This is a transcription of the English translation of His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s birthday speech given at The 33rd Kalachakra Initiations in Leh, Ladakh.
My birthday has coincided with Kalachakra today. So today we have a gathering of both religious and official leaders. And, also the public of Ladakh and Western countries. For all of you who have come here to greet me, and offer prayers for my life, I thank you.
Today here in Leh, Ladakh the people who are making prayers for my welfare and also those who can not be here, but are here through the mind like in Tibet; those who are physically not aloud to celebrate my birthday, but in their minds are celebrating my birthday; I would like to thank them.
Also, the Mongolian people and people of Mongolian decent in Russia who have such a strong connection to Tibet; I have heard they have offered a special birthday celebration for me. Also, those in China who are not allowed to celebrate my birthday, but are doing so in their hearts, I would like to thank them all. Also, the people of the Himalayan region who have a connection with me, as a guru disciple relationship.
In our tradition we have the five traditional sciences of knowledge that all came from India. They are the contribution of great masters. A great Tibetan master had said that, Tibet is a country surrounded by mountains therefore it is called the strong land. The color of the sky is bright, but before the light of dharma came to Tibet it was a dark country. That is an extremely true statement. Therefore, I am sure there are many Indian brother and sisters all over India who are wishing me blessings on this day I would like to thank them.
Since we became refugees in India we have enjoyed full democratic rights and have been able to travel. When I meet people from other places, I just think I am a monk, I am a person, I am a human being. I have a human feeling. I have friends everywhere, in Islam, in Christianity. I have friends who are scientists and don’t have any religion, but we have a human warm feeling.
In many places around the world and the many people who are wishing me best wishes, and are celebrating my birthday, I thank them.
We don’t need to talk about religion. All have been born by a mother and been fed by mother’s milk. We have been fed by the mother’s love. Therefore, love and care is something natural to human beings.
We all want happiness and friends. Whenever I meet somebody, first of all, I see them as a fellow human being desiring happiness. We can not eliminate all the suffering in the world, but as long as we have internal peace and stability, no matter how big our adverse situation is we can still remain calm and internally peaceful.
In today’s world Poverty has increased. The global environment has declined so therefore now the environmental situation has reached a crisis stage. And, it is important to give proper care to environmental preservation including the ecosystem. Here people have programs to take care of the wildlife and that is very good.
My second objective.
I am a Buddhist monk and in this world all the major religions, all emphasize on basic human values. And, in that respect they are all the same.
It is not nonviolence out of fear. The real nonviolence is out of respect. If we don’t harm someone out of the feeling that it is an immoral act that is real nonviolence.
All different religious systems have different philosophical tenants, but that is not a problem. It is good that we have more than one philosophical (system). People have different ways of thinking and they suit or meet their psychological needs…
When we are hearing about religious intolerance, when some Muslim minorities are under attack, I tell them to imagine the Buddha’s face. The Buddha taught us nonviolence.
We claim to be followers of our teachers, but in fact we are the opposite. If we are true practitioners, and true followers of our religious teaching, we have to best implement the religious teachings. We have to have more interaction and discuss with each other our differences. We have to have basic respect and understanding.
Therefore, my second commitment is to promote religious harmony. And, brotherhood and respect and understanding between different religious communities.
My third commitment or objective.
My six million people (in Tibet) put their hope in me. I have a natural responsibility over them. This is a tradition in Tibet, which includes the entire Mahayana system based on logic and reasoning. So it is a unique and complete form of Buddhism on the face of this Earth. The tradition of academic study in Tibet and defining what is right view and what is wrong view in great detail.
Those who are non-believers, especially academics and scientists, are greatly impressed with this tradition …
Buddhism can make a large contribution on this earth. This culture, civilization and knowledge is a great contribution of Tibetans. Today many scholars are saying Tibetan language is the only language that can explain the Nyingma tradition in its profound depths.
So it is very important to preserve the Tibetan tradition. In Tibet we consider this tradition our heart and soul. This is the creme of Tibetan civilization. And, to further promote and propagate it in the world is the greatest (purpose) of Tibetans.
From the age of 16 to 79 I have taken the responsibility of Tibet and Tibetan culture. I am not calling for Tibet to split from China today. I am pursuing a policy that will benefit both China and Tibet. Many knowledgable Chinese are supporting this view and this group is increasing more and more.
So most important for us is to preserve our distinct politics and culture. We are pursuing a win-win solution that will benefit both Chinese and Tibetan people.
My message to all of you is these three commitments that I am promoting. I consider you all as my friends, we are all fellow human beings. It is our responsibility to make this world a more peaceful and harmonious place. Wherever you are staying engage in acts to promote religious harmony and understanding. And, please clarify to everyone one the cause of our political policy. Problems and crisis will be there all the time, they will never end, but when we try to overcome them we have to adopt a nonviolence approach. We have to use a human approach, which is the natural human reflex.
We should not resort to taking arms and violence. Look back to history… There will never be an end to the problem of violence. We have adopted a nonviolent approach, a compassionate approach and a middle way approach. And this should be an example to the world based on a win win solution.
So if one day let’s say we will not achieve any result through our nonviolent approach then people will say the nonviolent approach is useless, but so far we have gained enormous international support and good will for our freedom and the resolution of the Tibetan problem. So that is all I have today thank you very much.
I call to my esteemed Nagarjuna who was skilled in clarifying the meaning of the suchness. And so master Nagarjuna commented in the explicit content of the wisdom teachings, which is emptiness.
With regards to using the reasoning that all things lack inherent existence is the Nagarjuna teachings. If you recite and think upon these lines of emptiness the reasoning of dependent originization is the main reasoning to prove dependent arising. The fundamental treatise of the middle way.
Next is Buddha. Entering into the middle way.
There is a saying that there is a sun and moon in the sky shining brightly. There are two texts: the bright lamp and also the … Written by master Chandrakirti.
If you do not understand the meaning of emptiness you will not understand any of the teachings of tantra. You arise into the deity through emptiness.
May I, in life after life, obtain the good basis of life possession the three precepts…
Fulfilling the true purpose , may I work for the sentient beings as long as space remains. This message was transcribed and sent to us by our friends at Good Karma Media.
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