Bodh Gaya: Tibetan spiritual Guru The Dalai Lama conferred the Avalokiteshvara Empowerment in Bodh Gaya. At the ceremony, The Dalai Lama highlighted the special karmic link between Tibetans and Chenrezig.An estimated 35,000 devotees, Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople, people from the Himalayan regions and 2500 from 67 other countries had converged at the holy Buddhist seat to receive the teachings of The Dalai Lama. A dozen Vietnamese monks and nuns chanted the ‘Heart Sutra’ earnestly in their native tongue. They were followed by ten monks from the Bangladesh Buddhist Monastery who recited the Mangala Sutta in Pali. A third group, who recited the ‘Heart Sutra’ once more, consisted of Korean nuns and monks.
Members of a family sponsoring today’s events offered a mandala and threefold representations of the Buddha’s body, speech and mind.“Today, since I’m going to give an Avalokiteshvara empowerment,” His Holiness advised, “while I complete the preparatory rituals, it would be good if all of you recited the six-syllable mantra, Om mani padme hung.”When it began to rain, The Dalai Lama called for a group of Geshés to come up and sit in the space in front of him and urged the audience to squeeze up to shelter as best they could.“Today, in this extraordinary place where the Buddha became enlightened, we remember him, his seven successors, Nagarjuna and his disciples, as well as Asanga and his brother. We still have access to the legacy of Buddhist teachings through the writings of these great masters.
“Great advances have been made in terms of material development, which support our physical health and comfort, but don’t bring peace to our disturbed minds. Happiness is essentially found within. We may take pleasure in shows and other entertainment, but the moment the show’s over, the pleasures stops. This is true of our enjoyment of beautiful music too. Instead of relying on sensory experience, we’d be better to find out how to calm our unsettled states of mind.“Different religious traditions have benefited millions of people down the centuries. Those that believe in God pray to him when they face difficulties. This gives them hope. In India there are also traditions like the non-theistic Samkhyas, Jains and Buddhists that aim for inner peace on the basis of understanding the workings of mind and emotions.
“Buddhism speaks of 51 mental factors, which include five omnipresent mental factors, five object-ascertaining mental factors, eleven virtuous mental factors, six root afflictions, twenty secondary afflictions and four variable mental factors. The Nalanda Tradition explains psychology on the basis of logic and reason, which is what makes it attractive and of interest to modern scientists.”