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Tibet: News Exile "Buddhism is Followed Through Reason," His Holiness the Dalai Lama

"Buddhism is Followed Through Reason," His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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30august2011HHDLDharamshala: - The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama began his three days of teachings in the Himalayan mountain town of McLeod Ganj, India Tuesday morning, August 30. His Holiness will teach at the main temple in McLeod Ganj for three days.

His Holiness is speaking on Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (chodjug) at the request of a group of Southeast Asians.

The crowd consisted of 5,208 previously registered guests; the actual number was higher. In the crowd, 54 countries were represented; 350 people came from Singapore, 54 from Taiwan, 17 from mainland China and 130 from western countries.

Speaking on the importance of inner values, His Holiness spoke in English for the first hour of his talk. "A happy life does not come from material things, but from your mental state," His Holiness asserted.

His Holiness said that he strongly advocates modern education, but he said that one must guard against the anxiety and worry that can come along with higher intelligence and understanding.

Advising the audience to cultivate an attitude of mental courage and confidence, he said it was important not to get caught up in materialism and the desire for power and money. "Confidence [should be] based on compassion and warmheartedness," he said.

His Holiness spoke on the Buddhist teaching of having compassion for all beings. He told the crowd to treat animals truthfully and sincerely. Laughing, he told about his way of approaching mosquitoes. He looks at it as an opportunity to "give blood, provided no danger of malaria," he chuckled.

His Holiness made the distinction between self-centered and compassionate people, saying that self-centered people always feel suspicious of others, whereas those with a more compassionate attitude think of everyone as their friend.

"To have a successful life, happy life, more friends, less enemies, please pay more attention to inner values, not money and power. Look inward more," he said.

Speaking on Marxism, His Holiness expressed his egalitarian views, claiming that "I myself am a Marxist as far as social economy is concerned."  Marxist theory has a "more compassionate nature," His Holiness said. "There is equal distribution of money."

On capitalism, His Holiness spoke for a moment on the United States as an example of a capitalist country. "The United States is great country. Champion of democracy. I love America. However, in America, huge gap between rich and poor. We have to pay serious attention to this gap. When I saw the drawbacks of capitalism, I had more respect about Marxism."

Switching back to Tibetan, His Holiness delved deeper into Buddhist philosophy for the second hour of the talk.  He spoke about the importance of "giving, helping others, saving others' lives. The practice of morality is abstaining from selfish attitudes, selfish goals," he said.

His Holiness emphasized the importance of reasoning, logic, and epistemology in Tibetan Buddhism. The Buddha taught, His Holiness said, to examine teachings well but not to follow them out of devotion to him.

"Check your teachings with examinations," he said. "Don't accept a teaching that goes against reasoning. Know the ultimate goal and purpose of the teaching." "Buddhism has to be followed through reason and not taken for granted based on faith," His Holiness asserted.

His Holiness will continue teaching on the same subject this afternoon and for the next two days.

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