Dharamshala: - It was a warm day in McLeod Ganj on Wednesday 28 May 2014 when His Holiness the Dalai Lama the spiritual leader of Tibet gave the second public audience in recent weeks, attended by approximately 1500 people from 62 countries, including 300 Indians nationals.
His Holiness arrived at 10am and walked from his office down to the Tsuglagkhang courtyard where people had been organised in to national groups, he then posed for pictures, shook hands and exchanged greetings with well-wishers.
Once photographs had been taken His Holiness went into the Tsuglagkhang to pay his respects while the busy crowds settled and rearranged themselves in order to listen to him. Firstly, he began by expressing his decision to revive his custom of periodically meeting with the pubic and those foreigners who travel many miles to come and visit Dharamshala.
"We are all the same," he said, "physically, mentally and emotionally. We all want to lead a happy life and we have a right to do so."
He spoke about how people depend on sensory objects and experiences to be happy in a materialistic world, but these experiences are short lived. He said that by developing inner peace can be more effective in the search for happiness; he conceded that each of us are driven by self-interest he said:
"The key is to follow self-interest wisely by developing concern for others rather than foolishly being only concerned for ourselves."
In Tibetan Buddhist traditions the knowledge involved in mental training derives from the traditions that have flourished from the Nalanda University in India. His Holiness expressed gratitude to the ancient Indians who he regards as Tibet's gurus, while urging contemporary Indians to keep up their longstanding practice of ahimsa, a non-violent approach and the inter-religious harmony the exists throughout the country, that derives from a respectful secular approach to each other's spiritual traditions.
When answering several questions from the audience he affirmed that no matter how troublesome the world around us may be, it is always wiser to resolve conflict through non-violence and dialogue. When asked how friends can support Tibetans he said the Tibetan cause is a just cause, so to support it is to support justice.
He said he sometimes characterises the situation as a struggle between the power of the gun and the power of truth. In the short term, the gun seems stronger and more effective, but in the long term it is the power of truth that will prevail. He expressed optimism that the present younger generation, who belong to the 21st century, will be able to shape a happier, more peaceful world.
Rajdip Ray, from Pune attended the public talk with His Holiness, he said, "The speech from his Holiness was very enlightening and inspiring," he added, "I thought it was great that His Holiness reached out to the foreigners and Indians who come to Dharamshala and I feel very privileged to have seen him speak."