Dharamshala — As several thousands of locals and guests listened to him intently, His Holiness the Dalai Lama reiterated the need for reasoning and logic while embracing spirituality. "One of the main methods of examining the teachings is through monastic debate based on logical reasoning. Buddha himself asked his followers not to devoutly accept his teachings, but to examine, investigate, use reasoning and logic," said His Holiness, adding, "...the method of learning other academic subjects through the monastic style debate has impressed the scientists of today."
The Spiritual Tibetan Leader was addressing the people at the Tsuglakhang Temple as a part of the Long Life Offering ceremony organized on the occasion of his 80th birth anniversary celebrations on Monday, July 20.
While further explaining the nature of Buddhism, His Holiness mentioned the need to refrain from superstition. "The religion of Tibetans is Buddhism, which is the deepest of religions. But some people practice it by only reading text, chanting, and believe that the old texts have more power than the new texts," said His Holiness. He further added: "Some people count their religious prowess by the wear of their rosaries. This is all foolish and has perpetuated superstitions."
Before he walked to the main temple for the prayers, His Holiness watched monks and nuns from various monasteries in Nepal engage in debate at the temple courtyard, while the prayer recital for Dolkar Yeshi Khorlo Tsewang was being said in the main temple.
Referring to a report presented by a delegate during the debate session earlier, His Holiness pointed out that the mention of a dialogue between Buddhism and Science in the report was inappropriate. "A conversation between Buddhist Science and Modern Science is more appropriate than just saying Buddhism, which can imply merely to a belief or ideology," His Holiness said.
The Tibetan Leader also spoke about the correlation between development and religion. "After striving for many years, countries have reached today's standard of development. Religion is the same. Through many years of studying and hard work, we can come to truly understand meaning behind Buddhist practices," said His Holiness, adding, "Whether you practice Buddhism is your own wish. After you accept the religion, you need to research and check the practices, not just follow blindly."
For better understanding, His Holiness stated that the content of Kargyur and Tengyur or Buddhism could be divided into three sub-components: Buddhist Science, Buddhist Philosophy and Buddhist Religion. "Buddhist Religion is the practice which Buddhists follow that includes prayers and circumambulation. Buddhist Science deals particularly with the function of mind and Buddhist Philosophy deals with understanding reality," said His Holiness, adding, "One does not need to be a Buddhist to study Buddhist Science and philosophy."