Shewatsel, Leh, Ladakh, UT, India – His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a teaching on the "Thirty-seven practices of all the bodhisattvas" to over 45,000 Buddhists from Ladakh and people from all over the world on July 21, 2023. His Holiness said, "World peace cannot be achieved by mere talk, but it will be possible when we reduce arrogance and jealousy, anger and hatred, and strengthen our sense of love and compassion". His Holiness stressed that we are all suffering from the climate crisis and global warming, and that we must therefore help each other.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama began his three-day teaching from 21 to 23 July 2023, in Shewatsel, Leh, Ladakh, UT, India. There were over 45,000 Buddhists from Ladakh and India, as well as people from all over the world, who gathered here to listen to his teaching on the "Thirty-seven practices of all bodhisattvas".
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “Today, we will go through the ‘Thirty-seven Practices of All Bodhisattvas’ by Gyalsé Thogmé Sangpo. The author was a bodhisattva who meditated in the Ngulchu caves. Of the many aspects of Buddhist practice in which he engaged, he mostly focussed on bodhichitta, cultivating the altruistic awakening mind. Tomorrow, I’ll give the empowerment of Avalokiteshvara, the Great Compassionate One.”
“I received the explanation of this text from the Kinnauri Lama, Khunu Lama Rinpoché. It’s a very beneficial teaching that deals with bodhichitta and the Way of the Bodhisattva. I meditate on bodhichitta every morning as soon as I wake up. There is no better way to fulfil our own goals or those of others. It gives me the courage to work for all sentient beings until the end of space,” His Holiness added.
The Spiritual leader of Tibet said, “When I think of benefitting all sentient being and not doing anyone any harm, it gives rise to a joyful state of mind. It contributes to my being physically fit and ensures that I get sound sleep”.
His Holiness pointed out that people all over the world are talking about peace. The First and Second World Wars of the last century were a period of great violence. So many weapons were used to kill and destroy. But it is not enough to declare that war must stop, he said, as long as we aim for our own victory and the defeat of others. He stressed that we are all part of human society and that we all depend on others.
He noted that even if we have different ways of thinking, this is no excuse for fighting each other. He insisted that we must have a sense of the unity of humanity and a desire to establish peace. Today, because we are all so much more interdependent, we need a strong sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.
His Holiness emphasised that, from birth, we are all nurtured with love and affection. Children react openly to their peers, without discrimination. It is only as they grow up that they learn to distinguish between them.
“We may have different economic systems, but we still need to live in peace and cooperate with our fellow human beings. We need to think in terms of mutual benefits, not in terms of "us" and "them", His Holiness said.
He stressed that "World peace cannot be achieved by mere talk, but it will be possible when we reduce arrogance and jealousy, anger and hatred, and strengthen our sense of love and compassion".
"Affection is part of human nature. At the beginning of our lives, we have no desire to fight. But as we grow up, we learn to think in terms of 'us' and 'them'. Instead, we should see all human beings as part of 'us'. World peace will not fall from the sky and spring from the earth of its own accord," His Holiness said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama began to explain the meaning of the sentences by reading the text of the "Thirty-seven practices of all the bodhisattvas".
His Holiness explained, “The Buddhist tradition we have preserved in Tibet and the Himalayan Region is a complete presentation, all of which comes down to cultivating bodhichitta and the view of emptiness.”
“First we study and then reflect on what we have learned. That leads to an understanding based on reflection and by meditating on that we generate a genuine experience of the teaching. I am not just repeating empty words to you, this has been my own experience. You can develop bodhichitta and insight into emptiness in your own mind. As observed by a Bodhisattva on the path of accumulation looking towards the path of preparation, practice is about transforming your mind,” His Holiness continued.
“When we take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the main thing to understand is that we should become the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha ourselves. We should ultimately embody the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha ourselves,” His Holiness mentioned.