By Choekyi Lhamo
His Holiness answering questions from the delegation of YPO/Photo OHHDL
DHARAMSHALA, NOV. 13: His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave an audience to 30 members of the Nepal chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO) this morning. His Holiness said that it was an honour meeting them today stressing on the long-standing historical connection between Nepal and Tibet, “The 7th century Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo, married a Nepalese princess as well as a Chinese princess.” He also said that when the king founded the famous Jokhang temple in Lhasa, there were many Nepalese craftsmen involved in its construction.
The Tibetan leader then talked about the ancient Nalanda tradition that was introduced to Tibet in the 8th century, and also about the Pali Tradition of Buddhism which includes the fundamental teachings such as the Four Noble Truths, their sixteen characteristics and thirty-seven factors of Enlightenment based on the authority of Buddha’s words.
While speaking about the use of Buddhist philosophy in the modern world and how it can be studied in a more objective, secular and academic way, he said, “These materials are included in the 300-volume collection of Kangyur and Tengyur, the source of which was mostly Indian texts. I wonder though if any research has been done to discover how many texts, if any, had Nepalese and Chinese sources. And I wonder too if there are any works extant in Nepalese that were not translated into Tibetan?”
There were Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus among the audience and the group were given a chance to ask queries. His Holiness talked about the concept of ahimsa and its prevalence in the modern world, pratityasamutpada or dependent arising, the fate of the future, his daily routine and about chanting mantras in general. He believes that the 20th century created havoc by violence but he sees maturity in pursuits of the organisations like the European Union and other efforts to reduce nuclear weapons which create an understanding that world peace can only be achieved through people finding inner peace.
While speaking about modern education, he said, “It includes such a little understanding of how to achieve peace of mind. Ancient Indian knowledge was rich in its insight into the workings of the mind and emotions. I believe this could be combined with modern education to widespread benefit.”