Dharamshala – His Holiness the Dalai Lama met 120 recently graduated Indian students and members of the M3M Foundation in the courtyard of the Tsuglagkhang, the main Tibetan temple, in Dharamshala, and told them, "If we think in terms of the oneness of humanity, we can dispense with weapons and solve any differences between us through dialogue and discussion. I hope that in my lifetime we can create a genuinely peaceful world free of weapons and violent conflict."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama met and addressed the students and staff of the M3M Foundation in the courtyard of the Tsuglagkhang, the main Tibetan temple, in Dharamshala, India, on February 28, 2023. The M3M Foundation, founded by the M3M India Group, works for equitable development to create a brighter India. It aims to introduce sustainable development and empower marginalised communities by focusing on education, health, livelihoods and environmental conservation. The foundation fosters life skills in the students under its care, encouraging them to value equality, empathy, inclusion, collaboration and trust.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the audience saying,“As human beings we are all brothers and sisters. But in addition to that, we Tibetans have long-standing special relations with India.”
“In the seventh century, the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo married a Chinese princess and I’m sure enjoyed Chinese food. However, once he’d decided that Tibetans needed to learn to write, he chose to model the new Tibetan script on the Indian Devanagari alphabet rather than on Chinese characters,” His Holiness continues.
“A century later, another Tibetan king, Trisong Detsen invited one of the foremost scholars of Nalanda University to Tibet. Shantarakshita introduced the vast knowledge of the Buddha-dharma that encompassed an understanding of everything from the smallest particle, to space and the workings of the mind,” the Spiritual leader of Tibet said.
“Sometimes I jokingly say that in times past we Tibetans were the students and you Indians were the teachers, but now, when Indian has come so much under the influence of western thought, it is we Tibetans who have kept ancient Indian knowledge and values alive. Essentially this involves karuna and ahimsa, compassion and non-harming or non-violence. Mind you, although we value karuna and ahimsa, we Tibetans remain powerful and strong. Karuna brings inner strength leading to inner peace, greater self-confidence and the ability to smile. It’s because I practise karuna,” and he laughed, “that I always smile,” His Holiness said.
“Since I came to live in India, I have been able to meet all kinds of people, including scholars and scientists, who are interested in the methods for achieving peace of mind we have kept alive. I am convinced that if we are able to combine a command of technological development with a better understanding of the mind, we’ll be able to employ technology in a proper, healthy way. It’s a mistake, for example, to direct technological prowess primarily into the development of more sophisticated weapons. Science would be better used in pursuit of peace,” the Nobel Laureate explained.
“All eight billion human beings alive today want to live in peace. It’s human nature to be affectionate. When we are born, we survive and find peace in our mother’s care and attention. Then, as young children we accept others as they are. We don’t seek to identify differences between us. That’s something we learn to do later when we go to school, which can lead us to discriminate on the basis of ‘us’ and ‘them’,” His Holiness mentioned.
“Since we are all human beings, we need to view each other as brothers and sisters. Relying on weapons to fight and kill brings nothing but destruction. Particularly sad is fighting in the name of religion, because at their core all religions teach compassion and loving-kindness,” the Spiritual leader of Tibet said.
“If we think in terms of the oneness of humanity, we can dispense with weapons and solve any differences between us through dialogue and discussion. We have to remind ourselves of what we have in common. We’re all born the same way and we all die the same way. I hope that in my lifetime we can create a genuinely peaceful world free of weapons and violent conflict,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama told the Members of M3M Foundation.
“What’s more, since global warming is becoming so serious, we must learn to live happily together, helping one another, while we can,” His Holiness added.
Then the question and answer section began, and one asked how to achieve spiritual growth, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said,“Many different emotions affect our minds. Some, like anger and fear, are disturbing; others like empathy and compassion bring joy. Nurturing positive emotions naturally helps reduce those that are destructive. As I’ve already mentioned, it’s compassion that leads to inner strength and peace of mind. Therefore, we have to constantly remind ourselves that as members of the same human family we are brothers and sisters. And we must follow the example of those good people who work for peace and not those who fight and kill.”