World peace does not come from treaties, but from inner peace: His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Ven Abbot Jungwook Kim at Tibetan Temple, in Dharamsala, H.P, India, on November 25, 2022. Photo: TPI/ Yangchen Dolma

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Dharamshala, India – His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a two-day teaching on Nagarjuna's "Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way" for Koreans and other Buddhists. On this occasion, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, "Everyone desires inner peace despite different religions, we all talk about world peace, true world peace comes through inner peace, world peace is difficult to achieve through treaties and grand speeches."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a two-day teaching on Nagarjuna's "Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way" to about 5,000 people from 65 countries, including 350 monks, nuns and lay people from Korea, gathered at the main Tibetan temple (Tsuglagkhang) in Dharamsala, H.P., India, on November 25 and 26, 2022.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said at the opening, “Today my Korean Dharma friends are here,” His Holiness began. “Korea is a traditionally Buddhist country and I have been impressed by the dedicated interest in Buddhism of many Koreans I have met. I am happy to see you all here."

“Of course, everyone should feel free to follow whatever religion they wish. Our different religious traditions have different philosophical points of view, but all convey a common message to do no harm and to help others as best we can. I am a monk and a religious person and I have many friends among our diverse religious traditions. Since all these traditions are worthy of respect, I take whatever opportunity I can to visit other people’s places of worship," His Holiness said.

“The Venerable Abbot Jungwook Kim has organised these teachings for which I thank him. We have been friends for many years in the course of which there have been several opportunities to give and receive Dharma discourses,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama explained.

“My practice is twofold—cultivating the awakening mind of bodhichitta and insight into emptiness. Emptiness reduces anger; bodhichitta reduces self-cherishing. If your sense of self-cherishing is less, you will have more space in your mind for others. You will be at ease and full of joy. Peace of mind brings inner strength. Therefore, bodhichitta is a source of happiness for self and others. When you help others, you fulfil your own goals too," His Holiness said.

“All eight billion people alive today are the same in wanting happiness and not seeking suffering. But although we are the same in this way, our unruly minds create friction between us. What disturbs our peace of mind is attachment and greed, anger and hatred. There is much talk about peace in the world, but it has to be rooted in peace within ourselves. From this point of view, we can see that relying on weapons and the use of force is useless. I pray every day for peace in the world and hope that in the future there will be greater peace on the Korean Peninsula," he said.

“As far as global heating is concerned, it’s very serious. As the world becomes hotter and hotter it seems it will eventually be consumed by fire. In the meantime, we must cooperate with and serve others," His Holiness the Dalai Lama said.

“My Dharma brothers and sisters, I would like to ask you to cultivate a good heart and remember that things lack any inherent existence and, in these ways, dedicate yourselves to the benefit of others," His Holiness added.

“With regard to understanding emptiness, we have the works of the Nalanda masters who followed Nagarjuna, who in his turn had written about both the profound and extensive paths. Many of the Nalanda masters followed his treatises, the ‘Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way’ and the ‘Precious Garland’, and they also employed reason and logic. Nagarjuna was like a second Buddha," he explained.

“I find it valuable to keep the classic texts by these masters, including Chandrakirti’s ‘Entering into the Middle Way’ and its auto-commentary, close to hand so they are easy to read. That’s far more useful than paying them respect from a distance," His Holiness said.

“These days many people are taking a new-found interest in the teaching of the Buddha. Scientists are intrigued both by the psychology he taught, as well as the philosophical idea of ‘dependent arising’. We too should pay attention to the teaching, and then reflect and meditate on it," the spiritual leader of Tibet said.