Mundgod, Karnataka: - The week long teaching session conducted by the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama concludes at the Gaden Jangtse University in Mundgod, Karnataka State of South India, December 29, 2014.
Events include public talks, discussion, meetings, symposium, long life prayers, a special souvenir function, and inauguration of new hostel building for Mongolian students.
After inaugurating Conference on Ethics in the New Millennium at Tumkur University in Bangalore, South India, on 22 December 2014 His Holiness visited Gaden Jangtse Monastery where he was received by thousands of devotees, icnluding Gaden Tri Rinpoche, Rizong Rinpoche, along with the Sharpa and Jangtse Chöjey's, the Gelugpa hierarchs, and Ling Rinpoche, who requested this series of teachings.
"Tri Rinpoche, Abbots and former Abbots and everyone gathered here, my greetings to you all. Thank you for receiving me here today. Since I'll have a lot to talk about from tomorrow, I don't have much to say today.
His Holiness asked how many people are here in Mundgod for the teachings and was told 30,000 are expected. He inquired about facilities for translation into various languages and it was confirmed that these would be made available over FM radio. He ended with smile and a wave: "That's all for today; see you tomorrow."
More than 25,000 people, including more than 2000 foreigners from 43 countries, eagerly awaited His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Ganden Jangtse Monastery on 23 December 2014.
His Holiness remarked that many of the monks in the audience came from the Three Seats - as well as Tashi Lhunpo and Namdroling. He said that in their six hundred years the Three Seats' influence had extended right across Tibet and into Mongolia. By studying the classic texts, which deal with the awakening mind of bodhichitta and understanding emptiness, their monks serve the Dharma.
Nagarjuna and other masters followed this advice to distinguish which of the Buddha's teachings were definitive and could be accepted literally and which were provisional and subject to interpretation.
Second day of the Stages of the Path teachings at Gaden Jangtse Monastery, on 24 December 2014, His Holiness said that material development alone is not a path to happiness. "We need to know the source of suffering and the disturbances that afflict us and how to put a stop to it. His Holiness added that while it is good to recite the Heart Sutra, as had just been done, it is more important to know what it means."
"I make no claim to have realised emptiness," His Holiness declared, "but I think I can say I'm on the verge of doing so. Although things lack inherent existence, we can't deny that they exist at all."
With His Holiness's encouragement Tibetan Buddhist nuns have been studying hard. Consequently there are now nuns about to earn their Geshema degrees. People have asked if that is possible and His Holiness said he has replied that if there are Gelongs there can be Gelongmas and since there are Geshes, Geshemas are possible too.
"We have to ask why so few students from the Tibetan exile community are joining the monasteries these days. There are some from Tibet and many from the Trans-Himalayan region. Meanwhile I have been encouraging students in secular schools to study logic and debate, which I hope will encourage them and give them something to be proud of. Don't be like the Jokhang caretaker who sat back while someone ate the offerings and a fire broke out in one of the chapels."
During the third day of Lam Rim teachings at Gaden Jangtse Monastery, His Holiness has inaugurated the new hostel for Mongolian Students' studying at the Drepung Gomang Monastery, on 25 December 2014.
At the new hostel for Mongolian students His Holiness unveiled a commemorative plaque and took his seat on the veranda. There are currently nearly 400 students at Gomang from the various Mongolian regions, including Inner Mongolia, and the hostel is expected to accommodate nearly 200 of them.
Addressing the assembly of monks and lay-people, His Holiness said: "We Tibetans became refugees, while you Mongolians regained your independence. Since we had re-established learning institutions in our refugee settlements, once you were free to do so, you were able to come here to study. Like Tibet, yours is a traditionally Buddhist country and during the Communist era you maintained your faith, so you were able to revive it again after your independence was restored. In the presence of the Mongolian Ambassador, the sponsors and parents of the monks, I am happy to be able to inaugurate this new hostel. My greetings to you all."
"Among the world's religious traditions, Buddhism is distinct for its use of logical investigation," His Holiness said. "The Nalanda tradition seems to be the most comprehensive presentation of the Buddha's teachings available today. It incorporates knowledge of the mind and emotions that is not only of use to Mongolians and Tibetans, but is of potential benefit to all humanity, which is why many scientists are taking interest in it. However, the only way to preserve this tradition is through study and practice."
Addressing a gathering of thousands of devotees, the elected Tibetan leader, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay said that in the 55 years since, he has worked tirelessly, travelling all over the world spreading a message of peace and sharing the ideas of the Nalanda tradition.
Sikyong described "His Holiness as a beacon of hope, the heart and soul of the Tibetan people." He took the opportunity once again to thank the government and people of India and especially the government and people of Karnataka for the support they have shown Tibetans.
The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, quoted His Holiness's often saying that Indians were the gurus while Tibetans were the chelas or disciples. "But," he said, "His Holiness is the world's guru. We need his blessings."
Returning after lunch, looking in the direction of the Westerners, His Holiness beamed and wished them a 'Merry Christmas' teasing them that they must be missing their big dinner. He continued to read from 'Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand'. He said that to imagine that there is a magical instruction apart from what is contained in the classic texts is an error. Je Tsongkhapa says there is no other instruction. What we have to do is study what the classic texts say and implement that into the path. That is the real magic that moves the heart.
The Tendhon Culture Preservation Society of Tawang monastery on December 26 conducted a programme during the fourth day of Lam Rim teachings at Gaden Jangtse Monastery at Mundgod in Karnataka, to commemorate the 55th year of the arrival and first preaching of Tibetan spiritual His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Tawang Monastery in 1959.
The function was attended by a large number of dignitaries, monks and nun and devotees from across the world. The AP team was headed by UD and Tourism Minister Pema Khandu which included Chairman DoKA Jambey Wangdi, deputy speaker T N Thongdok, parliamentary secretaries Jambey Tashi, Phurpa Tsering, Kumsi Sidisow, MLAs Tsering Tashi and P D Sona, a press release informed.
The legislators of Tawang and West Kameng districts led by Abbot of Tawang monastery Guru Rinpoche presented a souvenir to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to mark the historic occasion. Guru Rinpoche read out in Tibetan language the citation presented while PS Tashi read out its English version to the gathering.
Guru Rinpoche said that after His Holiness left Tibet in 1959, His Holiness gave his first teaching in exile at Tawang 55 years ago. The people of Tawang had decided to present an award to him to mark the event. The trophy, made of silver, is formed of a lotus to represent His Holiness's compassion, a globe to represent his worldwide activities, and topped by a Dharma wheel.
Pema while addressing the gathering said that the people of Mon region of Arunachal Pradesh were fortunate to have been blessed by the Dalai Lama with his first ever preaching in exile at Tawang monastery 55 years ago in 1959.
He sincerely thanked the Tibetan spiritual leader for accepting the humble souvenir from the people in commemoration of the unique historic occasion and also for his forthcoming visit to the state in 2015.
Addressing the ceremony to mark 55th anniversary of His first teaching in exile, His Holiness said: "Today, we have Gaden Tri Rinpoche and Sharpa and Jangtse Chöjeys, two Ministers from Karnataka, and esteemed representatives from Arunachal Pradesh here among us. The Mön people have close spiritual links with Tibet. The Arunachal government wants to commemorate the 55th anniversary of my first teaching in Tawang. I'd like to thank them."
His Holiness remembered that he had been suffering from dysentery, but was beginning to recover when he reached Memang. He spoke of his relief at meeting PN Menon who he first met in Beijing and who had served at Dekyi Lingka, the British and subsequently Indian mission in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Menon told him he was welcoming him on behalf of the Indian Government.
Later, Nehru asked the States of the Indian Union if any of them could provide land on which to accommodate the tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees who had followed His Holiness into exile. The most positive response came from S. Nijalingappa, Chief Minister of what was then the Mysore Presidency and is now Karnataka.
His Holiness again expressed his thanks. He remarked that that initial support has now matured into cooperative ventures like the understanding between Tumkur University and Sera Jey Monastic University.
Returning to continue Lamrim teachings after a short break, His Holiness told the audience that Dagyab Rinpoche, who he had known since he was a small boy, had asked to be allowed to offer a Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness.
His Holiness said: "Like me, he used to propitiate Dolgyal, but he listened to what I had to say and understood it and gave the practice up. He trusted the investigations I had done. When someone shows trust in me, it's right that I should return that trust. So, when he asked to offer a Prayer for my Long Life, I consented."
The Chant-Master led the prayers up to the point where the Lama makes a citation and request. Dagyab Rinpoche, flanked by Dagyabpa and Member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Gang Lhamo, declared the following.
"His Holiness is impartial in his love and compassion for all, he is a champion of peace and honoured as such. We people of the Dagyab region of Tibet, with faith and devotion to you, and out of gratitude, offer this prayer for your long life. We are fortunate to have your consent to this.
"You took responsibility for Tibet as previous Dalai Lamas have done and became Tibet's sole hope and refuge. You have given teachings and empowerments and encouraged a strong sense of confidence and conviction in your disciples. You have made clear that Tibetan Buddhism belongs to the pure tradition of Nalanda. Not taking Je Tsongkhapa's teachings on faith, you analysed and investigated them as the Buddha recommended. You are an incomparable master for today's world.
"You have revealed the scientific character of much of Buddhist teaching and suggested that Buddhist science and philosophy should be accessible to all. This is a new approach to Buddhism. You travel around the world, participating in meetings and gatherings for peace and religious harmony.
Continuing the fifth day of the Stages of the Path teachings in south India, thousands of monks, nuns and lay-people were ready to listen to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In the context of enlightenment, His Holiness said that "If you don't know what enlightenment is," he asked, "how can you develop the awakening mind of bodhichitta. With wisdom Bodhisattvas focus on enlightenment, while they focus on sentient beings through bodhichitta.
"To train the mind we need to investigate subtle impermanence and suffering among the four characteristics of each of the Four Noble Truths. I analyse these 16 characteristics every day. I also think about bodhichitta and in my reflective meditation I pay attention to the 37 harmonies of enlightenment."
"Practising Dharma doesn't mean setting up a small room in your house and sitting up straight in it. It's about keeping a watch on your mind wherever you are. Having an awareness like this is important because then wherever you are you'll know what is to be done or not done. Dharma doesn't mean going anywhere else, it's about watching your mind right where you are."
For those whose minds are distracted, the power of analysis can induce the mind to remain on the object because it is interested in it. This helps focus the scattered mind. Some people find training in single-pointedness difficult, because the mind feels unnecessarily constricted. For them analysis can help.
"We need to be far-sighted from the outset. As I said before, compassion is directed at sentient beings, while wisdom is directed towards Buddhahood. If you feel constricted it can lead to stress and depression. It's better to rest and relax. Dharma practice is about tackling your disturbing emotions. Among the hardest things to abandon, among the eight worldly concerns, is a desire for a good reputation. You want to be known as a good meditator and adept. This is one of the drawbacks of not being mindful of death."
People of Tibetan settlement and Dzachukha have jointly offered a long life prayer to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the final day of Lam Rim teachings at Gaden Jangtse Monastery, on December 28, 2014.
"Today, the people of Mundgod settlement have gathered together to perform a long life prayer on my behalf," announced His Holiness the Dalai Lama this morning. "They are joined by people from Dzachukha, the native place of Dza Patrul Rinpoche. They represent the people in Tibet. I've read the mandala prayer and request, so you can abbreviate it if you like. I've read the letter from the Dzachukha people too.
"In the years since this settlement was set up, it has developed and improved. I can see this in the looks on people's faces and the fact that their complexions have improved."
The letter from the Dzachukha people mentioned His Holiness's previous lives, including the 36 manifestations of Avalokiteshvara in India. It said: 'you have shown kindness to the people of Tibet by leading us. We would like to repay a pinch of that kindness through this offering.
His Holiness responded: "It is the people back in Tibet who are the real owners of the land. I am only a spokesman for them. As I say, the land of Tibet belongs to the people who live there, and it's because of the persistent strength of spirit of the people of Tibet that we are able to work on their behalf in exile."
His Holiness addressed a group who had come from Tibet during the last day in Mundgod, south India, on December 29, 2014.
His Holiness told them: "We used to live in three provinces united as one, now there are different administrative divisions, but we all still speak Tibetan. What's more, Tibetans are the real owners of Tibet. And your patriotism and courage are excellent. I thank you.
"At this time we need to emphasise education. We need education in our own language about Buddhism and Buddhist psychology. This is something that even scientists in the West are becoming interested in. We need to learn how to transform the mind. The key thing is understanding. If you can say 21 Mani mantras with understanding, they will be far more powerful than saying 1000s without understanding.
"Since Deng Xiao Ping's economic reforms a lot more people became rich. We need wealthy people. However, what's important is not to waste your wealth on drinking and gambling, but to put it to good use. Set up schools and hospitals. Support the education of poorer children. If you can, use your resources for social benefit."