Addressing more than 7,000 people in a public talk on "Finding Happiness in Troubled Times," on Sunday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama called on people to utilise their human intelligence in a more holistic way. "Through this, many of the problems we face today can be tackled, ensuring a more peaceful, equal and prosperous world," he said at the talk, which was organized by Choe Khor Sum Ling (CKSL), a Bangalore-based Buddhist meditation and study group.
India's "treasures" -- both ahimsa and religious harmony -- are much needed in today's world, and as such, religious leaders must actively preserve, promote and realise its relevance to the present time, His Holiness said, at the event organised by CKSL, which was founded in Bangalore in 2003 by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
In order to develop religious harmony, one must study and observe the values of other traditions and have mutual respect for their teachings and practices, His Holiness said.
"Different religions adopt various ways of approach but what is of utmost importance is the main purpose or goal that they seek to achieve. In the end, all religious traditions have the same potential for enhancing compassion," he said to the gathering, which included hundreds of dignitaries, including Former Indian Foreign Secretary AP Venkateswaran.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who warmly greeted His old friend in the former Indian Foreign Secretary, said India -- which has been home to him and to many of his people for over half a century -- was the "guru" and that Tibetans were the "chelas." "Over the course of years, we have proved that we are reliable chelas," His Holiness said, referring to the way Tibetans have preserved and promoted Buddhism that was brought to Tibet by scholars from India's Nalanda University.
He, however, hinted that India should do more to help the Tibetan cause, saying "Logically when chelas suffer, the guru should take a more active role."
This is the second time the Buddhist leader has addressed Bangaloreans in a public talk organised by CKSL. The first was in 2004.
Mr Abdul Aziz, the group co-ordinator for CKSL, said "We count ourselves fortunate to have been given this opportunity to create a platform where Indians and specifically Bangaloreans will get to interact with such a magnificent personality."
Finding Happiness From Inner Peace
His Holiness the Dalai Lama advised the crowd to not seek satisfaction from material values as these have limitations despite their necessity. "Due to science and technology, material development is taking place rapidly but in the more affluent societies you will find that inner peace is not necessarily high," the spiritual leader said. "Those people, who can think of inner values and not rely only on sensory pleasures, get the greatest satisfaction from analysing and thinking on reality more holistically," he added.
Speaking to the gathering, which was a mix of Tibetans, Indians and foreigners, the His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that "We all have the seed of Buddha." Explaining this further, His Holiness said that according to the Buddhist viewpoint, everyone has the same potential to become a Buddha, and consequently, the ability to overcome one's ignorance and have knowledge of different realms of reality and ultimately of reality."
Ignorance, which causes destructive emotions, can be eliminated, not through prayer, but by developing an awareness of reality, His Holiness said. "One must seek to become a more calm person as calmness is the basis of satisfaction and is also good for physical well-being. A calm state of mind can be achieved by training one's mind through awareness, not through prayer," His Holiness added.
He stressed on the importance of "desire" and "ego," saying these must be cultivated as one must have self-confidence and a strong sense of self to have a limitless will power. Negative desire should, however, be shunned, His Holiness added.
A Century of Dialogue
Calling the 20th century a period of bloodshed, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said the 21st century should be a century of dialogue, as dialogue must be employed as a means to resolve the differences in this world.
"Our ultimate aim should be to demilitarise the world and with such a vision, effort must be made on various levels starting from that of an individual level," His Holiness the Dalai Lama said.
In a separate event held earlier that day at the St. Joseph's College in Bangalore, His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed over 3,000 attendees at the Josephite Summit.
The spiritual leader told the 1500-odd students who were amongst the gathering that they were the people of the 21st century, and that they were responsible for whether this century became a more compassionate, constructive and peaceful one, instead of one that sees more poverty, killing and suffering. "The transformation of this century into a happier society is your responsibility," he said.
His Holiness sent the crowd into peals of laughter and resounding applause after he told them that he was a son of India as "...every particle of my brain is filled with Nalanda thought, and this mental thought is sustained by Indian dal and rice."
Praising His Holiness the Dalai Lama's non-violent struggle for the Tibetan cause, Dr (Fr) Ambrose Pinto, Principal of St. Joseph's College, said "Like the Mahatma Gandhi of India, you are also a Mahatma for what you stand for."