Dharamshala — The third and final day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching for Tibetan youth commenced on June 7, 2017 at the Main Tibetan Temple, Dharamshala. Not only did students from schools and universities attend the ceremony, but the crowd consisted of disciples of all ages.
His Holiness' spoken verses and teachings taught attempted at inculcating a compassionate perception of the world and all the beings in it. He also laid crucial importance to introducing the tradition of Buddhism to various regions and cultures of the world and the prolongation and continuation of the tradition by the 21stcentury generation.
His Holiness began, "The Buddhist philosophy we have, which is explained through reason and logic must be kept by us Tibetans and continued to be kept by us Tibetans for generations on. So, for the Bodhicitta ceremony, imagine the Buddha Shakyamuni in person surrounded by eight close Bodhisattva disciples and then the great masters like Nagarjuna and then the great upholders of the tradition of Tibet."
"The Buddhist tradition, and then also great masters of China who brought Buddhism to China, and the Vietnamese and the Koreans, and the Japanese, and the bearers who have brought Buddhism to your country and also those who have kept up with this teaching and continue teaching, you could imagine the great masters of the past. Even Western nations like France, all the objects of refuge before whom you could accumulate merit and purify negativity, and a third practice which is to proliferate those two accumulations of merit and wisdom which is done through rejoicing in the merits."
The Tibetan spiritual leader ended this explanation with a prayer, which encourages one to rejoice in the merit and in the benefit of others.
His Holiness then claims, "These are not Bodhisattva vows. It is to create a mind of awakening, which is a factor which brings one's own welfare and others welfare." Another element of the Dalai Lama's teaching session was the constant emphasis on cherishing others and wishing for the benefit of others, rather then positing ourselves in a self centered context.
His Holiness adds, "And now due to the teachings of the Buddha and of the great masters, that cherishing others over oneself is of greater benefit to oneself and others than cherishing oneself and therefore, have this determination to reach Buddha hood for the benefit of all sentient beings, so you have these two aspirations, the aspiration to become a fully enlightened being, and the aspiration to help others. And before you take refuge in the three jewels, I seek refuge in the three jewels with that intention to become a Buddha, and I confess all misdeeds individually."
The purpose of carrying out the action of aspiring for the benefit of others does not only hold an aspiration for them, but according to His Holiness, it is the path towards the enlightenment of the self. He concluded this point by saying that one should strive towards the benefit of the other seven billion people, each of whom according to him occupy the same, indistinguishable place in the one world that we share and all other sentient beings and rejoice in the virtues of all beings.
Furthermore, His Holiness encouraged Tibetan students to use this very tradition of Buddhism to help other beings, and other friends, and not only the people of their own community but people from other nations like Vietnam, China etc., "And then the Westerners, who come from countries that were not traditionally Buddhist countries." He says that in the end of it all, each of us are the same, even though we might have different nationalities, we are all human beings.
Speaking from personal experience, His Holiness explained how such a view of the world has helped him make friends easily and how he believes nationality and ideology to be secondary. He questions, "If we emphasize on this secondary nature, what is the benefit to us? It leads to discrimination and division, and causes people to harm each other, deceive one another, and even going to the extent of killing one another," bringing in the wider context of the truly ruthless, barbaric, and inhumane world we currently live in.
The Nobel Peace Laureate explains that this sense of oneness is beneficial because it helps individuals to know, understand, and be friends with new people. By spreading this message of love, compassion, and humanity, one can help other individuals, which also includes helping one's self, leading people to be happier and content. As this message is passed around slowly, it helps more and more people, and extends over a larger group of people. His Holiness expresses his hope for the same, "At first, it may start with a hundred, but slowly, it leads to a thousand."
He explains why education is important and how it can be used as a tool in to develop the minds of the people and in the spreading of the tradition of Buddhism. "Through education, we can transform people's thinking and their behaviour, and therefore, you have the responsibility to endeavor to spread this message of love and compassion, and the thought of benefiting others."
In the latter part of his session, His Holiness mentions the fact that in twenty years, his generation will not be around anymore and expresses his desire and expectancy to come back in the next century, to see how the individuals of the 21st century generation are passing along the message of love and compassion among the other beings of the world.
"The people living inside Tibet are undergoing a very difficult time, and even under such a difficult situation, they have not lost their spirit of being Tibetans. Even though they are burning within, they are unable to let out the smoke, and we in exile in a free country should represent them. Therefore, we need to keep up our own tradition, religion, culture, language, which our brothers and sisters inside Tibet wish to do, but they do not have the freedom whereas we do and so having generated the mind for highest awakening, this altruistic nature is something we need to spread around the world."
The teaching was concluded by a prayer for the generation of Boddhicitta, similar to the great teachers and practitioners of Bodhisattva and Buddhism.