A session with His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Got a wonderful opportunity to hear to his holiness The Dalai Lama. So I thought I should share with all my friends what he said as it was only for Somaiya students. I have tried writing what he said but obviously not his words. I may not have been able to cover everything but have tried to convey what he said.
He spoke for some time on beyond religion. He started his talk with generation difference. He says that we are of 20th century and now it’s time for most of us to leave this body. But you all are of the 21st century. You are the once who can really change your century for upcoming 80 years. He says that there are three stages of living. 2nd stage is the religion. 3rd stage is nationality. We all get divided on basis of different religion and nationality. And thus directly go to the 2nd and 3rd stage . But we forget that the basic stage of life is humanity. We all are human by birth. When we come to this world we are all surrounded by human affection. And that is the most essential part of human life. Human affection is in blood and if a child is born he will die soon if no human affection is given to him. So human affection, love, compassion and forgiveness are the most essential today. And he says this is what I call beyond religion. If some person is holding some thoughts in wrong direction then it is our responsibility to tell them that what you did was wrong and not let that person go further in the wrong direction. If you say that I will forgive this person, I won’t say anything to him and I will forgive him. That is not forgiveness. Forgiveness means that no matter what the other person does, I will just keep feelings of love and compassion for the person and not of anger. He says according to me this is real forgiveness. We had a Q and A round with him. So here are some questions and answers that I remember.
Q. What would you chose to be if you were not Dalai Lama ?
A. He says this is a silly question. I know since the age of 3 that I am the next Dalai Lama then why will I ever think of being someone else.
Q. I, at this age of 20, know that my ultimate aim is moksha and nirvana then why should I wait till the age of 60 and waste these years studying, earning and seeking worldly knowledge?
A. He asks that boy that did you have breakfast today? The boy said yes. So he then tells him like food, clothing and shelter are our basic needs to stay healthy so is the need to sustain. So for that you need to get education and spend time in world. He says start meditation for 30 mins from today. Once you become 60 you will find it more easy way to attain moksha. And he says in my view how can I go for seeking moksha when my human friends are suffering. Should I not do something for them?
Q. Now a days Indian youths are more inclined to modernisation and more and more westernisation. So is it correct to go for it? What will you say about it?
A. He say modernisation is essential. I met one person in Bangalore. He doesn’t travel in car. He uses bullock cart. He feels using car and modern luxuries is not good. So I think this is foolish. If I want to go to USA, I use my charter plane and reach. If I use a bullock cart I won’t reach till I become old. New buildings with new facilities are very useful and I always choose modern life. I once went to Delhi and I saw big elegant structures there. I asked my driver what is this for? He said wedding and I was shocked. How can someone spend lakhs on wedding? How can this be a fruitful marriage when my human friends are suffering and I just show off my money? Rather take tons of fruits and send it to needy people to make a marriage fruitful.
Q. Many innocent people die when there’s no fault of theirs. Then where does their good karma come into picture?
A. He says good karma should not be done with intention to seek something. It should always be done for the soul. He shared one story. During a war between two countries there was firing going on between two nations. So one person got hurt and was falling on the ground. But the other person of the enemy side holds that falling person and helps him. So he concludes that every person has that human side in him/her but it’s just the situation that makes that person do such things. He said that why don't we humans think that when we don't want to face any difficulty or any sort or crisis in our life then , the person whom we hurt or show our violence isn't he /she a human too?
Q. If you are to be chosen again as Dalai Lama what changes would you bring in?
A. He says there's whole Buddhist procedure of selecting a Dalai Lama and the next Dalai Lama would be chosen according to that. So such a thought never arised. Then he shares one incidence. He said one lady once in such a QnA session asked me weather a lady can become Dalai Lama? I said why not the only thing is she should be attractive because then only people will listen to her. The he makes funny faces and says if my face was like this would you ever try to listen me? No. So the last Dalai Lama should be attractive.
Q. Why females do not have freedom in this male dominant society
A. He says 30 years ago the world’s population was about 6 billion. Now it is 7 billion and in future by the end of this century it will be around 10 billion. So when the world was small everyone was equal and there was feeling of oneness among all beings. But as the population began to grow gradually superiority and inferiority developed. So gradually men being powerful started dominating women and the whole freedom that a woman should hold went away. We hear so much about rape cases and eve-teasing every day . This thing is not right. Today's girls must raise voice and recognise their power. Actually mentally and emotionally girls are stronger than men. So I suggest girls now should take some seminars for self-defence and make each other strong. Don't use means of violence. Because men's are stronger.
Q. We have all believed god is one, then why is the world still divided on the basis of religion worship caste?
A. As I said earlier the world evolved much earlier and since then while the population was less, these things like religion, caste, and nation came up. Now as population is increasing these things are increasing more and more. So it is now difficult to say someone that you don't follow this religion and you follow this religion. When we were not exposed to the other religions we believed our religion that is Buddhism is the proper and other religion are ok ok. But when we moved out and saw other religions they were beautiful and sacred. I never say that Buddhism is best. Just follow your religion and be spiritually aware.
Q. How do I blend in studies, fun and spirituality and is humanity not the only enough religion ?
A. While studying always be relaxed and no take no tension at all. And also most important be self-confident. All the religions are ultimately humanity and the most basic stage of all religions is humanity. But nowadays everyone forgets that. Most of the people of your age confuse religion and spirituality to be two different things. And so they are not interested in spirituality because they are not interested in religion.
Q. Buddha was a Hindu before he attained nirvana then why did he start Buddhism after that ?
A. He says Lord Shiva is Indian god and Lord Buddha in Tibetan god. Lord Shiva stays at Kailash which is in Tibet . So the Tibetian god is Indian and the Indian god is Tibetan. He said there was no such aim to create a new religion. Buddha after nirvana practiced analytic meditation. And while meditating he realised all these principles. This is how Buddhism evolved.
Q. Love is a beautiful thing but difficult to attain then how do we obtain the ones love?
A. He asks the boy do you mean love affair and then laughs. He says do one thing make many friends who are girls and then choose one out of them. He says once I was sitting with my dear friend and I was pulling his leg. I told him your wife is not so attractive. Then he says she might not be attractive from outside but very beautiful from inside. So then I realise now there's no point in pulling his leg any more.
Q. Why did Gautam Buddha remain silent when he was asked about god and soul? It’s always misinterpreted as atheism
A. He said Gautam Buddha always remained silent that doesn’t mean that he was atheist. If Gautam Buddha would have answered in yes or no then people would have again misinterpreted and would have created groups. Also he didn’t had so much time to explain about it. That is what I (The Dalai Lama) think . Gautam Buddha always said that choose your teacher after seeing that all the 10 qualities are present in that teacher and don't just follow anyone blindly. Gautam Buddha used to say that don’t follow me or my teachings blindly, but experience what I say and then follow what you feel right .
One of my friend is handicap and so we were sitting in 1st row and her wheelchair doesn’t go up. Dalai Lama ji saw us and asked whether she can come up? We said no. So he met her specially outside. Here’s a picture of him meeting my friend.