Mcleodganj : The Dalai Lama gave audience to two groups of students at his residence. One was a group of seven, with accompanying staff, from Earlham College, Indiana, USA, who have spent three months studying at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies — Sarah. The other consisted of 14 students who are due to graduate from a two-year intensive training with the Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Program. They were accompanied by nine teachers and staff, as well as their 14 Tibetan language tutors. Opening his remarks to them, His Holiness outlined his four commitments. He observed that the whole of humanity comprises one community, declaring that he is trying to make a positive contribution to that community by promoting the importance of having a compassionate mind.
“In developed parts of the world material facilities are excellent and yet stress, competition and self-centredness leave people dissatisfied. I’m committed to trying to let people know that the ultimate source of happiness is within us. “I’m also committed to encouraging harmony among religious traditions. Conflict and violence in the name of religion is unthinkable. To believe that only one religion is true and that there is only one truth is very short-sighted. In reality, in the wider world, we have several religions and truth has many aspects. Here in India inter-religious harmony is excellent. Indigenous traditions flourish side by side with traditions from abroad, setting an admirable example for others to follow.
“From a Buddhist point of view all religions involve human beings and seek to foster good human qualities like love, forgiveness, tolerance and self-discipline. Their different philosophical standpoints are varying methods to support these basic principles. “Thirdly, I’m a Tibetan, someone in whom the majority of Tibetans place their trust. Although I’ve retired from political responsibility since 2001—we have an elected leadership to take care of that—I’m concerned about the natural environment in Tibet. Because of its altitude and cold temperature, it’s fragile and if damaged will take longer to recover than other places. Therefore, there’s a need to protect and preserve the ecology of Tibet. “In addition, I’m concerned to keep Tibetan culture alive. Through the Nalanda Tradition, we were introduced to ancient Indian knowledge and practice focussed on non-violence, a calmly abiding mind and insight into reality.