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50,000 Gather in Bodh Gaya for His Holiness’s Teaching

By Tenzin Samten  /  January 11, 2018;

Photo: OHHDL

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the 82 year-old spiritual leader of Tibetans and Buddhist around the world, concluded his three-day teaching in Bodh Gaya in Bihar on January 7. According to dalailama.com, the official website of His Holiness, over 50,000 devotees gathered for his teaching.

On the first day, His Holiness taught Dharmachakra Parivaretan – Sutra on the Four Noble Truths and the Sutra on Dependent Origination. He began by saying “Buddha saw that clinging to the notion of an independent self is the root of all other mental afflictions. After realising selflessness, he saw that it would be incomprehensible to most people if he were to teach about it.”

His Holiness explained that following this, Buddha taught it to his pupils first in Sarnath and then in Vulture’s Peak in Rajgriha. He went on to talk about the three turnings of the wheel of Dharma*; during the first turning, Buddha explained the truth of suffering and its origins; during the second; he elaborated in detail about emptiness and dependent nature, imputed nature and perfect nature and during the third he taught about Buddha nature.

Photo: OHHDL

His Holiness said that Buddhism was originated in India and not in China or Tibet. For more than 2,000 years, it has spread across Asia.
Speaking about the nature of different religions, His Holiness said that the conduct of non-violence is important for Buddhism. Buddhism teaches that suffering, pain and pleasure are in our own hands. Actions that help and make others happy are considered to be positive, while actions that harm others are considered negative, he added.

His Holiness reiterated his message that all the seven billion people in this world are social animals and are not self-sufficient and are all the same in wanting happiness and not suffering. He urged that as a follower of Buddha, we have see ways to help those who are suffering.

Reports of the teaching say that there were visitors from 69 different countries attending the Dalai Lama’s teaching in addition to people from different Indian states. The teachings were simultaneously translated and broadcast over FM in English, Hindi, Russian, Mongolian, French, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese and Spanish, as well as central Tibetan, Amdo and Khampa dialects.

Book launch by His Holiness and the Chief Minister of Bihar

On the third day of the teaching, His Holiness, along with the Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Nitish Kumar, launched the English translation of the first volume of a new book Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics.

“This series was conceived by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself and compiled under his careful supervision by a team of scholars over many years. It brings together classical Buddhist scientific and philosophical explorations of the nature of reality, within a framework that is accessible to the modern reader. Of the four volumes in the series, the first, which focuses on the science of the physical world, is being officially released today,” said Dr Thupten Jinpa, General Editor of the series.

Speaking about the relevance of the book his Holiness said, “What we are doing is not propagating Buddhism but exploring how we Buddhists can contribute to the wellbeing of humanity”.

His Holiness‘s teachings in Bodh Gaya will continue with Nagarjuna’s Commentary on Bodhicitta (JangchupSemdrel) and Gyalsey Thokme Sangpos’s Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva (Laklen Sodunma) on January 14 -15 and Avalokiteshvera Initiation (ChenresigWangchen) on January 15 – 16.

* Wheel of Dharma – represents the teachings of the Buddha

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