New Delhi — His Holiness concluded his three-day teaching for Russian Buddhists in Delhi on December 27th, having reached 1300 people gathered from Kalmykia, Buryatia, Tuva, Russia, Mongolia, Tibet, Estonia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Lithuania, Belarus and several other countries.
His Holiness, speaking in Tibetan that was simultaneously translated into Russian, Mongolian, Chinese, Hindi and English, began:
“When I give this kind of discourse,” he said, “I like to give an introduction to the Buddha’s teachings and how to go about practice. In Tibet in the past and maybe even in China now, there are people with faith in Buddhism, who don’t really know what it is about. All religions teach about love and compassion, tolerance and contentment and have long been of benefit. But among them, Buddhism is the only one to teach explicitly about selflessness.
“A German neuroscientist once showed me a picture of the brain and told me that if there were a controlling self or soul it should be there, but nothing indicates such a self. In fact, since neurons in the brain function in non-centralized networks, it seems science supports the Buddhist assertion.”
“There was an old Amdo Lama,” he recalled, “who was invited to teach somewhere. He told those extending the invitation that he was really too old to come. They replied that if he couldn’t come to teach, it would be all right if he just came to give blessings. Thus, they were surprised when he not only came, but he gave an extensive and profound teaching. At the end he remarked, I’m not the kind of Lama to place my contaminated hand on other people’s heads. I’m the kind who teaches what is to be adopted and what abandoned, which can at least be of some help.”
His Holiness mentioned the ‘Heart Sutra’ and that it is one of the shorter Perfection of Wisdom sutras. He explained how the dharani it contains can be taken to indicate the five paths. ‘Gate’ indicates the path of accumulation. The second ‘Gate’ represents the path of preparation, during which the practice of concentration and insight are combined. ‘Paragate’ indicates the path of seeing on which the practitioner achieves insight into emptiness and becomes an Arya. ‘Parasamgate’ signifies the path of meditation, ‘Bodhi’, enlightenment, while Svaha represents laying the foundation.
Completing his teaching of the ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life,’ His Holiness took questions from the audience. One audience member asked whether it could be appropriate to view Jesus Christ as a kind of bodhisattva, His Holiness replied that from a Buddhist point of view, considering how beneficial he has been to so many for so long, he could indeed be regarded as a bodhisattva.
Finishing the teaching, His Holiness left to travel to Bodhgaya, where he will grant the Kalachakra Empowerment for the 34th time.