Dharamshala — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama at the request of Nalanda Shiksha commenced the three day teaching on Chapter 4 of Shantideva's Bodhicharyavatara (Tib: chodug), today, June 7 at Tsuglagkhang Temple, Dharamshala.
His Holiness bestowed his presence to a crowd of thousands comprising of Tibetan, Indian and foreigner devotees and admirers. As many as 6650 people from 78 countries, including 1200 Indians are attending the three-day teachings.
Speaking on Indian religious diversity, His Holiness said "India is the land of spirituality and philosophy. Many religions co-exist in harmony and peace. It is also the birthplace of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. India's religious harmony and secular values have been inspiring for the rest of the world".
He further expounded that love and compassion are inherently the core values of all the religions, therefore practicing them would inevitably propagate harmony among the mankind.
In accordance with the Sanskrit traditions he emphasized that Buddha, Dharma and Sangha the three jewels of Buddhism as called by His Holiness, can be understood by logic and reason. This could be delineated by the second turning of the Three Turnings of the Wheels of Dharma wherein a lot of emphasis was given on using reason as a method to realize the ultimate reality i.e emptiness and the subsequent compassion grounded in it.
Understanding diversity is important to understand reality. And the ultimate reality of all the diversity remains to be the emptiness.
Discussing Chapter 9 on Wisdom from Bodhicharyavatara, the text which according to His Holiness is the best text on the development of the Bodhichitta he highlighted that to combine Method and Wisdom we need to understand the appearance of things and then how they really are. What we consider good or bad has its own cause and conditions. Therefore, one should not be content with the appearance as things don't have absolute nature or existence, but should focus on the real picture.
Self-cherishing attitude and our dependency on the appearance work together to cause pain and harboring of the negative qualities, therefore cherishing others over oneself is a form of liberation.
His Holiness also compared the understanding of Buddhism among Indians now from his experiences in the past. Being appreciative, he said "I can see Indians today are taking interest in Buddha dharma. It is commendable of you to be interested in Buddhism with logic and reason and not out of blind faith".