dalai lama (photo from wikipedia by christopher)
the dalai lama is believed by his devotees to be the rebirth of a long line of tulkus who are considered to be manifestations of the bodhisattva of compassion, avalokiteśvara.
traditionally, the dalai lama is thought of as the latest reincarnation of a series of spiritual leaders who have chosen to be reborn in order to enlighten others. at the time of leaving body (death) dalai lama leaves some signs and indications which helps in tracing the baby who is the incarnation of dalai lama.
the 14th dalai lama remained the head of state for the central tibetan administration (“tibetan government in exile”) until his retirement on march 14, 2011. dalai lama is a world known spiritual teacher who is known for raising awareness about tibetan rights and sad state of human rights and conditions in tibet ruled by china.
in his teachings, dalai lama speaks about buddhism, meditation, compassion, non-violence, preserving the environement, inter-faith harmony, women rights, love and kindness. for more info check dalai lama website.
dalai lama quotes:
1. compassion is the pillar of world peace.
2. my true religion is kindness.
3. i am a simple buddhist monk — no more, no less.
4. if i say, “i am a monk.” or “i am a buddhist,” these are, in comparison to my nature as a human being, temporary. to be human is basic.
5. we need a little more compassion, and if we cannot have it then no politician or even a magician can save the planet.
6. for a better, happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brother- and sisterhood.
7. it is extremely important to plant new trees and protect the ones already growing around you.
8. each of us has the potential to contribute … you have a great opportunity to make a new shape of the world.
9. forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened. … if something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.
10. if you want others to be happy, practice compassion. if you want to be happy, practice compassion.
11. human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself. it is wrong to expect some final satisfaction to come from money or from a computer.
12. all major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness … the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
13. it is not at all wrong for humans to use nature to make useful things, but we must not exploit nature to make useful things, but we must not exploit nature unnecessarily.
14. a biased mind, which never sees the complete picture, cannot grasp the reality. and any action that results from such a state of mind will not be in tune with reality. as such it causes a lot of problems.
15. compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
16. from my own limited experience i have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion.
17. it is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. if we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.
18. love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. without them humanity cannot survive.
19. the time has come to educate people, to cease all quarrels in the name of religion, culture, countries, different political or economic systems. fighting is useless. suicide.
20. it is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. from this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.
21. whether one believes in religion or not, there is no one who does not appreciate love and compassion. right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents; later in life, when facing the sufferings of disease and old age, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. if at the beginning and end of our lives we depend upon others’ kindness, why then in the middle should we not act kindly towards others?
22. this global warming has brought changes in climate, including making perennial snow mountains melt, thereby adversely affecting not only human beings but also other living species.
23. nowadays, many children grow up in unhappy homes. if they do not receive proper affection, in later life they will rarely love their parents and, not infrequently, will find it hard to love others. this is very sad.
24. in today’s materialistic society, if you have money and power, you seem to have many friends. but they are not friends of yours; they are the friends of your money and power. when you lose your wealth and influence, you will find it very difficult to track these people down.
25. if there is a tree in your courtyard it creates around it an atmosphere of natural beauty and serenity. it is also obvious that you can eat the fruits from the tree, sit under it and enjoy the cool shade. what was required on your part was a little patience to allow some time for the tree to grow up.
26. ultimately, humanity is one and this small planet is our only home, if we are to protect this home of ours, each of us needs to experience a vivid sense of universal altruism. it is only this feeling that can remove the self-centered motives that cause people to deceive and misuse one another.
27. on my part, i remain committed to contribute my efforts for the welfare of all human beings, and in particular the poor and the weak to the best of my ability without any distinction based on national boundaries.
28. inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility. in that state of mind you can deal with situations with calmness and reason, while keeping your inner happiness. that is very important. without this inner peace, no matter how comfortable your life is materially, you may still be worried, disturbed or unhappy because of circumstances.
29. our own security is enhanced when peace breaks out between warring parties in other continents. but war or peace; the destruction or the protection of nature; the violation or promotion of human rights and democratic freedoms; poverty or material well-being; the lack of moral and spiritual values or their existence and development; and the breakdown or development of human understanding, are not isolated phenomena that can be analysed and tackled independently of one another. in fact, they are very much interrelated at all levels and need to be approached with that understanding.
30. suffering is caused by ignorance, and that people inflict pain on others in pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction. yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through cultivation of altruism, of love, of compassion, and through the elimination of anger, selfishness and greed.
31. i feel that it is extremely important that each individual realize their responsibility for preserving the environment, to make it a part of daily life, create the same attitude in their families, and spread it to the community.
32. according to buddhist philosophy, happiness is the result of an enlightened mind whereas suffering is caused by a distorted mind. this is very important. a distorted mind, in contrast to an enlightened mind, is one that is not in tune with reality.
33. i think, is for all of us to develop a genuine sense of universal responsibility, not only toward s this beautiful blue planet that is our home, but also towards the innumerable sentient beings with’ whom we share it.
34. i try to treat whoever i meet as an old friend. this gives me a genuine feeling of happiness. it is the practice of compassion.
35. ignorance of interdependence has not only harmed the natural environment, but human society as well.
36. everybody wants friends and does not want enemies. the proper way to create friends is through a warm heart and not simply money or power. friends of power and friends of money are something different. these are not friends.
37. brute force, no matter how strongly applied, can never subdue the basic human desire for freedom.
38. media people should have long noses like an elephant to smell out politicians, mayors, prime ministers and businessmen. we need to know the reality, the good and the bad, not just the appearance.
39. if you have a sincere and open heart, you naturally feel self- worth and confidence, and there is no need to be fearful of others.
40. this is my simple religion. there is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
41. the practice of compassion and wisdom is useful to all, especially to those responsible for running national affairs, in whose hands lie the power and opportunity to create the structure of world peace.
42. peace and survival of life on earth as we know it are threatened by human activities that lack a commitment to humanitarian values. destruction of nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed, and lack of respect for the earth’s living things. this lack of respect extends even to the earth’s human descendants, the future generations who will inherit a vastly degraded planet if world peace doesn’t become a reality and if destruction of the natural environment continues at the present rate.
43. despite the rapid advances made by civilization in this century, i believe that the most immediate cause of our present dilemma is our undue emphasis solely on material development. we have become so engrossed in its pursuit that, without even knowing it, we have neglected to foster the most basic human needs of love, kindness, cooperation and caring.
44. today, we are truly a global family. what happens in one part of the world may affect us all. this, of course, is not only true of the negative things that happen, but is equally valid for the positive developments. we not only know what happens elsewhere, thanks to the extraordinary modern communications technology. we are also directly affected by events that occur far away.
45. bodhicitta is the medicine which revives and gives life to every sentient being who even hears of it. when you engage in fulfilling the needs of others, your own needs are fulfilled as a by-product.
46. war is violence and violence is unpredictable. therefore, it is better to avoid it if possible, and never to presume that we know beforehand whether the outcome of a particular war will be beneficial or not.
47. because we all share this small planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. that is not just a dream, but a necessity. we are dependent on each other in so many ways, that we can no longer live in isolated communities and ignore what is happening outside those communities, and we must share the good fortune that we enjoy.
48. if there is love, there is hope that one may have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. if the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue.
49. all religions teach moral precepts for perfecting the functions of mind, body, and speech. all teach us not to lie or steal or take others’ lives, and so on. the common goal of all moral precepts laid down by the great teachers of humanity is unselfishness. the great teachers wanted to lead their followers away from the paths of negative deeds caused by ignorance and to introduce them to paths of goodness.
50. our practice of nonviolence applies not just to human beings but to all sentient beings – any living thing that has a mind. where there is a mind, there are feelings such as pain, pleasure, and joy. no sentient being wants pain: all wants happiness instead.
51. i feel that love and compassion are the moral fabric of world peace.
52. love towards your wife, your husband, your children, or a close friend is usually based on attachment. when your attachment changes, your kindness also changes; it may disappear. this is not true love. real love is not based on attachment, but on altruism.
53. responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. it lies with each one of us individually.
54. old friends pass away, new friends appear. it is just like the days. an old day passes, a new day arrives. the important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend — or a meaningful day.
55. as buddhists, we tibetans revere human life as the most precious gift and regard the buddha’s philosophy and teaching as a path to the highest kind of freedom. a goal to be attained by men and women alike.
56. the purpose of religion is not to build beautiful churches, or temples, but to cultivate positive human qualities such as tolerance, generosity and love.
57. peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. true peace with oneself and with the world around us can only be achieved through the development of mental peace.
58. i believe that at every level of society – familial, tribal, national and international – the key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion. we do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology. all that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities.
59. today we face many problems. some are created essentially by ourselves based on divisions due to ideology, religion, race, economic status, or other factors. therefore, the time has come for us to think on a deeper level, on the human level, and from that level we should appreciate and respect the sameness of others as human beings.
60. our planet is our house, and we must keep it in order and take care of it if we are genuinely concerned about happiness for ourselves, our children, our friends, and other sentient beings who share this great house with us. if we think of the planet as our house or’ as “our mother – mother earth – we automatically feel concern for our environment.
61. i am deeply touched by the sincere concern shown by so many people in this part of the world for the suffering of the people of tibet. that is a source of hope not only for us tibetans, but for all oppressed people.
62. fundamentalism is terrifying because it is based purely on emotion, rather than intelligence. it prevents followers from thinking as individuals and about the good of the world.
63. inter-dependence, of course, is a fundamental law of nature. not only higher forms of life but also many of the smallest insects are social beings who, without any religion, law or education, survive by mutual cooperation based on an innate recognition of their interconnectedness.
64. i believe that to meet the challenge of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. each of us must learn to work not for his or her self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. universal responsibility is the real key to human survival. it is the best foundation for world. peace, the equitable use of natural resources and through concern for the future generations, the proper care of the environment.
65. according to buddhist theory, we are born and reborn countless numbers of times, and it is conceivable that each being has been our parent at one time or another. in this way all beings in the universe share a family relationship.
66. i try always to express the value of having a good heart. this simple aspect of human nature can be nourished to great power. with a good heart and wisdom you have right motivation and will automatically do what needs to be done. if people begin to act with genuine compassion for every one, we can still protect each other and the natural environment. this is much easier than having to adapt to the severe and incomprehensible environmental conditions projected for the future.