New Delhi, January 25, 2015: —The spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama, speaking to about 300 Tibetan students and staff residing in New Delhi, urged young Tibetans to learn to their own culture, tradition, and language, so that they understand it better for posterity, no matter whether they want to practice religion or not.
In light of the hard-line policies of the Chinese government— attempting "the systematic destruction of Tibetan culture inside Tibet, His Holiness Sunday morning told the gathering of students and staff residing at the Rohini Tibetan Youth Hostel in Indian capital that Tibetan culture, tradition and language are being destroyed by the Chinese. "Today, our religion is being destroyed and teaching Chinese is given priority over teaching Tibetan inside Tibet."
Alluding to the richness of psychology in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and the accuracy of translations from Sanskrit, His Holiness called on the Tibetan students, "You are the new Tibetan generation who must pay attention to our cultural heritage. We must feel proud of our culture and tradition, and our language. We are a great people."
"Whether you practice religion or not is an individual's business. But you must learn your tradition and culture well. Be aware of your own heritage and be proud of your culture. It is important to learn Tibetan Buddhist science and philosophy, for which you do not have to become a monk or nun," on January 25,
His Holiness emphasised generating belief in the teachings of the Buddha through reasoned understanding rather than mere faith. For this it is important to maintain an initial curious scepticism of the teachings in order to analyse and investigate them, so that we may then gain true conviction and build deeper insight into the doctrine.
Speaking about the Buddhist tradition of Tibet, which is both profound and vast, covering the entire range of the Buddha Shakyamuni's teachings. Particularly thanks to master Shantarakshita, His Holiness said that Tibetan Buddhists have a rich tradition of differentiating the various philosophical systems of ancient India through rigorous logic.
Owing to the richness and profundity of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, even highly renowned scientists today take keen interest in gaining more knowledge about its understanding of emotions and system of mind, which are pertinent to scientific research into helping people overcome mental problems.
Like Buddha encouraged his followers to take the initiative not simply to take his teachings on faith, His Holiness urged them to not accept things without checking, adding: Just as the Buddha himself exhorted us in this popular quote— Just as a goldsmith would test his gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, so Likewise, must you examine words thoroughly and then accept them—But not just because you have devotion to me!
His Holiness also presented a sweeping account of Tibetan history, which, based on solid archaeological findings of human bodies and implements, identifies the origin of Tibetan race in the Stone Age—or at least 30 thousand years ago.
He expressed how he felt proud of the Tibetan writing system that enables Tibetans to preserve our religion and cultural traditions on a firm historical platform for posterity. This is unlike some cultures indigenous to Latin America which have no script of their own, and He has advised these peoples to devise some romanised writing system as many others have done.
His Holiness also reiterated that all 7 billion people are the same in not wanting suffering but instead wanting happiness, and that we have the same right to achieve this goal. "As Tibetans" he said, "if you regard me as Gyalwa Rinpoche, the Precious Triumphant One, someone special, then you cannot see me being the same as you. But as Tibetans we are the same."