His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Japan - Day 3

June 20th 2010

Nagano, Japan, 20 June 2010 (Tibet House, Japan) - His Holiness the Dalai Lama met and talked with some two hundred Japanese monks and nuns in Nagano this morning. Zenkoji Temple along with four other Japanese Buddhist school organized the meeting. His Holiness thanked the organizers for this opportunity to talk with the monks and nuns, and said that this kind of interactive meeting is very important to share each others knowledge and understanding of Buddhist religion.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a brief introduction of how Buddhism was introduced and spread in Tibet. He explained that Buddhism first came to Tibet in 7th century and began to take concrete shape in 8th century when a great Indian philosopher and logician Saint Shantarakshita of Nalanda University in India visited Tibet.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets with monks and nuns from various temples at his hotel in Nagano, Japan. Photo/Taikan Usui
"Buddhism can be categorized under two major tradition, Pali and Sanskrit traditions. Buddhism introduced in Tibet was of Nalanda Sanskrit tradition, where teaching of Tantra is also included. Buddhism spread in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam are of same Nalanda Sanskrit tradition. There were some dispute that Mahayana and Tantrayana were not taught by Buddha, but from the writings of Buddhist masters like Shantarakshita, Nagarjuna, Dhigna, Dharamkiriti etc. it is very clear that Mahayana and Tantrayana were taught by the Buddha." He explained.

During the interactive sessions, a point was raised to what Buddhism can do to solve the problems and disasters in this world. His Holiness said that Buddhism alone can not solve the world's problem. "Like any other religions, Buddhism too has great potential to help the world. Problem in this world are men made problem and it comes from extreme self centered attitude and lack of holistic view. Analyzing and working on these two shortcomings, Buddhism can help contribute in mitigating the problems in this world." He said.

On being asked about His Holiness being incarnation of Buddha of compassion, he said that he is just a simple Buddhist monk, and a part of six billion people in this world. "Some people says I am a living Buddha, some says I a demon, these are all nonsense. But as a Buddhist believing in reincarnation, sometime I have a feeling of previous lives. I feel specially close to the 5th and 13th Dalai Lamas. I never claim I have achieved Boddhichitta and the wisdom, but I think I can say I have experienced it as a practitioner."

HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama greets the audience before the teaching in Nagano, Japan. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
In the afternoon, His Holiness spoke to some 7000 people in one of the biggest stadium in the city on "Guide to positive clear light". He greeted the people and said that he was happy to be with them and share ideas. His Holiness gave brief teaching on *Sherab nyingpo*, Heart Sutra, and explained about emptiness and non-existence of self and then moved to the main teaching.

His Holiness said, "Man is a social animal, we are all dependent on each other. Trust is important to build a genuine friendship and love, this is the basis of happy family and society. Our life is based on affection of others, human affection is key to happy life. We are all born from our mother, without whose affection we would not have grown into healthy members of this world. This take us to think about development of moral ethics, inner values, love and compassion. Moral ethic is not a matter of religion alone, a secular approach needs to given, so that it becomes more universal."

In the question and answers time, answering to a question on terrorisms, His Holiness said that too much differentiation of "I and You" and "We and They" should be avoided. "We all live in this same planet, problem of the neighbor is our problem. Terrorism is a made problem, these had to be solved from the human emotional level trather than hatred."

The venue of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings in Nagano, Japan. Photo/Taikan Usui
As a message to the young Japanese, His Holiness suggested that they should learn English and think beyond Japan, see the world and contribute in their respective capacities. When His Holiness said that even his broken English is very useful while going around the world, the crowd burst into laughter.

His Holiness will visit Saihoji Temple tomorrow and consecrate an eight feet statue of Buddha Amitabha, Od padme, and will preach on "Four Noble Truths" to the monks and people there. In the evening he will leave for Kanazawacity in Ishikawa prefecture.


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