Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama began three-day teaching on Nagarjuna’s The Precious Garland of the Middle Way (uma rinchen trengwa) at the Main Tibetan Temple this Thursday. The teaching was organized by The International Association of Tibetan Buddhist Dharma, Taiwan.
Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland of the Middle Way is a commentary written by Nagarjuna belonging to his Collection of Advice. Nagarjuna originally composed the text as a letter of advice to a king who was his friend. It consists of five chapters in which Nagarjuna offers advice on how to conduct our lives and how to construct social policies that reflect Buddhist ideals.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama received the initial teaching from Serkhong Tsenshab Rinpoche, who in turn had received it from a master in Kham.
Around 7500 followers and devotees from 61 different countries were gathered to hear the teaching from His Holiness the Dalai Lama with live translations available in Chinese, English, Hindi, German, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, French, Mongolian and Russian.
In his introduction to the text, His Holiness emphasised the system of instruction on the workings of mind and emotion in the Nalanda tradition and how the Tibetan Buddhist philosophy remains crucially relevant to modern humanity.
However, His Holiness also maintained that all religious traditions espouse the importance of love and compassion—concern for others.
“Despite philosophical differences between them, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings. It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognize the value of their respective traditions,” said His Holiness.
Furthermore, His Holiness pointed out that education is also a key factor in creating happiness and human welfare.
For the last several years, His Holiness said he has been recommending a reassessment of education from kindergarten to university level. “In the present circumstances, when people follow a multitude of religions and some don’t believe in faith, it’s better to take a secular approach.”
This was how, for the first time, secular ethics curriculum came to be adopted in schools and universities across India and worldwide. The Secular ethics curriculum is a landmark initiative driven by His Holiness’ vision for a compassionate and ethical world for all.
His Holiness explained that the curriculum fosters critical thinking and an inquiring mind, empowering the young generation to tackle the negative emotions while grasping the potential of human intelligence and compassion.