H.H. Dalai Lama Visits to Springdales School and IIT, Delhi
Aprile 11th, 2016 by admin

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Visits to Springdales School and IIT, Delhi

New Delhi, India, 9 April 2016 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s public activities began today with an interview with Anchal Vohra, Foreign Affairs Editor & Senior Anchor for CNN-IBN. Her questions were direct, she began by asking what he would say to the victims and perpetrators of the Paris and Brussels attacks if he met them. His Holiness replied that he would start by pointing out that both parties are human beings and both want to live a happy life and don’t want suffering. He said such events do not arise independently. He views them as symptoms of 20th century mistakes.

Anchal Vohra interviewing His Holiness the Dalai Lama for CNN-IBN in New Delhi, India on April 9, 2016.
Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL

In the early 20th century military force was like a symbol of national pride. Leaders like members of the royal families would be members of the military. Citizens would heed calls for mobilization and proudly join up. In the later part of the 20th century this changed. There was resistance to the Vietnam War. Then, when it came to the Iraq crisis, millions across the world expressed opposition to war. Many people have concluded that violence and military action are not a solution to problems. It is in the nature of violence that its results are unpredictable and often violence leads to counter-violence.”

Vohra asked again what was the 20th century mistake and His Holiness clarified that it’s the idea that violence provides a solution, that in victory, the optimum result is the destruction of your enemy. He said that we are now so interdependent that destroying our enemy is to do damage to ourselves. The reality has changed yet our thinking still follows old patterns.
When asked about a growing sense of intolerance with respect to beef, His Holiness replied that anyone is free to follow the path they believe in, but cannot expect others to follow it too. He said that although he is a Buddhist, he makes no effort to propagate Buddhism. He remarked that since both employ ethics, concentration and insight (shila, shamatha and vipashyana), Hinduism and Buddhism are like twin brothers. What distinguishes them is their respective views of self (atman) and selflessness (anatman), but, he said, which you believe is a private matter. He expressed great admiration for the way inter-religious harmony has flourished for centuries in India and suggested it is a model other countries in the neighbourhood would do well to follow.
In a long exchange about Tibetan relations with the Chinese authorities His Holiness stressed that Tibetans have a rich and valuable culture, which is most accurately expressed through the Tibetan language, and which Tibetans are trying to keep alive. Unfortunately, hardliners among Chinese Communists persist in seeing such efforts as an expression of separatism and seek to eliminate them. On the other hand, he remarked, as hundreds of millions of ordinary Chinese people resume their interest in Buddhism they are coming to appreciate that Tibetan Buddhism is an authentic expression of the Nalanda tradition.

A group of students singing a spiritual invocation at the start of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s talk at Springdales School in New Delhi, India on April 9, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Invited to the Springdales School in Pusa Road, His Holiness was greeted at the door by Principal Ameeta Wattal. Springdales is an institution where education is looked upon as a holistic learning experience aimed at helping children develop qualities of head, hand and heart to make them self-reliant individuals and fine human beings. Founded in 1955, it is currently celebrating its diamond jubilee. In her welcome address Ms Wattal said of His Holiness, “When I see you here my eyes fill with tears of joy. I am so happy to be able to welcome our founder, Dr Rajni Kumar, who is also able to be with us today.”
A group of students sang a spiritual invocation calling on Buddhist, Christian and Hindu traditions and His Holiness participated in offering a floral tribute around the traditional lamp before beginning his talk.
“Respected elder sister, younger brothers and sisters, I’m always happy to meet other people, especially younger people. We can’t change the past, but we can reshape the future. Younger people have time and an opportunity that we older ones lack. If we compare the ancient civilizations of Egypt, China and India, I think what began with the Indus Valley civilization has given rise to an extraordinary number of teachers, thinkers and philosophers. Today, India is the world’s most populous democracy and is generally very stable. There is some corruption, which is surprising in such a religious minded country, but the ancient traditions of ahimsa, non-violence, and inter-religious harmony are exemplary.
“The Nalanda scholar Bhavaviveka wrote about the wide variety of philosophical schools and views that flourished in India, which remind me of a garden filled with flowers of different colours and fragrances, so much more beautiful than a garden in which only one flower blooms. This is something to be proud of. The way traditions from outside, such as Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam have flourished in harmony alongside indigenous traditions of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism is something important to learn from.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at Springdales School in New Delhi, India on April 9, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

As a result of discussions with many people over the 57 years I’ve lived in India, I’ve understood that our major religious traditions have three aspects: the spiritual aspect focussed on the practice of love and compassion, supported by tolerance, forgiveness, contentment and self-discipline. Then there is the philosophical aspect, some views asserting the existence of a creator and some stressing the working of causality and what we create ourselves.”
His Holiness explained that just as the Buddha taught different things on different occasions to different people, these various views appeal to people of different dispositions, but all support the common practice of love. Cultural issues are the third aspect of religious traditions he mentioned. He gave an example he’d been told about. At the time of Mahavira, founder of Jainism, animal sacrifice had become so widespread it was affecting the agricultural economy. Consequently we find he propounded the conduct of non-violence and strict vegetarianism.
Referring to the way religious institutions can reflect outdated social attitudes such as feudalism, His Holiness mentioned changes he has made to the role of the Dalai Lamas. He has put an end to their taking responsibility for both spiritual and political affairs, a custom that began with the 5th Dalai Lama, since it is no longer appropriate in the context of democracy. He also remarked that since the Indian constitution declares Indian citizens to be equal, discrimination on the basis of caste is also clearly out of date. He urged spiritual leaders to explain this to their followers.
In addition to his dedication to fostering inter-religious harmony, His Holiness said he is committed to promoting human happiness. He said that our well-being requires not only material support, but also peace of mind. That is found within the mind and depends on our coming to understand how our minds and emotions work. He noted that all the ancient Indian traditions that deal with concentration and insight possess a rich understanding of the mind. Many scientists today are taking interest in this with a view not to affecting the next life, but of improving this life here and now.

Members of the audience including students, staff, parents and alumni, listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at Springdales School in New Delhi, India on April 9, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Consequently His Holiness urged young people today to pay more attention to what the ancient Indian heritage has to teach and combine it with modern knowledge. He stressed the importance of awareness and knowledge, which he regards as more effective than prayer alone. He also remarked that part of meditation involved intense analysis not just closing your eyes and entering into thoughtlessness, which even pigeons and rabbits seem able to do. He concluded: “In order to create a happier future, we have to learn to deal with our destructive emotions and that requires discernment and understanding. Peace of mind comes through training. In reality we are all dependent on others. Because society is the basis of our own happiness, it makes sense for us to take care of others. Therefore, it’s possible that as a result of training the next generation could be more compassionate.”
Once the applause at the end of his talk had subsided His Holiness was presented with questions from the audience. To the question ‘What is truth?’ he said if you are honest, you tell the truth. He also remarked that the idea that there is only one truth and one religion is fine in terms of one individual’s personal practice, but in terms of the communities in which we live, we have to accept the existence of several religious traditions and several truths.
Asked who from history he would like to meet if he could he replied that as a student of Nagarjuna, he would welcome the chance to talk to him and discuss some of the points of Quantum Physics. Questioned what he would say to a member of ISIS, he reported that he has already suggested that Indian Muslims reach out their Muslim brothers and sisters. He said that as a Buddhist and an outsider he might not have much influence. However, he agreed that an attempt must be made.

Principal Ameeta Wattal looks on as Springdales’ 93 year old founder, Dr Rajni Kumar thanks His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the conclusion of his talk at Springdales School in New Delhi, India on April 9, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Regarding whether he will reincarnate he cited an episode from the end of the first Dalai Lama’s life when his disciples told him he would surely be born in a pure land. He told them he had no such desire, but wanted to be born where there was suffering in order to be able to serve others. His Holiness said that when read this he was moved to tears.
His Holiness’s final advice was: “We each need to take responsibility for changing the world. India especially has great potential, please put it to use.”
Following Ms Jyoti Bose’s words of thanks, Springdales’ 93 year old founder, Dr Rajni Kumar, with whom His Holiness clearly had a fond rapport, thanked him for coming and for being the embodiment of what she called the three ‘Hs’ – Humility, service to Humanity and Humour.
Following lunch at Springdales School, His Holiness drove to the green campus of the Indian Institute of Technology. In an auditorium before 1100 staff and students he was made welcome and presented with gifts including a traditional shawl and a practical hat. President of the Alumni Association Dr Deepak Dogra read a detailed introduction to His Holiness before IIT Director Prof K Tyagarajan expressed delight at his visit and invited him to address the audience, which he did.
“Respected elder and younger brothers and sisters, it is indeed a great honour for me to have this opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you. Many of the problems we face today we created ourselves. Although there were also great developments, during the 20th century some historians say more than 200 million people were killed in violence. Today, we should think ‘Enough’s enough’. If, as a result of such violence the world had become a better place some people might say it was somehow justified, but that is not the case.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking on “Ethics and Happiness” at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India on April 9, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

In fact, although many in Japan, Europe and North America say they are fed up with violence, what is taking place in North Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere is a symptom of the mistakes we made in the 20th century. Hundreds of people are dying every day of violence and starvation. To remain indifferent would be immoral. As human beings we are social animals. Our well-being is dependent on others. We function in a global economy, while climate change is affecting us all with no regard for national boundaries.
“In the context of our interdependence we have to find a way to create a happier world. We need a secular approach to moral principles that respects not only all our religious traditions, but also the views of those who have no such belief.”
He said that scientists are beginning to show that if we have a more compassionate outlook we find peace of mind, whereas a constantly agitated mind is bad for our health.

“I sometimes tease young women,” His Holiness said, “because they spend time and money on cosmetics and making their faces look good, while the more important factor is inner beauty. And by that I mean having a genuine concern for others’ well-being. That is a far sounder basis for building a good relationship.”
He observed that while our existing education system is oriented mostly towards material goals it would be more balanced if it also incorporated a sense of inner values from a secular point of view. To discover them he suggested we draw on our common experience, common sense and scientific findings. He noted, for example, that we all need friends and that friendship is based on trust, which arises when we show concern for others and conduct ourselves in an honest and truthful way. Ultimately this is related to cultivating warm-heartedness.
One of the ways of approaching that is to develop an understanding of how our minds and emotions work. His Holiness repeated that ancient Indian psychology as expressed in the Nalanda tradition continues to be relevant today. Scientists are finding it very helpful for learning about the mind. Once again His Holiness urged young Indians to pay attention to their own rich heritage. He reiterated that approached from an academic and secular viewpoint this valuable knowledge can be of interest and use to anyone. A science of mind can appeal to all 7 billion human beings and so contribute to human happiness.

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during his talk at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India on April 9, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

His Holiness concluded his talk on ‘Ethics and Happiness’ by proposing that since action that brings joy and happiness can be regarded as ethical and action that results in misery and unhappiness can be seen as unethical, human happiness is the criterion for ethics rather than religious belief.
In the subsequent question and answer session, His Holiness was asked the secret of his robust health and he replied, laughing, that it was a secret. He added that keeping the mind open and sharp is one factor and getting 8-9 hours sleep a night is another. Another question prompted him to say that there is no place for fear in religious teachings pointing out that the Buddha had been able to explain about suffering and its origins because he also explained its cessation and the way to achieve it.
Asked where his home is His Holiness replied that of course he’d been born in Tibet, but for 57 of his 81 years he has regarded India as his home. He recalled a Tibetan proverb that wherever you’re happy you think of as home and whoever is kind to you, you think of as parents. He added that when he was setting off for his first visit to Europe in 1973 the BBC’s Mark Tully had asked him why he was going and he’d told him that he considered himself a citizen of the world. In that context what concerns him now is the well-being of all 7 billion human beings alive today.
Finally, the only woman to put a question to him at IIT asked if compassion can be taught. His Holiness recommended she read Shantideva’s ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ (Bodhicharyavatara), which is available in Sanskrit and English. He said that hearing an explanation of it in 1967 from the Kinnauri Lama, Khunnu Lama Rinpoche, an Indian, had transformed his life. He said it contains ten chapters, the first in praise of the awakening mind. The 4th, 5th and 6th chapters explain the practices of tolerance and forgiveness, while the 7th and 8th explain the value of altruism, compassion and overcoming self-centredness. He said the 9th chapter dealing with philosophical views could only be clearly understood by reading other books too.
However, he added, having tried for 60 years, he felt that these ideas can be understood. What is involved is the gap between appearance and reality. Things appear to have an independent existence, but the reality is they are empty of such an existence. Realizing this takes effort and because knowledge is involved it requires study and thought.
The conclusion of His Holiness’s talk prompted warm and enthusiastic applause. Following the vote of thanks, he returned to his hotel.

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