Warmly greeting a vast audience of visitors from around the world, as well as local residents, His Holiness led the first of four days of teachings on September 7, in the Main Temple (Tsuklakang) in Dharamshala, North India.
Over 5,000 people across 68 diverse countries including Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have gathered at the Tibetan temple.
His Holiness would be teaching on Shantideva's "A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life," Kamalashila's "The Middling States of Meditation (gomrim barpa)," Nagarjuna's "The Precious Garland of the Middle Way (uma rinchen trengwa)" and Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo's "The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas (laklen sodunma)"
His Holiness advised the followers of Tibetan Buddhism to conduct rigorous study of Buddhist texts rather than merely seeking blesses.
"I would like to urge all the people gathered here to consider this teaching as a classroom , where you gather to study and not just a place to get blessings," His Holiness said.
"Buddhism basically means a proper understanding of the teachings of Lord Buddha, but not merely receiving blessings. The bliss should come from inside, but not from outside," His Holiness added.
"'Study my teachings and try to understand the meanings, if you find it viable and justified, accept it, otherwise leave it," His Holiness added, while urging all his dharma friends to be a 21st century Buddhist.
His Holiness also added that the true meaning of religion is training your mind to help deal with happiness and sorrow in one's life.
His Holiness called for respect among different religious traditions underlining that all major religious traditions emphasize the practice of compassion despite differences in their philosophical points of view.
"The essence of every religion is 'Compassion," His Holiness added, saying "Different religions may have different sets of belief but ultimately speak of compassion."
"We all, on a human level, have seeds of compassion sown inside us from the love and nurture of our mother. Even animals respond fondly towards you if you treat them well," said the Tibetan leader.
His Holiness emphasized the importance of Secular Ethics and the practice of compassion and sense of oneness of humanity for the non-believers.
"It is our collective duty to promote Secular Ethics. I urge all the people gathered here to practice the same upon their return to their respective countries," the spiritual leader said.
There are seven billion people in the world, one billion are non-believers, there are also people who remain neutral and opposed to religion.
"The true nature of religion is kindness, over time this will save us from suffering and fear," the spiritual leader said.
Because from "Dharma" teachings, compassion and love can prevent and treat inner unhappiness. Nobody opposes compassion and love," His Holiness further added.
"Talking about the global financial situation," His Holiness said "the recent fall in Chinese stocks shook the world. It is reality that everything happening in this universe is intimately interdependent on each other."
"Under the circumstances, a sense of 'our welfare' and 'your welfare', never established without cause and effect. Therefore, secular ethics is very essential."
"Your ?fellow countrymen and women, whether believers or non-believers have a need for a sense of belonging to one humanity and a compassionate approach," His Holiness told the gathering, saying its "extremely important," as well as everyones "responsibility."
The Southeast Asian guests certainly seemed impressed, having been treated to a typical Tibetan breakfast with butter tea. The second in the series of three teachings continue for the next three days in the main temple, for which the visitors will certainly be eagerly anticipating.
A live webcast, in English, Chinese, Tibetan and Russian languages as well as a video link to the teachings, is available on: http://dalailama.com/liveweb