His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing delegates to the Utsang Annual General Body meeting at the Shewatsel Teaching Ground pavilion in Leh, Ladakh, India on July 31, 2023. Photo: OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Leh, Ladakh, UT, India – His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited the statue of the Great Buddha in Stok, leh, Ladakh, on Moday and addressed a group of visitors. His Holiness said, "These days lots of people talk about world peace, but it will only be found if more of us have love and compassion in our hearts. World peace is rooted in peace of mind."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove from his residence in Shewatsel Phodrang to the Kalachakra temple at the far end of the teaching grounds on July 31, 2023. Inside, a group of monks from several local monasteries, including Samten Ling, Spituk, Rizong, Likir and Zanskar, who have formed a Kalachakra practice group, were conducting a Kalachakra ritual. His Holiness the Dalai Lama then addressed the 70 delegates attending the U-tsang Annual General Body in Leh, Ladakh. 

His Holiness said while addressing people at the Kalachakra temple,"I also have a vivid memory of visiting Kumbum Monastery near my birthplace when I was very little. I watched young monks doing prostrations and reciting the mantra Om ara patsa nadhi and wanted to copy them."

"As a result of profound and extensive study of the classic treatises there were many great scholar-adepts in Amdo, Do-tö and Central Tibet," His Holiness added.

His Holiness continued by saying, "More recently we have been living through difficult times, but Tibetans in Tibet have a strong spirit of resilience. They have worked hard to keep our language and culture alive. What’s more, there are today increasing numbers of Chinese taking an interest in Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism in particular. Students from the University at Lanzhou told me that the Chinese may rule us now, but in the long term we’ll be teaching them. Chinese communists used to call me all sorts of names, but lately they seem to have stopped."

His Holiness explained,"Tibetan Buddhism derives from the Nalanda Tradition and the writings of Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Dharmakirti and Dignaga. We have evolved a culture that has a beneficial contribution to make to the world. For reasons like this we can be proud to be Tibetan."

"These days lots of people talk about world peace, but it will only be found if more of us have love and compassion in our hearts. World peace is rooted in peace of mind. With the name Dalai Lama I’ve been to many different places and come to the conclusion that we can be proud of our cultural traditions. The essence of them is that world peace depends on achieving peace within," the Nobel Peace Laureate said.

The spiritual leader of Tibet, "You should all feel at ease. I am nearly 90 years old, but I feel fit and my doctors confirm that. Indications in my dreams and other sources suggest that I will live to be beyond 110."

His Holiness then visited the statue of the Great Buddha in Stok, Leh, Ladakh, and addressed those gathered there. He said," “When I am at Shewatsel Phodrang and I look up and see this great statue in the distance, I feel like coming to see it. And today, here we are."

His Holiness added by saying,"Among the founder teachers of the world’s great religions, only the Buddha taught about dependent arising, profound teaching that it is. As far as I am concerned, I understand that because they are dependently arisen, things are empty of inherent existence."

"The purpose of meditation is to reduce our mental afflictions and attain enlightenment. I reflect on emptiness as much as I can every day. However, to think only of your own liberation is to be narrowly self-centred. ‘The Way of a Bodhisattva’ tells us: For those who fail to exchange their own happiness for the suffering of others, Buddhahood is certainly impossible—how could there even be happiness in cyclic existence?

His Holiness said, "We should all cultivate a kind heart and shun selfishness. We are all the same in wanting to be happy, so we should concern ourselves with the happiness of all."

"Here in the presence of this great statue of the Buddha that can be seen from far away we should remember to be grateful to the Buddha for his kindness to us—his teaching," His Holiness mentioned.

"The people of Ladakh and other parts of the Himalayan region are followers of the Buddha who depend especially on Avalokiteshvara, recite ‘manis’ and meditate on bodhichitta that brings peace of mind," His Holiness explained.

"When I wake every morning, I generate bodhichitta and recite Om mani padme hum. Everyone wants to be happy, but there is so much violence and suffering in the world. When each of us finds peace of mind, we will be able to bring about widespread peace," His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama mentioned.

"Buddhist scriptures teach about past and future lives, not only this life. If you have a good heart and rely on Avalokiteshvara, you’ll live a peaceful life and be of benefit to many beings," he continued.

"Buddhism is not only about having faith in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. It’s about transforming our minds. This is what the Buddha taught. I respect all religions because they all commend having a good heart. Buddhism teaches us how to cultivate and practise it," he added.

"Buddhism is not just a matter of faith; it involves detailed explanations of philosophical ideas. This is why we need to study, reflect on what we’ve learn and meditate on that until we gain experience. This is what I wanted to tell you," His Holiness concluded.