By Choekyi Lhamo
His Holiness arrives at the Kirti Jheypa Monastery, Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, DEC 7: His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke about the strength and courage of the Tibetan people and those who self-immolated in Tibet saying such actions harm none but oneself. “Self-immolations in Tibet are examples of courage and strength of our people in the face of adversity,” he added.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was speaking at the 25th anniversary of the exiled Kirti Jheypa Monastery located near the Tibetan leader’s temple. The Tibetan leader said that it is important to learn Tibetan Buddhism through reason and logic and not necessarily through faith. His pursuit of teaching Buddhism as an “academic subject” has opened doors for platforms other than the monastic curriculum. He stressed on the merging of science and Buddhism which he has spearheaded through discussions with scientists and neurologists over the years.
Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
Exile being a space for diverse experiences, His Holiness wants the Buddhist wisdom and knowledge to be taught and learnt here in India where the Nalanda tradition can thrive again through the Tibetan language. He further added that it is essential to study Buddhism through logic and reason in order to be a “21st-century monk”. He emphasised on the need to cut down on the superstitions that blind faith encourages.
His Holiness appreciated the works of Kirti monastery for conducting the three-day conference discussing important Buddhist themes and studies. He has also proposed to teach Tibetan dialectics in Tibetan schools for young students to explore which will further benefit the whole society.
His Holiness reiterated that sectarian harmony is very important even though there are different sects and schools of thought in Tibetan Buddhism. He also stressed the importance of Tibetan language which has the potential to explain very difficult Buddhist concepts and themes, unlike Sanskrit which is now a ‘dead language’ and English which has been unable to translate Buddhist texts. His Holiness concluded by talking about the recent self-immolation in Tibet and expressed his sadness over the political instability in Tibet.
It is also the 600th Death anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa who was a famous teacher of Tibetan Buddhism and is one of the founding fathers of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.
The ceremony saw Sikyong, Speaker and members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, representaie of various NGOs in attendance. Kirti Rinpoche, Samdong Rinpoche, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay and Speaker Pema Jungney also addressed the event.