Dharamshala – The spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama has implored students at the Tibetan Children's Village (TCV), Upper Dharamshala to take responsibility to preserve Buddhism in the 21st century.
His Holiness – who addresses the students of TCV this morning before three days of teachings on Buddhist psychology – said: "Until my last day, it is my duty to preserve the deep and vast tradition of Buddhism. But I have reached a point, like a setting sun. It is now your responsibility, so when I die I can be confident that you will promote and preserve the religion."
The teaching took place in front of over 1500 students and members of staff. His Holiness took time to address why preserving Buddhism was so important: "We often make divisions between one another. We say: 'My religion. Their religion.'" This inevitably leads to violence. As Buddhists we wish for all sentient beings to be happy and to be free from suffering. But if you don't do anything about it, you might as well not wish for anything."
"You cannot make all human beings Buddhist, it's not practical. But if you can promote the idea of compassion to others – that we are all the same, that we are all human, all seven billion of us – then you'll be amazed at how we can transform things," he added.
He shared an anecdote about a bug to illustrate his point: "As part of a humanitarian project, a thousand Tibetan refugees were granted residency in the United States. One of them got a job washing vegetables in a university kitchen. Whenever he found a bug in the vegetables, he would place it in a container, and after his day's work, he would set them free outside. His American co-workers asked him why he did such a thing, and he explained that Buddhism prohibited harm to any sentient beings. Soon after, all of his co-workers followed his example."
The teachings on Buddhist psychology begin this afternoon. The students will discuss Akya Yongdzin Yangchen Gawai Lodro's A Compendium of Ways of Knowing: A Clear Mirror of What Should Be Accepted and Rejected. This will continue until Friday.