Dalai Lama stresses on Gandhian values

Express India, November 09 - “India and Tibet share a teacher-disciple relationship, and if a disciple suffers, the teacher is responsible for it,” observed Dalai Lama, Tibetan leader.

The Dalai Lama was in the city on Saturday to inaugurate the Gita Mandir at Sadhu Vaswani Mission. He also attended the concluding day of the 42nd Sarvodaya Samaj Sammelan.

Dalai Lama

Speaking at the Mission’s function, he spoke about human relations to politics. The spiritual leader said that Tibet changed into a civilised society only when India’s message of love reached there. “Teachings of Buddha gave direction to the life of Tibetans. So, even if China has substantial control over our land, the people there look up to India for support and love,” he said.

He urged that while supporting the cause of Tibet’s liberation, ecological, cultural and humanitarian grounds should be given more importance than politics. Stressing on a friendly India, China relationship, he said, “Genuine friendship between India and China will not only make the world a safer place but also help in Tibet liberation.”

“People have had a century of bloodshed and killing and now they have realised the importance of peace. World peace will be achieved only when one practices inner peace.”

The disarmament may also mean to practice forgiveness and spiritual reconciliation. “Dialogue can help us avoid many conflicts at home and also beyond borders,” he said.

While felicitating the Dalai Lama on the occasion, J P Vaswani said, “The Dalai Lama is humble yet strong enough to stand against a mighty nation like China.”

At the Sarvodaya Samaj Sammelan, the Dalai Lama highlighted India’s long history of non violence and tolerance. “India should strive to spread these values throughout the world,” he said.

The Dalai Lama spoke about his two-point programme that should be emphasised upon — the first one is Ahimsa and the second one is promotion of religious harmony. He said, “It is gladdening to see that even after so many years, Gandhiji’s values, ideology and principles are deep rooted in the Indian way of life. It is nice to see that in India people continue to practice non-violence despite many hardships and struggles.”

The three-day long Sammelan had several Gandhian followers from India and around the world as speakers.



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Bhutan Celebrates With Crowning of Young King

AFP - The isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan crowned a new king Thursday, placing a charismatic Oxford-educated bachelor as head of state of the world’s newest democracy. With the rest of the world gripped by the historic US election win for Barack Obama, all eyes in Bhutan were on 28-year-old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, now the world’s youngest reigning monarch.

Bhutan King

In an ancient Buddhist ritual in the white-walled palace overlooking the picturesque Thimphu valley, Wangchuck was handed Bhutan’s Raven Crown by his father. "It’s a wonderful day, there is no cloud in the sky. The gods are here. It will be remembered as an event which unifies the Bhutanese people," Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley told reporters. The country now goes into three days and nights of festivities, and has even shut down its mobile telephone network for the occasion. The deeply revered former king, who is 52, abdicated two years ago as part of his plan to reform and modernise the staunchly traditional and insular nation of just over 600,000 people by ending absolute royal rule. Bhutan, wedged between India and China and never colonised, has witnessed sweeping changes this year — having held its first democratic elections for a new parliament and prime minister in March. Since the former king’s abdication, the century-old Wangchuck dynasty has been waiting for astrologers to give the go-ahead for the coronation.

Bhutan King

The palace was packed with hundreds of foreign dignitaries, including Indian President Pratibha Patil, ruling party leader Sonia Gandhi and Bollywood stars. It was also surrounded by lines of jubilant locals dressed in their national costumes. The new king has pledged to maintain his father’s unique philosophy of improving "Gross National Happiness," and not common economic indicators, to ensure well-being in the "Land of the Thunder Dragon." "I am happy, my friends are happy and in general as a nation we are happy," enthused Sonam Phuntsho, a 27-year-old civil servant. "He is reaching out to the people. He is a very smart and decent man," he said of the new king. The royals in Bhutan are deeply revered, although the family clearly wanted to escape the fate of their counterparts in nearby Nepal — which saw the outbreak of a Maoist insurgency in 1996 that culminated in the abolition of the monarchy there this year. "The best time to change a political system is when the country enjoys stability and peace. Why wait for a revolution?" Bhutan’s former king said when he began the democratic reform process in 2005. Continuing to balance Bhutan’s exposure to the forces of globalisation will be the new king’s main challenge — especially as many in the younger generation now have access to satellite television and the Internet. Bhutan had no roads or currency until the 1960s and allowed television only in 1999. The extremely beautiful country also continues to resist the temptation of allowing mass tourism — preferring instead to allow access to only small organised groups of well-heeled visitors. "We are a small and traditionally oriented country. We have to preserve our traditions, and it’s important to control external influence," explained Heroka Zangpo, a 25-year-old public utility worker enjoying the festivities. Still, many people are also confused over why the hugely popular former king decided to step down, and view the transition to democracy with trepidation. There are also potential external threats. Bhutan forced out 100,000 ethnic Nepalese in the early 1990s during a campaign to impose compulsory national dress and ban the Nepalese language. The refugees went on to languish in camps in Nepal, which have seen the emergence of a communist rebel movement determined to wage war against the Wangchuck dynasty.

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Bhutan King

Bhutan King

Bhutan King

Bhutan King

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Tibet and Everest View From Space

Himalaya and Everest from Space, NASA picture

Click to enlarge!

Himalaya and Everest from Space

Himalaya and Everest from Space



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Buddha-Nature by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

BUDDHA-NATURE
by H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Is my meditation correct? When shall I ever make progress? Never shall I attain the level of my spiritual Master. Juggled between hope and doubt, our mind is never at peace.

According to our mood, one day we will practice intensely, and the next day, not at all. We are attached to the agreeable experiences which emerge from the state of mental calm, and we wish to abandon meditation when we fail to slow down the flow of thoughts. That is not the right way to practice.

Whatever the state of our thoughts may be, we must apply ourselves steadfastly to regular practice, day after day; observing the movement of our thoughts and tracing them back to their source. We should not count on being immediately capable of maintaining the flow of our concentration day and night.

When we begin to meditate on the nature of mind, it is preferable to make short sessions of meditation, several times per day. With perseverance, we will progressively realize the nature of our mind, and that realization will become more stable. At this stage, thoughts will have lost their power to disturb and subdue us.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Emptiness, the ultimate nature of Dharmakaya, the Absolute Body, is not a simple nothingness. It possesses intrinsically the faculty of knowing all phenomena. This faculty is the luminous or cognitive aspect of the Dharmakaya, whose expression is spontaneous. The Dharmakaya is not the product of causes and conditions; it is the original nature of mind.

Recognition of this primordial nature resembles the rising of the sun of wisdom in the night of ignorance: the darkness is instantly dispelled. The clarity of the Dharmakaya does not wax and wane like the moon; it is like the immutable light which shines at the centre of the sun.

Whenever clouds gather, the nature of the sky is not corrupted, and when they disperse, it is not ameliorated. The sky does not become less or more vast. It does not change. It is the same with the nature of mind: it is not spoiled by the arrival of thoughts; nor improved by their disappearance. The nature of the mind is emptiness; its expression is clarity. These two aspects are essentially one’s simple images designed to indicate the diverse modalities of the mind. It would be useless to attach oneself in turn to the notion of emptiness, and then to that of clarity, as if they were independent entities. The ultimate nature of mind is beyond all concepts, all definition and all fragmentation.

‘I could walk on the clouds!’ says a child. But if he reached the clouds, he would find nowhere to place his foot. Likewise, if one does not examine thoughts, they present a solid appearance; but if one examines them, there is nothing there. That is what is called being at the same time empty and apparent. Emptiness of mind is not a nothingness, nor a state of torpor, for it possesses by its very nature a luminous faculty of knowledge which is called Awareness. These two aspects, emptiness and Awareness, cannot be separated. They are essentially one, like the surface of the mirror and the image which is reflected in it.

Thoughts manifest themselves within emptiness and are reabsorbed into it like a face appears and disappears in a mirror; the face has never been in the mirror, and when it ceases to be reflected in it, it has not really ceased to exist. The mirror itself has never changed. So, before departing on the spiritual path, we remain in the so-called ‘impure’ state of samsara, which is, in appearance, governed by ignorance. When we commit ourselves to that path, we cross a state where ignorance and wisdom are mixed. At the end, at the moment of Enlightenment, only pure wisdom exists. But all the way along this spiritual journey, although there is an appearance of transformation, the nature of the mind has never changed: it was not corrupted on entry onto the path, and it was not improved at the time of realization.

The infinite and inexpressible qualities of primordial wisdom ‘the true nirvana’ are inherent in our mind. It is not necessary to create them, to fabricate something new. Spiritual realization only serves to reveal them through purification, which is the path. Finally, if one considers them from an ultimate point of view, these qualities are themselves only emptiness.

Thus samsara is emptiness, nirvana is emptiness - and so consequently, one is not ‘bad’ nor the other ‘good’. The person who has realized the nature of mind is freed from the impulsion to reject samsara and obtain nirvana. He is like a young child, who contemplates the world with an innocent simplicity, without concepts of beauty or ugliness, good or evil. He is no longer the prey of conflicting tendencies, the source of desires or aversions.

It serves no purpose to worry about the disruptions of daily life, like another child, who rejoices on building a sand castle, and cries when it collapses. See how puerile beings rush into difficulties, like a butterfly which plunges into the flame of a lamp, so as to appropriate what they covet, and get rid of what they hate. It is better to put down the burden which all these imaginary attachments bring to bear down upon one.

The state of Buddha contains in itself five ‘bodies’ or aspects of Buddhahood: the Manifested Body, the Body of Perfect Enjoyment, the Absolute Body, the Essential Body and the Immutable Diamond Body. These are not to be sought outside us: they are inseparable from our being, from our mind. As soon as we have recognized this presence, there is an end to confusion. We have no further need to seek Enlightenment outside. The navigator who lands on an island made entirely of fine gold, will not find a single nugget, no matter how hard he searches. We must understand that all the qualities of Buddha have always existed inherently in our being.

Source: http://www.keithdowman.net/dzogchen/khyentse_meditation.htm



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The Meaning Of OM MANI PADME HUM

H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

It is very good to recite the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast. The first, OM is composed of three letters, A, U, M. These symbolise the practitioner’s impure body, speech and mind; they also symbolise the pure exalted body, speech and mind of a Buddha.

Can impure body, speech and mind be transformed into pure body, speech and mind, or are they entirely separate? All Buddhas are cases of beings who were like ourselves and then in dependence on the path became enlightened; Buddhism does not assert that there is anyone who from the beginning is free from faults and possesses all good qualities. The development of pure body, speech and mind comes from gradually leaving the impure states and their being transformed into the pure.

How is this done? The path is indicated by the next four syllables. MANI, meaning jewel, symbolises the factors of method, the altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion and love. Just as a jewel is capable of removing poverty, so the altruistic mind of enlightenment is capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties, of cyclic existence and of solitary peace. Similarly, just as a jewel fulfils the wishes of sentient beings, so the altruistic intention to become enlightened fulfils the wishes of sentient beings.

The two syllables, PADME, meaning lotus, symbolise wisdom. Just as a lotus grows from mud but is not sullied by the faults of mud, so wisdom is capable of putting you in a situation of non-contradiction whereas there would be contradiction if you did not have wisdom. There is wisdom realising impermanence, wisdom realising that persons are empty of being self-sufficient or substantially existent, wisdom that realises the emptiness of duality - that is to say, of difference of entity between subject and object - and wisdom that realises the emptiness of inherent existence. Though there are many different types of wisdom, the main of all these is the wisdom realising emptiness.

Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolised by the final syllable HUM, which indicates indivisibility. According to the sutra system, this indivisibility of method and wisdom refers to wisdom affected by method and method affected by wisdom. In the mantra, or vajrayana vehicle, it refers to one consciousness in which there is the full form of both wisdom and method as one undifferentiable entity. In terms of the seed syllable of Akshobhya - the immovable, the unfluctuating, that which cannot be disturbed by anything.

Thus the six syllables, OM MANI PADME HUM, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path that is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure exalted body, speech and mind of a Buddha. It is said that you should not seek for Buddhahood outside of yourself; the substances for the achievement of Buddhahood are within. As Maitreya says in his Sublime Continuum of the Great Vehicle (Uttaratantra), all beings naturally have the Buddha nature in their own continuum. We have within us the seed of purity, the essence of a One Gone thus (Tathagatabarbha) that is to be transformed and fully developed into Buddhahood.



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