HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA APPENDS BLESSINGS TO SRI LANKANS
Respected Sri L.ankan spiritual brothers and sisters,
I would like to thank you for your kindness in celebrating my 87th birthday today. We are all disciples of the same teacher and as a simple Buddhist monk, I am doing my best to serve humanity on the basis of ahimsa and karuna. I take great inspiration from a verse by the Indian master Shantideva:
As long as space endures
And as long as wandering beings prevail,
Until then, may I too remain
To dispel the sufferings of wandering beings.
Consequently, I have a strong determination to be born in places where I can serve the needs of countless sentient beings.
On this occasion. I would like to take the opportunity to share with you the several commitments I have made that guide my life. Primary among them, as a human being, one of the seven and a half billion alive today, is encouraging people to understand that we all have a responsibility to work to create a happier more peaceful world. Whenever and wherever I can, I try to share with others the idea that the key to peace in the world and a real source of joy for each and every one of us is peace of mind.
Secondly, for me, as a Buddhist monk, it’s unthinkable that our different religions can become a cause for conflicts and divisions that lead to people killing each other. Is it possible for different religions to live in harmony with one another? According to what I’ve seen in India, where I live, the answer is absolutely yes. Therefore, I dedicate myself to promoting inter-religious harmony and understanding.
Thirdly, as a Tibetan, I am committed to keeping alive the knowledge and culture that Tibetans have preserved for more than a thousand years, as well as the Tibetan language in which it is expressed. In addition, I’m committed to encouraging the protection of Tibet’s fragile natural environment.
Finally, I’ve pledged to create greater awareness and interest in the knowledge of ancient India, which specifically entails a thorough understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions. This, I believe, is
relevant, and has the potential to be widely beneficial, in today’s world.
With regard to the mind, the Buddha clearly stated that it can be tamed and when it is tamed it is conducive to happiness. It is also said that Buddhas do not wash unwholesome deeds away with water, nor do thev remove the sufferings of beings with their hands. Neither do they transplant their own realization into others; they liberate beings by teaching the truth of suchness.
The key point to understand here is that even the Buddha cannot simply transfer his own spiritual experience and realization into his disciples out of love and compassion for them. We disciples have to develop our own spiritual insight by study, reflection and meditation on the truth of suchness as he explained it. Please keep in mind how fortunate we are to be born as human beings in places where the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni flourish. As you are well aware, at the core of those teachings is the advice to be kind to others whenever we can.
Dear spiritual brothers and sisters, I am acutely aware of the difficulties the people of Sri Lanka are currently going through. I pray that prosperity and well-being will soon be restored throughout the land. As followers of the Buddha, no matter what hardships we face, we must not lose hope and confidence in our ability to change our circumstances for the better.
I am very moved to know that even in the midst of such difficulties. spiritual brothers and sisters are gathering today to celebrate my birthday. Thank you so very much!
My prayers and greetings to you all.
(signed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
5 July 2022
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