DHARAMSHALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama today began the first of the four-day teachings on Aryadeva’s Four Hundred Stanzas on the Middle Way at the main temple Tsuglagkhang, Dharamshala. The Four-Hundred Stanzas is one of the fundamental works of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, which explains how the practices of the stages of yogic deeds enable Mahayana practitioners to realise Buddhahood.
Over 5700 devotees attended the teaching, of which over 3000 were Tibetan devotees and over 2000 were devotees from 65 different countries across the world.
Before commencing the actual teaching, His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeted the audience, applauding their keen interest to learn Buddhist science.
Expressing admiration and support for the improved awareness among Indian populace, His Holiness said: “the study of Buddhist philosophy, particularly the Nalanda tradition are Indian ancestral tradition. Buddha himself was an Indian. The great Nalanda tradition was first spread in India. Therefore it is in the primary interest of Indians to preserve their heritage, religion and culture.”
His Holiness spoke about Indian origins of Tibetan Buddhism and its influence on the various aspects of Tibetan culture and knowledge. “Study of Buddhist philosophy through logic and reason was first brought to Tibet by the great Nalanda master Shantarakshita. It was then widely spread in Tibet after the ancient texts and epistemology were translated into Tibetan in the 7th century. As the epistemologies were being translated into Tibetan, subsequently the Tibetan language and vocabulary was enhanced.”
Speaking on rising human conflicts and degenerating health of the world, His Holiness stated, “If world situation continues to remain same, it is going to be unfortunate. Around 200 million people have been killed in all kinds of war and many are starving right this moment. These disturbances are caused by men and therefore mankind should find a solution to these problems. Prayers are not the antidote to the man-made problems.”
His Holiness asserted that one need not be a Buddhist or a believer to practice love and compassion. He urged all his dharma brothers and sisters to practice love and compassion for all seven billion people of the world. “Whether you are a believer or non-believer, follower of theistic religion or non-theistic, If we all think for the better of seven billion human being, we as individuals would automatically benefit,” His Holiness said, underlining his lifetime commitment to promote human values.
After a Q&A session, His Holiness briefly introduced Aryadeva’s Four Hundred Stanzas on the Middle Way. He will start the teaching on the Four Hundred Stanzas from tomorrow morning at Tsuglagkhang.