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HHDL-WB-3013Dharamshala: - The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama teaches at Salugara, West Bengal, on March 27.

After the rain during the night and early morning, His Holiness decided to travel to Salugara by road instead of taking a helicopter. Before he departed he spoke to the 65 members of the Gangotk Tibetan community of where he had been staying. The Chief Minister of Sikkm also came to wish His Holiness farewell.

As His Holiness travelled to the state boarder, the road was lined with people, all eager to see him as he passed.

When he arrived at the Sey Gyue Monastery in Salugara there were crowds of people there to meet him, he was also welcomed by new Abbot, Akya Yongzin Rinpoche, who is also a former abbot of Gyue-mey, the Lower Tantric College.

Upon entering the main temple, His Holiness paid his respects to the various representations of the body, speech and mind of the Buddhas before sitting down to address the senior monks.

His Holiness explained that he would be teaching Longchen Rabjam's 'Resting the Mind in its Natural State' and Je Tsongkhapa's 'Concise Stages of the Path to Enlightenment at the grounds of the Kalachakra Empowerment. He asked the crowd how many could understand his Central Tibetan dialect, how many understood Nepali and who wanted to listen in English, as well as enquiring where they came from.

"Once you've listened to the teaching, especially if you have a copy of the text, don't just count yourself fortunate, but review what you have heard, think about it again and try to incorporate it into your life. If you can, make notes or record the teaching and listen again."

The common message of love, compassion and tolerance are the reasons that His Holiness counsels people to keep their own faith, but also to cultivate respect for others. He remarked that in India, a country which has several home grown religions as well as providing a home for other major religions, this is nothing new.

He then talked about his own religion: "I am a Buddhist following the Nalanda tradition. I have studied many of the classic texts by the Nalanda masters who rigorously answered the challenge of other schools of thought. From a Buddhist point of view, the idea of atman or a soul, a being that goes on permanently from life to life is mistaken. But such views have been helpful to their followers and as such are worthy of respect"

He followed this by pointing out that for the 1 billion people in the world who describe themselves as non-believers can also find happiness, if that is what they wish. To do this they need a calm and subdued mind, not disturbed by anger, fear and suspicion.

Turning to differences within Buddhism, His Holiness said that nowadays it is clear that they all follow essentially the same Vinya or monastic discipline, and that Tibetan Buddhism as a whole belongs to the Nalanda tradition. He said that not only do all Tibet's Buddhist traditions study the works of Nagarjuna and other Nalanda masters, but one of the first teachers of the Nyingmas was Shantarakshita, who, in his day, was a reputed professor at Nalanda.

It is expected that His Holiness would further his teachings on 'Resting the Mind in its Natural State' and 'Concise Stages of the Path to Enlightenment,' on March 28.

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