In February, I had the great privilege to see the Dalai Lama give a lecture in New Delhi, India. His Holiness, who is the spiritual leader of the largest sect of Tibetan Buddhism, escaped Tiber in 1959 when it had been occupied by the Communist regime of China. He has lived in exile since with his home and the capitol of Tibetans in exile in Dharamsala, India. The Dalai Lama considers India his home now, and he is immensely respected there, calling himself “a son of India”, as he is loved and respected around the world, anywhere but in China where government propaganda and brutal repression have made even saying his name or having a photo of him a serious crime.
View more photos here: > http://vidyaloke.in/home/photo_gallery/public_talk/
In his talk, the Dalai Lama emphasized the need for people in India to study their Hindu heritage and wisdom tradition, reminding everyone that Buddhism originated out of Hindu spiritual belief. He also emphasized that, at 82 years old, his time on earth is nearing its end, and what he wants people to take from his decades of teaching. His Holiness shared that the most important legacy he can leave is not a deeper understanding of Buddhism, or any emphasis on religion or belief in God or Scripture, but a fundamental connection and commitment to ethics, justice, compassion and kindness. Better to be an atheist who rejects religion and is rooted in these fundamental human qualities, he says. The path to a society where everyone is treated equally with respect and access to health care, education, political participation, freedom of speech, etc. occurs when we actively strive for these qualities in our hearts and in our daily activities. He ended his talk on a bright ray of hope. When asked by an American in the audience how we can remain optimistic in the wake of President Trump, His Holiness calmly reassured us that the U.S. is a land of wonderful, fair people and that our institutions of democracy and protection of human rights are very strong. Be patient, he said, stay committed and true and we’ll work towards a healthy future together.
Post by Peter Kadar, L. Ac. DOM
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