On 27 July, 2012, during a talk to students and staff of Lamdon Model School in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, His Holiness stressed the need to take a holistic approach to education. Modern education is very good at developing the brain but this should not be at the expense of traditional values that are important for developing a good heart.
He also commended the use of traditional dialectical debate and reasoning, not only in the study of religion, but also in the study of science and other modern topics. He explained the necessity of examining what you learn from teachers or read in books carefully and repeatedly in a logical way that really deepens and reinforces your understanding.
His Holiness went on to say, "Of course education is essential for Buddhists too. The proper way to practise the Buddha's teaching is to investigate reality. We must make fullest use of our human intelligence, and in that context, a scientific approach, which is primarily concerned with examining the external world, is helpful. However, the Buddhist approach does not rely on external instruments, but employs the human mind to investigate reality through concentration and analytical meditation."
His Holiness referred to the dialogues he has engaged in with contemporary western scientists for more than thirty years. As a consequence a number of scientists have begun to take an interest in the workings of the mind and emotions, which are explained in great detail in the works of the great India masters of the Nalanda tradition, such as Nagarjuna.
At the Lamdon school, he concluded by expressing the hope that in the remaining 80 years or so of the 21st century students from Lamdon Model School will make a significant contribution to the cause of peace and happiness in Ladakh, India and the world at large.
On 26 July, 2012, His Holiness gave a short talk to about 300, mostly people who are from Ladakh. He stressed the importance of relating to other people on a basic human level, considering other people to be human beings like ourselves, with the same kind of positive and negative emotions.
His Holiness said that placing too much emphasis on secondary attributes like race, faith, social status, nationality and so on is a cause of division amongst human beings. Both religion and contemporary science recognize that destructive emotions cause us suffering, while positive emotions bring us happiness. And as human beings we have a marvellous intelligence that enables us to differentiate between them so we can cultivate our positive emotions and reduce our negative emotions.
His Holiness praised over the traditional logic and debate at the Jamyang school in Leh from class five onwards. "Because it helps us sharpen our intelligence and develop a more penetrative understanding of whatever we are studying," he told students and staff.
"Wisdom and intelligence don't come about merely by reciting Manjushri's mantra and other prayers, although they may help. Real wisdom and understanding comes about through study and analysis of what you have learned from teachers or read in books. And you will deepen your understanding by thinking it over again and again, and examining it with reason."
His Holiness also pointed out that happiness does not come from money, power and social status alone. He said, "the ultimate source of happiness is here," as he touched his heart. Our sense of caring for the well-being and happiness of others hinges on our being able to cultivate peace of mind within ourselves.
His Holiness is going to Padum, Zanskar 29th - 31st July, where he will teach the Thirty-seven Practices of a Bodhisattva and the Eight Verses for Training the Mind.