Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on Monday began a four-day teaching session on Fundamental Wisdom Treatise of the Middle Way, a book by Nagarjuna, at Tsuglakhang, the main temple in Dharamsala.The teaching has been organised on the request of a group of devotees from Taiwan. Over 4,000 Buddhism followers, including 800 Taiwanese, local Tibetans and foreigners alike, are attending the session.
In his introductory remarks, the Dalai Lama said Tibetan Buddhism was a pure form of Buddhism from the Nalanda tradition and was generally sub-divided into Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu and Nyingma.
“There may be minor differences in the rituals and transmission of teachings. However, the root essence of all these sects is one and the same,” he added.
“Due to over indulgence in one's own sect and rituals, we sometimes tend to forget the common essence of our practice.
As a result, we see huge differences in our practice. Therefore, if we all focus on the Nalanda tradition, which is the root of Tibetan Buddhism, our common goals will be more unified,” said the spiritual leader.
Addressing the Taiwanese devotees, the Dalai Lama urged them to deepen their understanding of the roots of Buddhism, rather than cling on to the branches of Buddhist practices.
Speaking on the common essence of all religions, he said all religions spoke about tolerance, compassion, contentment and self-discipline. “However, most of these religions command strict adherence to their beliefs. In the case of Buddha's teaching, it allows us to form our own opinions based on reason and logic.”
The four-day teaching will conclude on October 9.