I woke up earlier than usual today to the commotion of cars honking and noisy excitement of people lining up for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching at the main temple. Even my granny seemed quite excited about it. Although the teaching is meant for Tibetan youth who don’t have much information about the deeper nuances of Tibetan Buddhism, my granny was nonetheless in a chirpy mood at the prospect of attending the teachings.
As I got up, I went out to the veranda and saw a group of Thai monks and nuns walking in line on the road towards the temple to attend the teaching. Suddenly, it struck me that I should write this week’s Lhakar series on the introductory teachings for Tibetan youth which His Holiness conducts every year in the summer. Coincidentally, today, the day on which the teaching began, is also Lhakar.
It is always a blessing to begin a day by attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching. This annual series of teachings for Tibetan youth was started in 2007. It was organised by Buddhism Introductory Committee of Dharamsala, a committee established by a group of social workers and volunteers. The teaching is aimed primarily at promoting awareness of and training in Tibetan Buddhism among the youth. However, over the years, the teaching has started to attract people from all age groups and nationalities who want to study Buddhism.
This year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is teaching Shantideva’s “A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life”. Before the teaching began, a group of students studying Tibetan Buddhism presented a dialectic debate on ‘Modern science and Buddhist science’ in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
During the teaching, His Holiness reminded Tibetan youths to study the Tibetan language thoroughly to learn as it is the only language that currently contains the purest form of the rich knowledge of Nalanda tradition.
Listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I felt a strange satisfaction and joyous emotion overwhelm me. It also took me back to my school days when I also got the opportunity to I attend these teachings as a student.
During that time, I had only a vague information on Buddhism and didn’t harbour any interest to learn about Buddhism too due to my stupid childhood ignorance.
However, I have been attending most of His Holiness teachings these days but today I have seen the largest number of attendees. At least 10,000 people attended the inaugural day of the teaching. It is difficult to find space even to walk around the premises.