on his arrival at the Shiwatsel teaching ground in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on August 18, 2016.
Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Beginning his explanation of the 8th century CE Nalanda master Shantideva’s ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ (Bodhicharyavatara; spyod-jug), His Holiness addressed the congregation on the importance of learning and understanding what the Buddhist scriptures actually teach. “Faith without understanding the essence of what the Buddha taught is merely maintaining tradition as a kind of social custom,” he advised.

We are not gathered here to witness some sort of performance nor even just to hold a meeting together. We are here to explore the teachings of the Buddha. Therefore, if our endeavours are to be fruitful, both teacher and students must generate a pure motivation. Otherwise we’ll just be wasting our time.”
Under the harsh Ladakhi sun, the crowd, consisting of Ladakhis, Tibetans, Western devotees and tourists, listened to His Holiness call for harmony between all religious traditions. In discussing the benefits of the awakening mind of bodhichitta, he said it is this spirit of awakening, the aspiration to attain enlightenment to benefit all sentient being that motivates the Bodhisattva’s way of life. The text he is teaching explains how to cultivate and sustain this altruistic aspiration. There are two aspects to the awakening mind—the aspiration, the wish to awaken and actually engaging in practices that lead to that awakening. These bodhisattva practices are commonly known as the Six Perfections and first among them is the perfection of generosity.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama reading from ‘A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ during his teachings in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on August 19, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

“Every sentient being, including animals, seeks happiness,” His Holiness remarked. “Therefore, showing others respect and trying to understand and help them solve their problems is a source of happiness.”
“We have two enemies, the self-cherishing or self-centred mind and the misconception of self. Crucial to Buddhism in general, but especially the Nalanda tradition, is the need to use our intelligence and transform our emotions. This will be a far more effective source of happiness than resorting to the short term pleasures of drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs.”
His Holiness highlighted the verse in the first chapter of ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ that describes sentient beings’ predicament:
Although seeking to avoid pain,
They run headlong into suffering.
They long for happiness, but foolishly
Destroy it, as if it were their enemy

The teachings will conclude on 20 August. The following day, 21 August, His Holiness will confer the empowerment of Avalokiteshvara—the Bodhisattva embodying compassion.

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