His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Pune
Gennaio 1st, 2015 by admin

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Pune

Pune, Maharashtra, India, 31 December 2014 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama was invited to Maharashtra’s second city, Pune, by Avinash Dharmadhikari, the Founder Director of the Chanakya Mandal Pariwar (CMP). The CMP is a Network Organization and Public Charitable Trust working in the fields of Career Guidance, Competitive Exam Training, Entrepreneurship Building and Personality Development. His Holiness was chief guest at the inauguration of its new building. On arrival he unveiled the sign over the entrance and a commemorative plaque, and lit the lamp in the lobby.

In the auditorium a short Upasana or meditation was held to the gentle chanting of the syllable Om. Next, former students who are now in active service brought small pitchers of water drawn from 29 water bodies, ranging from Manasarovar to the Brahmaputra and poured them into a single kalasha at the front of the stage. Three representative officers spoke of their experiences, noting the historic auspiciousness of today’s occasion. Not only was His Holiness present, but the inauguration also signified the fulfilment of a project financed entirely by white money.

Respected elder brothers and sisters, and younger brothers and sisters,” His Holiness began, “I love your referring to this place as a temple of knowledge. Too often our temples are only used for worship, for the exercise of faith, but faith alone will not help us transform our minds. To do that we have to use our human intelligence. We have to see things from a broader perspective and taking a longer view. This country is, generally speaking, very religious, most families making daily offerings and prayers to Ganesh, Sarasvati or Shiva-ji. But this faith is not really a substitute for a genuine understanding of the message. To gain that, study is indispensible.

At the recent World Hindu Congress in New Delhi I mentioned that prayer and worship by themselves are not enough. The writings of the Nalanda masters make clear that intense debates went on at the university between scholars of a range of views. Historically we Tibetans have considered Indians our gurus, while we were the chelas or disciples. However, in India today, there is too much stress on money and power and not enough attention to India’s ancient values and knowledge. I regularly encourage Buddhists I meet to be 20th century Buddhists, which means – study, develop understanding.”

Regarding the water that had been gathered from across the country, His Holiness asked what it is that makes it sacred. He answered that it’s because life depends on these rivers. Many of the great rivers of Asia rise on the Tibetan plateau and in their flow they support more than 1 billion people from Pakistan to Vietnam. He told the gathering that he was really impressed at the way their mission statement ‘To develop youth with global consciousness and competence… and to develop professionals with national character … ‘ reveals a dedication to practical education. He suggested that in addition to this, parochial thinking, only thinking of your own state, is out of date. Instead we have to think of the whole world, the whole of humanity. Our economies are interdependent, but, equally important, as social animals we naturally depend on others.

Another unique consideration about India, His Holiness said, is that it is the one country where all the world’s religions exist and live together in harmony. Indigenous spiritual traditions thrive alongside those that have come from elsewhere. He expressed his particular admiration for the way the Parsees, the Zoroastrians of ancient Persia, have flourished here in freedom and safety. He said that wherever he speaks in different parts of the world, he cites the Indian example that different religions can live together.

What’s more, India, the world’s most populous democratic country, has a long tradition of ahimsa (non-violence) and secularism. His Holiness quoted former Deputy Prime Minister Advani telling him how all the other religious traditions argued with the Charvakas who were set against all spirituality – and yet they still referred to their teachers, who were non-believers, as rishis or sages.

In this context, 1 billion of the world’s population of 7 billion claim to have no faith, yet are still part of humanity. There has to be a way to reach out to them. At a meeting of Nobel Peace Laureates in Hiroshima some years ago, there was a lot of talk about praying for peace. When it came to His Holiness’s turn he said if world peace depended on prayer it should already have been achieved. What is required is that we take action. It is human beings who create violence, so human beings will have to put a stop to it. His Holiness pointed out that the proper demarcation between what is and isn’t violence is not so much the physical action as the motivation behind it. World peace can only be built on the basis of inner peace.

You must try to combine ancient Indian values with modern education,” His Holiness advised. “Indian should extend itself to influence the world, to lead by its example of pluralism, tolerance and ahimsa.” Taking questions from the audience, His Holiness answered how we can connect with each other in the modern world by pointing out that children are simply open to each other. We need to find ways to limit the self-centredness, aggression and narrow-mindedness that set in as they grow older. Asked how to develop inner peace through meditation he clarified that there are two types of meditation, shamatha, or single-pointed concentration and vipasyana, or insight. He said he finds the latter, which involves analytical meditation, to be much more powerful and effective. After words of thanks the session broke for lunch.

In the Ganesh Kala Krida Hall in the afternoon proceedings opened with two groups of young women singing; the first in Marathi, the second in Tibetan. His Holiness was invited to speak.

Dear brothers and sisters, this is how I always begin. It has become quite clear that many of the problems we face are manmade and come about because we focus too much on secondary differences between us, such as faith, nationality, status, caste and so forth. The remedy is to remember that we are all the same as human beings. When someone in need of help arrives at a hospital, he or she is not asked: “What’s your background, your education, where do you come from, what language do you speak?” He or she is treated as a human being in need of help. As human beings like this we have a right to be happy, so it is wrong to divide them into them and us.

We are social animals; we need friends. Friendship is based on trust and the basis of trust is concern for others’ well-being. Self-centredness undermines trust and distrust leads to fear, frustration and anger. If I only think of myself, I’m full of stress and anxiety.

When I look out into an audience I see other human beings. People like me with potential for good and bad. I have a potential for irritation, but if I give in to it, my peace of mind is lost. To tackle disturbing emotions like this we need to understand the way our mind and emotions work.” His Holiness declared that compared to the highly developed insights of ancient Indian psychology, modern psychology is just starting out. He said we all want to live a happy life, but we tend to seek it in sensory experience. We see the source of happiness as being in material things, when what we really need is peace of mind.

He extolled the Indus Valley civilization, which, compared to the civilizations of ancient Egypt and China, ultimately gave rise to a panoply of profound thinkers and philosophers. From them emerged the traditions of secularism and ahimsa that remain so relevant today.

Among his answers to questions from the audience, he advised that attitudes to customs like the caste system, and the discrimination associated with it, that are out of date cannot be changed by others from outside. He said the community itself needs to make an effort to change these things. Religious leaders need to speak out. On the other hand, each one of us 7 billion human beings has a responsibility to work for peace in the world. We are all part of society and if one of us maintains peace of mind it will have a ripple effect on our family and friends.

He said that today we need a source of secular ethics on which people act voluntarily. And the way to introduce secular ethics is through education, which is why His Holiness repeated that he was impressed by the idea of a temple of knowledge. He advised the young people listening to him, who he described as being the generation of the 21st century, the source of hope for the future: “Deepen your knowledge, but be citizens of the world.”

Comments are closed

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa