His Holiness the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet, in Dharamshala, on June 2, 2022. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala — “Health and peace of mind are very closely related, peace of mind is the best health. Peace of mind comes from practising bodhichitta and altruism. Practice emptiness and bodhichitta, which will benefit the individual, the community, and the world,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on June 2, 2022.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives two-day teaching on Tsongkhapa's " In Praise of Dependent Origination" and confers the 1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara Empowerment to Tibetan youth and people from all over the world, at the main Tibetan temple in Dharamshala, HP, India, on 1 and 2 June 2022.

When His Holiness arrived at the main Tibetan Temple, some 9,500 people, young and old, filled the temple and the courtyard. They looked at him eagerly and were filled with joy. , When His Holiness looked into the faces of the crowd with a smile, they all smiled back.

“We have a tradition of teaching Tibetan students and school-children in June, and as part of that, I am going to give an Avalokiteshvara empowerment. We will do the preliminaries today and the actual empowerment tomorrow,” His Holiness said.

“Khyongla Ratö Rinpoché, a very good friend of mine recently passed away. Ratö Monastery offered a mandala to me and requested that I compose a prayer for Rinpoché’s swift return. Today, the Monastery have provided the tea and bread being distributed here, as well as pecuniary offerings to the Sangha,” he explained.

Indicating a statue behind him, His Holiness explained, “Here we have the statue known as Wati Sangpo or Kyirong Jowo. During the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama this statue and another one similar to it, the Avalokiteshvara brothers, were brought together in the Potala and my predecessor meditated in their presence.”

“Monks of Dzongkha Chödé Monastery and members of Chushi Gangdruk were involved in bringing this Kyirong Jowo out of Tibet to Nepal. Eventually, it was brought here to Dharamshala and placed in my safe-keeping. I remember that when first saw it, I was filled with happiness. When Dzongkha Chödé Monastery was re-established in South India a question arose about where the statue should stay. I performed a divination that indicated that it would be favourable if it stayed with me,” the spiritual leader of Tibet said.

“I feel that his expression changes and sometimes he seems to smile. Anyway, we have set him up here in this temple for the duration of our collection of 100 million mani mantras this month,” he explained.

“Seeing the Guru Rinpoché statue here reminds me that I also installed a statue of him in Lhasa to commemorate the special connection he has with us Tibetans and the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet,” His Holiness said.

“In the past in Tibet, we had great seats of learning where monks underwent rigorous study. Several of these educational institutions have been re-established in South India. Scholars from them have engaged in fruitful discussions with modern scientists, particularly about the workings of the mind and the nature of reality. Having studied, taken the exams and qualified as a Geshé, I believe it was the strict training I underwent in reason and logic that has equipped me to engage in discussions with scientists and question where I think there are contradictions in their position,” he explained.

“Every day as I wake up, I meditate on bodhichitta and emptiness, which sets my mind at ease. As soon as I get up I recite ‘In Praise to Dependent Arising’ and Mani mantras, while visualizing Avalokiteshvara on my right shoulder and Tara on my left,” His Holiness said.

“Look at my face, do I look like an 87-year-old man?" he joked, " I am in good health, I will live another 15 to 20 years, so do not worry, be happy. Health and peace of mind are very closely related, peace of mind is the best health. Peace of mind comes from practising bodhichitta and altruism. If you have love for me, practise emptiness and bodhichitta, it will benefit the individual, the community, and the world,” His Holiness said.

“As people with a special connection to Avalokiteshvara, we Tibetans recite the Six-syllable Mantra even when we are very young. I have imagined all sentient beings as having been benefited today, but especially the people of the Land of Snows, people inside Tibet, people who recite the single verse for my long life. I pray that they may receive Avalokiteshvara’s blessings," the spiritual leader of Tibet added.

“We have been in exile a long time, but we have been able to serve sentient beings much more than if we had stayed in Tibet. These days, most of us can easily communicate with each other all over the world, but Tibetans in Tibet are struggling under an authoritarian regime. They are constrained from serving others as much as they might otherwise have done. Meanwhile, those of us in exile have been able to benefit others extensively," he said.

“The Tibet issue will be resolved. Wherever you are, think about bodhichitta and emptiness. Doing that will increase your accumulation of merit and wisdom and the more you do that, the more it will help the Tibetan cause," His Holiness concluded.

Source: Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama