Dharamshala: - His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet commenced a two day teaching at the request of a group of Vietnamese disciples at the Main Tibetan Temple (Tibetan:Tsuglagkhang) in Mcleodganj, Dharamshala today (1 July, 2013).
The teaching began with a recitation of the Heartsutra where the audience joined His Holiness and the monks and the nuns in the prayers. Addressing the audience, His Holiness delivered a discourse on Tsongkhapa's 'The Three Principal Aspects of the Path'( lamtso namsum) and shared his views on Buddhism and the hegemony of religion in the world today.
His Holiness began by addressing the Vietnamese present in the teaching and spoke of how, they're not only Buddhists but practitioners of the wisdom of Buddha and shared the experience of his meeting with the Vietnamese Abbot. He also spoke of the spreading of the Buddhist tradition to other countries and the holy Buddhist texts.
His Holiness then initiated the audience into the three principles paths namely 'renunciation, Bodhicitta, and a correct view of emptiness' and began by elaborating on the concept of Emptiness. "Emptiness means that things do not have any independent identities, they're dependently designated and devoid of any independent existence. The Heartsutra says that the form is empty and emptiness is form so the form arises through conditions, therefore dependently arisen." He added.
His Holiness said that these three paths have the same foundation as that of the Tantras by the enunciation, an extremely strong Bodhicitta aim, and a full understanding of emptiness as taught by Nagarjuna and his two spiritual sons. We can achieve them through the practices of maintaining the dignity of these Buddha-bodies.
"The three principal aspects of the path are the basis of the entire sutra and tantra paths. We must always try to follow a combined practice of method and wisdom, trying to help others, building up positive force, and so forth." His Holiness said.
His Holiness also discussed the meaning of the Heartsutra and how one must get rid of the preoccupation with all attachments and pleasure of this life in order to progress on your path. One must get rid of the preoccupation with the pleasure of the next life and aspire for liberation. He said that by observing these principles, one can also achieve single-pointed concentration once the determination to be free from the samsara is attained. When you develop the wisdom through analytical meditation of realizing emptiness, once reaches the path of seeing.
"When you are able to develop a genuine Bodhicitta with yourself, the aspiration for the benefit of all other sentient beings, you have reached the Mahayana path of accumulation. In order to get rid of all the defilements that are in our mind, the main factor to counter these is the wheel of emptiness."
The purpose of the teaching of emptiness is to stop the misconception that causes suffering. One cannot overcome negative emotions unless one is able to cut the very grasping at their self-existence and therefore, by severing the root of all attachment and stop the ignorance from arising in yourself.
His Holiness concluded the day's session by sharing that within the definite goodness is the mere liberation from some sorrow and the through removal of the residual negativity is the goal that we must envision. Thus the ultimate goal of enlightenment is reached by reasoning and wisdom and the belief that it is possible to achieve these goals. In order for us to feel that Buddha is someone we can rely on, we need to understand the teaching of the Buddha.
The teaching, held in the Main Tibetan Temple in Mcleod Ganj town saw over 5000 people, including registration of 4268 people, about 700 of them being from 59 countries, a group of 300 Vietnamese, over 1500 monks and nuns and 1500 laypersons. With his calm and friendly demeanor, His Holiness charmed the audience as they listened devotedly to a man who is not only the Spiritual Leader of Tibet, but of the many other loyal disciples from across the world.