By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, May 29: His Holiness the Dalai Lama commenced the two-day online Avalokiteshvara empowerment from his residence here on Friday. His Holiness reiterated the need for religious harmony, saying that “All religions preach warm-heartedness, although they have different ideologies, happiness is the ultimate goal for all.” Hence, all the different religions have the basis and reason for harmony, citing India as an example. Anger, jealousy, and other negative emotions only help to worsen a situation. “Every creature needs compassion and kind-heartedness. It is not about religion. Anger makes any environment worse than necessary,” he further noted.
The Tibetan spiritual leader highlighted the importance of compassion throughout the teaching. During the live-cast, he also making reference to the recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis as an example of racism and hate. He further stated that religious discrimination and violence in the world can be salvaged by compassion alone.
Expounding on the relationship between India and Tibet, Dalai Lama tried to recall the perception of Tibetan Buddhism when he first came to exile, “Lamaism was the term used to refer to Tibetan Buddhism but now the perspective has changed drastically.” He emphasized on nature of ancient Indian knowledge which has taken a secondary position in the Indian modern scenario but he also evoked hope citing some scholars that are trying to preserve some of its rich culture.
The office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama meanwhile issued a statement on Friday in connection to a recent remark by a Tibetan Lama Tulku Orgyen Topgyal who said religious empowerments and blessings cannot be performed online. The office stated that the virtual teachings are necessitated by the ongoing pandemic and refuted the claim that online empowerments violated religious norms citing examples from ancient teachings including when Buddha himself was alive.
The online live-cast attracted more than 588K views with almost 15K active comments while the live webcast was underway. The teaching will continue on Saturday morning.