The second day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings on Shantideva's ‘A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life' were about to commence, and a hushed silence filled the sacred building before the arrival of the great spiritual leader for day two of the event.
Opening with prayers and recitations, His Holiness gave an introduction to the awestruck audience into the fundamental teachings of the Buddha and the ‘Four Noble Truths'.
"All our suffering, happiness, pain and pleasure come from these conditions" His Holiness stated. "You don't willingly and happily cause suffering yourself", He said, adding that you must develop a path to aspire to reach the path to enlightenment; that you need preparation to experience emptiness to reach the path of seeing itself.
"Buddhism is about making transformations in our mind...we have to use reasoning, not just because Buddha has said so".
He re-iterated the message that: "Anger harms our health. When you have love and compassion, it benefits us".
Continuing the teachings of Shantideva's ‘A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life' from the previous day, verse 59 of Chapter 5, His Holiness clearly and concisely examined and explained the text, adding His wealth of experience, wisdom and warm-hearted humour.
The Dalai Lama highlighted:
"Our bodies should be in the service of other sentient beings...If you are selfish, you will only have suffering in this life. If you can help those who are helpless, the suffering and the sick; this will give rise to great virtue".
"You should not leave these teachings in words, but put them into practice" He concluded, as chapter five drew to a close, and the audience were dismissed for a lunch break and a period to reflect.
For the afternoon teachings, His Holiness drew upon humour and past experiences, adding colour to the text regarding anger:
"The moment anger arises in us, you will lose peace of mind...if you are angry all the time, it eats into your immune system". He stated, drawing upon proven scientific research into the topic.
"If you have peace of mind, your immune system is strengthened. Anger has no benefit whatsoever. When you become angry, immediately, it may seem anger is helping you, giving you more courage...but it is a blind, foolish courage. If you develop courage through reasoning, this is ok. [But] if you develop resentment towards those who harm you, what benefit does it have?"
His Holiness then drew upon the memory of a mechanic from Norbulinka in Tibet, who became very angry while repairing a car. The mechanic became enraged, and: "he hit the car he was repairing, which made the situation worse" His Holiness chuckled, to the amusement of the audience.
Twice during the teachings, generous amounts of tea were offered to the vast crowd, who drank happily while they listened to the words of the great spiritual leader. As the afternoon continued, the clear morning skies turned to a blanket of cloud, which enveloped the temple in a thick mist. His Holiness drew the teachings to a close at the end of Chapter 6, and explained the following day's session would include a ceremony of the regeneration of Bodhisattva, and stressed the importance of the relationship between both Lama and disciple.
As His Holiness left the temple, with an audience of devoted followers and students bowed respectfully before Him, the threatening storm clouds finally let loose an outburst of monsoon rain, and a river of colourful umbrellas jostled their way skyward on the crowded streets below. Though the Southeast Asian guests were treated to a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and culture from the great Tibetan leader in exile, they were also treated to the mercy of the seasonal Indian climate too.
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