Zanskar: His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Zanskar on Friday last week. In his address to the public His Holiness lamented the sordid state of affairs wherein ‘Lamas’ (high ranking buddhist monks) get embroiled in politics causing the erosion of the sanctity of Tibetan buddhism.
His Holiness expressed joy over meeting the local people in the remote region and said as members of the human family, we all seek happiness and avoid suffering. Speaking about how the practitioners of the Buddha dharma, particularly that of the Bodhisatva doctrine, are expected to assist and help all sentient beings through the generation of compassion, His Holiness compared such expectations to that of an immeasurable sand on the river banks and emphatically pointed to its impracticalities. But on the other hand, His Holiness said that since the seven billion people of the world have a shared vision for achieving lasting happiness, we must be mindful that happiness doesn’t equate the allures of sensual pleasure since the latter is both temporary and short lived. Instead, His Holiness advised that human beings must harness the potential of their intellectual prowess to avoid suffering and achieve real happiness devoid of sensory pleasures.
Lauding religious harmony in India His Holiness said all the religions, both native to India and other religious traditions that originated from other countries continue to co-exist in India. “All major religions of the world are practiced freely on the Indian soil,” His Holiness said beaming with pride.
His Holiness admonished violence and intolerance in the name of religion, and said this is unthinkable. “I know all religion teaches love, compassion, tolerance and peace. So, it is injudicious, stupid, illogical and short-sighted to fight against each other,” said His Holiness.
Explaining about his decision to relinquish political authority in 2011, His Holiness said that for the last 400 years, since the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, the successive Dalai Lamas have been both the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet. “ It is the 14th Dalai Lama who put an end to the 400 year long rule by the Dalai Lamas as the head of the State. This is done voluntarily with profound pride and joy,” said His Holiness.
Speaking about the rule by ‘Lamas’ (high ranking and revered Buddhist monks), His Holiness lamented that its disadvantages far outweigh its advantages, considering how such rule have contributed to the degeneration of Buddha Dharma in the Tibetan history. “A fear of ‘Lama’ politics which seems to be prominent in Ladakh too has been thwarting the essence of Buddhism. This is unnecessary. I am totally against ‘Lama’ politics,” affirmed His Holiness. His Holiness advised his devotees in Ladakh to be wary and vigilant.
Zanskar, an isolated mountainous region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir stands at an elevation of 17,900 feet above sea level and has a population of about 20,000 people. It is also home to half a dozen buddhist monasteries.
At Zanskar, His Holiness conferred teachings on Je Tsongkhapa’s Concise Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. His Holiness will bestow the Avalokiteshvara empowerment and offer a Longevity Prayer ceremony. His Holiness will leave for Leh, Ladakh on 27 July 2018.