Later, led by the Chief abbot and the monks of the Todaiji Temple, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited the main Temple and offered prayers along with the monks before the great Daibutsu, 8th century bronze statue of Buddha. People lined up in a long line in great length throughout the passage to the main Temple to welcome His Holiness with greetings, scarves, flowers and hand-waving.
After the prayer at the main Temple, His Holiness gave a talk to a gathering of 350 Japanese monks, nuns and Buddhist scholar and Shinto priests on the topic of "What and how should practitioners be!". His Holiness first spoke on the practice that His Holiness has been observing in his daily life.
His Holiness said that the Buddhist teaching is based on the proper understanding of the Four Nobel Truth and the realization of conventional and ultimate truth. "All the action should be based on good motivation, as far as the practice and observing the Buddhist vows is concerned, it has different level. If you have taken monk's vow, than you must observe the vows and practice accordingly. There is no compulsion in Buddhist religion to become a monk, even a lay person can practice sincerely. But disregarding the monk's vows and practice under the excuse that "time has changed etc." is not going to help oneself nor the Buddhist religion." Said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In the afternoon, His Holiness gave talk to the gathering of monks, nuns, general public and students at Todaiji Temple's lawn. More than 2000 people gathered to listen to His Holiness speak on "How we can contribute for peace and environment". His Holiness thanked the Temple authorities and the organizers for making this gathering possible at one of the most venerated and historical Temples in Japan.
His Holiness said, "we all desire happiness and shun sufferings, in this we are all same. But human being is a social animal, we are all dependent on each other including the environment. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we respect other's existence and well-being. Using force and violence born our of mental afflictions to resolve difference has become the thing of past, true practitioners should put the teaching in use promote a culture of dialogue and understanding.
"Concept of "we and they" should be done away with. We all, especially the young people should work on a ways to include all the 7 billion world population into "we" definition. In religion also, we need many religion to satisfy the understanding of different and variety of people. Most of the world religion talks about peace, love and compassion, so there is no vast difference. At societal level, we need several religion with several truth, but at individual level, we can have one religion based on one truth. So there is basis of misunderstanding and conflict among the religions." His Holiness said.
Advising the young students, His Holiness advised them to be studious in their study and told them to practice "Thoe, Sam, Gom Sum" [hearing, thinking and meditation] concept of Buddhist learning. His Holiness also engaged in questions and answers time with the audience and the young students.
Abbot of Todaiji Temple in his thanks speech said that he was very happy to see so many people in the vicinity of the Temple, and he was impressed to see His Holiness being greeted by and shaking hands with Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Westerners. "This must have been the dream of Emperor Shommu [Japanese Emperor who built the great statue of the Buddha at Todaiji Temple] who had preached equality and oneness of all people and faith."
One of the Abbots of Japanese monasteries expressed his gratitude and thanked His Holiness for the frank and invaluable teaching given and said that many of the monks were greatly inspired to walk in the proper direction as provided originally by the Lord Buddha.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will leave for Niihama city of Shikoku island tomorrow where he will have a public discussion with one of Japanese brain scientists, Mogi Kenichiro. His Holiness will give teaching on Heart Sutra and Emptiness in the region.
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