Dalai Lama's special lesson

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Dalai Lama's special lesson

In his annual, much-awaited three-day session in Delhi recently, the Dalai Lama highlighted the common threads in all religions, the concept of aatma (soul), the qualities that a spiritual guru should uphold and ways of dealing with daily stress.

 But what was truly special was the presence of school children and youngsters at the lecture, prompting the spiritual leader to say, “Young brothers and sisters, I’m glad to meet all of you. I’m 78 years old and my life has had its ups and downs, but what I want to tell you is that so many of the problems we face are man-made. We created them and we have the opportunity to reduce them too.” 

The youngsters paid close attention as the Dalai Lama described the 21st century as “an era of great achievement, but also one of great violence”. The violence, he said, had brought untold suffering and fear to millions. “You young people, who belong to the 21st century, have the opportunity to create a more peaceful world,” he declared.

 He also interpreted Buddhist teachings and verses from Bodhipathapradipa for his youthful audience.

“Someone who has not subdued himself cannot subdue others. A guru or teacher is very important and (s)he should be disciplined, knowledgeable, focused, skillful in teaching, forgiving, compassionate and resilient,” he said during the session at Taj Mahal Hotel. On  the second day, a Turkish dervish troupe also performed after the session.

 “Anger and hatred, like compassion and love, are part of our mind. I believe the dominant force of our mind is compassion and human affection. Therefore, usually I call these human qualities spirituality,” he explained.

 When asked how youngsters would connect with words like spirituality and spiritual knowledge, he replied: “From a certain viewpoint, religion is a bit of a luxury. If you have religion, very good; even without religion you can survive and you can manage, but without human affection we can’t survive.”

 Actress Sharmila Tagore and singer Raageshwari Loomba also attended the session.

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