New Delhi [India]: On the occasion of Buddha Purnima, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Monday (May 16) urged people to pay more attention to the words of Bhagwan Buddha for true peace of mind.
In a video message on Vaishakha Buddha Purnima Divas, organised by the International Buddhist Confederation and supported by the Ministry of Culture, 14th Dalai Lama said, “Today we are celebrating Vesak, which commemorates the Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment after enduring six years of austerity. Buddha had advised: ‘O monks and scholars, just as gold is tested by heating, cutting and rubbing it, so, likewise, should you thoroughly examine my teaching and only then accept it – not merely out of respect for me!’ This (point of view) reveals a special quality of the Buddha. I respect all religious traditions. They are all of great value because they all teach compassion. However, only the Buddha asks us to examine his teaching in the way that a goldsmith tests the purity of gold. Only the Buddha commands us to do this.”
“Another of his principal instructions was this: ‘Sages do not wash away unwholesome deeds with water, nor do they remove the sufferings of sentient beings with their hands, neither do they transplant their own realisations into others, it’s by teaching the truth of suchness that they liberate beings’,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader.
Dalai Lama reminded Buddha had called upon his disciples to develop their own spiritual experiences by reflecting on the truth.
“The Bhagawan Buddha, the enlightened one, who is by nature compassionate, says that he cannot simply transfer his own spiritual experience and realisation into his disciples out of love and compassion. Disciples must develop their own spiritual experiences. Therefore, I find his three Turning of the Wheels of Dharma to be very significant,” said Dalai Lama.
Explaining the ‘first Turning of the Wheel’, he said, “It teaches the Four Noble Truths – true suffering, the origin of suffering, the true cessation of suffering and the true path that leads to that cessation. This serves as the basic framework of the teaching of the Buddha.”
He said that we learn that all mental afflictions such as desirous attachment, hatred and ignorance are rooted in our misconception of the way self and (other) things exist. For this reason, the Bhagawan gave the perfection of wisdom teachings at Vulture’s Peak, he added.
He propounded the fourfold emptiness described in the Heart Sutra: Form is emptiness; emptiness is form; emptiness if not other than form; and form, too, is not other than emptiness.”
“The most powerful antidote to our grasping at an independently existing self is the wisdom that realises that everything lacks an absolute identity. It’s because of this that it is possible to achieve that true cessation taught in the First Turning of the Wheel. We need to find out whether there is a counterforce to our misconception of an absolute self or not, and if there is, whether we can fully acquaint ourselves with that counterforce or not. If we can, then we can eliminate the misconception of an absolute self. So, it is quite scientific,” he said.
Dalai Lama said that the Buddha gave the cycle of teachings called the Perfection of Wisdom at Vulture’s Peak.
“In these discourses the Buddha taught that everything lacks any inherent existence. However, this was difficult for some of his disciples to comprehend. Therefore, in order to address the difficulty some disciples have in understanding the lack of inherent existence, and to suit the intellectual calibre of such disciples, the Buddha also taught that everything can be identified with the mind. This teaching led those disciples to understand the non-duality of objects and subjects, instead of saying that we perceive whatever appears to our mind as possessing inherent existence. This reveals the profundity of the Buddha’s teaching in philosophical terms,” said the spiritual leader.
Dalai Lama said, “As for me, I am simple Buddhist monk following the tradition of the Buddha. Every morning, as soon as I woke up, I recite ‘In Prise of Dependent Arising’ and reflect on the interdependent nature of thing as well as the altruistic spirit of enlightenment. I find them very helpful to my mind.”
“When you study the great master Nagarjuna’s explanation of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras in his Wisdom: The Fundamental Stanzas of the Middle Way you marvel at it. The deeper your understanding of emptiness becomes, the more compassionate you feel about those who are engrossed in attachment and anger due to their not knowing about emptiness. You have a strong wish to help them eliminate their ingrained ignorance of reality,” he added. (ANI)