Dharamshala: - His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet arrived in Sydney early on June 13, launching his 11-day visit to Australia. His first destination was the University of Sydney, where Professor John Keane introduced him to the 788-person audience as "a real leader, who stands for non-violence and compassion and shows a path for everyone."
His Holiness catered his speech to the students, who comprised the majority of the audience. He referred to the past century as an era of bloodshed that showed that violence is an unrealistic approach to fulfilling our goals.
"The future is open and you have an opportunity, a responsibility, to make this a better, more peaceful century than has gone before," His Holiness told the young crowd.
To emphasize the fact that genuine peace comes from within, His Holiness explained that others' interests are in our own interest, making the use of force "self-destructive."
His Holiness highlighted the importance of education, whose purpose he defined as the reduction of the gap between appearance and reality. His Holiness reminded the audience that most problems arise when our disillusioned minds fail to see reality clearly.
"In addition to basic education, we need to encourage warm-heartedness, concern for others and compassion," His Holiness declared, advising against intelligence led by powerful negative emotions. He acknowledged that understanding the mind and emotions is difficult, as it requires the use of the mind itself.
Contrary to those who believe ethics must be rooted in religion, His Holiness argued for the link between ethics and education.
Since there will never be a universal religion with a fully committed supporter base, His Holiness suggested the incorporation of training on the mind and emotions into the modern education system.
"Think about what has been said and if you find it interesting or useful explore it further, but if you don't, then just forget it," His Holiness concluded his advice to the students.
His Holiness proceeded to meet with the press and give two television interviews, touching on suffering and human happiness. His Holiness stressed the interdependence of mankind and his preference for extensive analytical meditation as opposed to popular entertainment at this point in his life.
In response to a question about the numerous, recent self-immolations in Tibet, His Holiness urged Chinese authorities to investigate and resolve the factors that fueled these extreme protests. His Holiness recognized that the incidents of Tibetans setting themselves on fire are doing little to change Beijing's policies.
His Holiness said it is unnecessary to fear death, as it is nothing but a mere body change if approached with realistic expectations and confidence. His Holiness also made comments about the potential for a female 15th Dalai Lama and the importance of social media.
His Holiness will continue his Australia tour with teachings and public talks in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Darwin, before returning back to Dharamshala for teachings at the month's end.