Mcleodganj : When 30 members of the Nepal chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) met His Holiness the Dalai Lama this morning, he told them that Tibet and Nepal have long-standing historical connections and that it was an honour to receive them. “The 7th century Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo, married a Nepalese princess, as well as a Chinese princess,” he observed. “Then, when he founded the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, many Nepalese craftsmen were involved in its construction.
“Here in the 21st century, we have kept alive the Nalanda Tradition that was introduced to Tibet in the 8th century. The Pali Tradition of Buddhism, which includes fundamental teachings such as the Four Noble Truths, their 16 characteristics and the 37 Factors of Enlightenment, relies on the authority of the Buddha’s words. The Nalanda Tradition, however, justifies sophisticated Buddhist philosophy on the basis of reason and logic. Nalanda masters asked, “Why did the Buddha teach this or that?” They undertook experiments and investigation.
“These days, scholars and professors in Chinese universities have access to books we’ve compiled and published here in the series ‘Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics’. They acknowledge that Tibetan Buddhism preserves the Nalanda Tradition and its scientific approach. “This approach uses the potential of the human mind to the full. Although the psychology, science and philosophy it taught are to be found in nominally religious texts, there’s no reason why these topics can’t be studied in a more objective, secular and academic way. “These materials are included in the 300-volume collection of Kangyur and Tengyur, the source of which was mostly Indian texts. I wonder though if any research has been done to discover how many texts, if any, had Nepalese and Chinese sources. And I wonder too if there are any works extant in Nepalese that were not translated into Tibetan?”