Dharamshala: - After successfully concluding a 10-day trip to four European nations, on September 30, the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, commenced a four-day teaching on Nagarjuna's "Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning" and Tsongkhapa's "Concise Treatises on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment," at the main temple in Dharamshala, India.
Addressing over 5,000 devotees, including 900 Taiwanese, 50 devotees from mainland China and Hong Kong and international visitors from over 50 countries, His Holiness praised the devotees from Taiwan and China in their recitation of Heart Sutra in Chinese, urging them to study and further research Buddhist teachings.
The Tibetan spiritual leader said the "wisdom" taught by the Buddha thousands of years ago can be applied to solve "many problems we face in the world today."
The four-day teaching sessions were held at the request of followers and devotees from Taiwan. The teaching began with a recitation of the Chinese version of the Heart Sutra by the devotees from Taiwan.
"I had the opportunity to listen to Chinese monks reciting the Heart Sutra in Chinese during a visit to Singapore and Malaysia in 1960s and we recited it together," His Holiness told Taiwanese devotees, while sharing a short story of a Chinese monk.
"There were many Chinese who recited the Heart Sutra in the past. It has declined lately," he stressed, adding there are about 400 million Buddhists in China now. "As you just have recited the Sutra, His Holiness explained, its ultimate aim is to "remove the three poisons—ignorance, attachment, and aversion or hatred."
The "three poisons" are destructive emotions, His Holiness said; "It is not only a matter of religious teachings." "If we make careful and thorough investigation, these delusions are the cause of so many problems in the world today." He said these "are realistic problems" to solve. His Holiness said that the "ignorance or lack of understanding is the very root distortion from which hatred and attachment stem".
His Holiness asked the devotees from Taiwan, "How many of you do not receive my teaching before?" Most of the people in the group raised their hands. "Ultimate goal is happiness," His Holiness said. "Everyone wants to be happy and does not want suffering." Therefore, in order to remove the ignorance, it must be done through a long term "wisdom practice."
His Holiness, in going through the teaching text, shared that Buddha himself said that "Buddha neither washes away the sins of the sentient-beings, nor removes the beings' sufferings, nor transfers the realisations in his own continuum and gives them to others."
But the Tibetan Buddhist leader said "the Buddha has shown us how to overcome our suffering and how to achieve the happiness." Overcoming the ignorance and suffering, His Holiness said "we can not do so, merely by developing a sense of wishing to be out the sufferings and Samsara. One must practice the developing wisdom and realise the very nature of reality."
On the other hand, he said, we have "this intelligence and wonderful 'human brain', which other animals do not have. Because of the intelligence we have, we have developed language and scripts. Through this, it means, we have the ability to think long-term, then come out many different things, including all kinds of writing and so on."
'All these different things we do... of-course our ultimate goal in our life is "happiness", His Holiness said. "In order to have happiness, we develop faiths, then it also creates 'fears of darkness'; eventually people also put their hope in - in order to overcome fear of coldness, then start worshiping fire and so forth." "This is much philosophical idea and background to them such," he said, adding there are "two developments of love and compassion".
The Tibetan spiritual leader went further into the philosophical teachings, stating that "there is no external phenomena, everything is the nature of mind," which is the teachings of the Mind-only School.
In the Madhyamaka teachings, Buddha has said there is nothing which exist inherently. "In this way, the religion (which) is meant for peace of mind, but if it's used for some negative purpose," His Holiness said "it is very sad,- creating divisions and negative emotions among the religions." Therefore, he said "when it comes to faith, you have to keep faith in your own religion, but should respect all other religious traditions."
"In recent years, scientists have begun to show interest about consciousness or mind." His Holiness further said "scientists say that a healthy mind is a major factor for a healthy body".