Warmly greeting a vast audience of visitors from around the world, as well as local residents, His Holiness led the first of three days of teachings in the Main Temple (Tsuklakang) in Dharamshala, North India.
Drawing upon a mixture of His own past experiences and wisdom, as well as Dharma teachings and the Shantideva’s guide itself, His Holiness enthralled a rapt audience with His vast knowledge, patience and humour to the gathering.
Continuing from previous teachings of the Buddhist script, His Holiness commenced from Chapter Five from Shantideva's ‘A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life’. However, for the new visitors, and those unfamiliar with Buddhism itself, the Dalai Lama gave a brief, engaging introduction into Buddhism and religion itself; a masterful stroke by one the most revered spiritual leaders on earth.
His Holiness reiterated to the audience His message that: “We are all the same human beings”, urging the audience to look past the boundaries of race, religion, gender and nationality. He also addressed the need to re-examine the system of education we learn by, highlighting the need to encourage a motivation of compassion rather than greed.
Drawing upon the Buddhist scriptures, His Holiness addressed the audience for both a morning and afternoon session, discussing the chapter thoroughly to verse 58.
During the teachings, His Holiness stated:
“Religion can become hypocrisy when religious people say something nice, but think something different. That is hypocrisy” Adding: “Religion should be sincere”.
His Holiness also drew upon the need to develop one’s concentration, drawing upon the physical, verbal and mental powers of the individual.
“As practitioners of religion, you have to show restraint, and refrain from selfish behaviour and from harming others. You have to show mindfulness and vigilance”.
In a quote directed particularly at students, His Holiness stated:
“You have to show mindfulness and vigilance”, due to the nature of the mind. He re-iterated that if you are not mindful, you will forget what you have studied. He added that even if you have kept what you have studied in your mind, such learning will become defaulted.
“We make a lot of mistakes because of not being alert and vigilant of what we are doing”.
Amid a climate of global financial troubles, His Holiness also gave comfort and wisdom regarding family, wealth and comradeship:
“I think [a] poor family maybe more trust each other, ready to share each other’s problems…With economic improvement often comes jealousy, suspicion, distrust, anger; these things are more easy to come…more education, better facilities, should help to increase these [family] values”.
The inspiring teachings drew to a close during an afternoon of rain and thunder in the exile community of Dharamshala. However little could dampen the spirits of the buoyant audience as His Holiness drew the speech to a close, and the ocean of umbrellas wound their way along the narrow streets of the Tibetan community in exile.
The Southeast Asian guests certainly seemed impressed, having been treated to a typical Tibetan breakfast, tea and monetary offerings to monks and nuns of the audience. The second in the series of three teachings continue on September 5th in the main temple, for which the visitors will certainly be eagerly anticipating.
A live webcast, in English, Chinese, Tibetan and Russian languages as well as a video link to the teachings, is available on: http://dalailama.com/liveweb