Dharamshala — The Spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama began his three day teaching on Domthonpa's Tree of Faith: a Self Exhortation at the Main Temple here in Dharamshala, India, for devotees and admirers predominantly for thousands of Tibetan Youth as well as for monks, nuns, foreign tourists, Indians and local Tibetans.
Speaking to a packed conference centre, he expounded on the need for more effort in realizing common objectives and not be divisively attached to "us and them" equations. "We could all do well to adopt such a mature approach and regard ourselves as global citizens. Instead we tend to think in terms of 'us' and 'them', despite, as I mentioned above, the fact that as human beings we are all the same; members of one family," the Tibetan leader said.
He added, "We are social animals. We need friends and friendship depends on trust. Showing concern and affection for others is how we establish trust. Because we are interdependent, love and compassion are important in our lives. Recently I was encouraged to hear on the BBC that increasing numbers of young people regard themselves as global citizens. Similarly, the creation of the European Union is an instance of nations that once fought each other putting the past behind them and giving priority to their common interests."
"First of all, I'm just one of 7 billion human beings alive today. As human beings we are all fundamentally the same. We share a common experience in that we are all born from a mother. We survive because of her care and affection. Scientists working with young infants are coming up with findings that suggest that basic human nature is compassionate," the Nobel laureate said on the oneness of the humanity.
Talking about people who have negative or pessimistic mindset he explained as mentioned in Domthonpa's Tree of Faith: a Self exhortation he said, "When taught Dharma they create negative karma in return. So many are there who return distortion for kindness. Even were I to shower them with profound Dharma instructions like rain, Those with wild negative minds, undisciplined and hardened since beginnings time,Would be difficult for me to tame, for they do not practice the truth."
While relating that study and not prayer and hope alone can do much good for the propagation of the Buddhist teachings, he expressed appreciation that monasteries that only performed rituals in the past have instituted programmes of study in Tibetan exile community. "Nuns too have studied and the first group had shortly graduated and will be awarded Geshe-ma degrees. We all need to be 21st century Buddhists, which means we at least understand the nature of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the teacher, his teaching, the path to cessation, and the community of those who put it into practice. Today, the crucial thing is to study."
With age becoming a factor for the soon to be 81 years old, the Dalai Lama told the devotees, "As you know I'm nearly 81 years old and I have some problems with my knees, so although a teacher ought to prostrate before the Buddha before teaching it is now quite difficult."