Sunday, January 20, 2008
A simple buddhist monk
"It is God alone who has become everything. But in Man he manifests himself the most. God is directly present in the man who has the pure heart of a child
and who laughs and cries and dances and sings in divine ecstasy."
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna , page 208.
His holiness the Dalai Lama had come to Ahmedabad. I was among the fortunate few who attended his talk at IIM A, on Friday afternoon, 17th Jan.
The topic of the talk, in IIM fashion, was 'Ethics in Business'.
In his introduction, the director said that the Dalai Lama was an incarnation of the Buddha.
'No such thing', the Lama said, and tweaked the director's mustache!
'All I am, and all I would like to be known as, is a simple Buddhist monk. Yes, there is a very deep karmic connection with the Buddha, but incarnation, no no.'
'And, if you take my advise on business, you will probably sink in eight days.' He talked in broken, prompted English. A translator was sitting behind him, whispering in his ears.
'And so, I will talk about three things, love, compassion and warmheartedness.' He laughed, eyes twinkling merrily.
Somehow, I felt a deep relaxation in my gut and I dosed off, telling myself to remember the essence because this was too meaty, this was going to get in my blog.
Hence, please note, the material in this post has spun out from the subconscious, or from that which does not sleep.
'To love and to be loved, is very essential for the well being. Even science agrees. There was a research among monkey babies. Those that were allowed to touch, and be held by their mother monkeys, survived and those that were separated, died. Every body, child and adult, needs compassion to survive.
So to have a warm heart is good for the immune system, for health.
And now,' he rubbed his hands lovingly at this point, ' let us have some inter...action...some question and answers.'
He did not like written questions, so he asked people to directly ask the questions.
Question: Your holiness, in today's busy lives, it is very difficult to find the time to meditate. So how should we aspire to get the peace that you radiate?
'Yes. Life has problems. I too have a problem. My country, Tibet, is not a country anymore. It is not there.
So, the answer is, become a refugee.' Much laughter.
'Next question.' he asked, enthusiastically.
Question: 'What do you feel about the friendly relations between India and China? Don't you feel bad ?
'There is a positive side to every situation. The common person in Tibet, wants development, modernization. So, it is better we are in China. But, we also feel that the ancient Tibetan culture, our rich spirituality, and clean air, should be protected.
For every life, there comes a test. This is our test. I see that a lot of the old Tibetans, have emerged stronger people. Suffering makes strong people. Even in Europe, I notice that the young people, very soon, they are fall down. ( The translator prompter, was trying his best to whisper, but his holiness was on a roll.) The older, those who saw the war, are going strong.'
'Next question!' he waves his arms.
Question: How do you reconcile to the rude behavior of the Indians to the Tibetans?
'India, is our Guru. The disciple has come to the Guru. For shelter. How can the Guru refuse?
When I spoke to Pandit Nehru, he agreed to giving us asylum. So, India is now my home!'
'Next Question!' he is so full of joy.
Question: What is your task in life?
'I have three tasks. As a human being, to talk about the three basic human qualities to people: love, compassion, and warmheartedness. As a Buddhist monk, to hold the teaching and the practice of the Buddha. And, since this body (pinches his bare arm), this flesh, is born in the soil of Tibet, I will try, till I die, to preserve its ancient culture, our rich spirituality, and the clean, beautiful air.
Next Question!' he announces. What a mood he is in. What a mood he has created!
Last Question: Do you think there is life outside? In space?
'Oh yes. Even he Buddha mentioned that there is life, a lot of life, all over.' A pause, then he changes the track. ' But it will take many many years, thousands of years, to go in the spaceship to far away, and then to meet someone weird, not happen in our life, I think.
Better to live peacefully here only.'