Friday Filosophy v.11.18.2022
Friday Filosophy v.11.18.2022 offers quotes and words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama.
Dalai Lama is a title given by the Tibetan people to the foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest and most dominant of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives as a refugee in India. The Dalai Lama is also considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Since the time of the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century, his personage has always been a symbol of unification of the state of Tibet, where he has represented Buddhist values and traditions. The Dalai Lama was an important figure of the Geluk tradition, which was politically and numerically dominant in Central Tibet, but his religious authority went beyond sectarian boundaries. While he had no formal or institutional role in any of the religious traditions, which were headed by their own high lamas, he was a unifying symbol of the Tibetan state, representing Buddhist values and traditions above any specific school. The traditional function of the Dalai Lama as an ecumenical figure, holding together disparate religious and regional groups, has been taken up by the fourteenth Dalai Lama. He has worked to overcome sectarian and other divisions in the exiled community and has become a symbol of Tibetan nationhood for Tibetans both in Tibet and in exile.
From 1642 until 1705 and from 1750 to the 1950s, the Dalai Lamas or their regents headed the Tibetan government (or Ganden Phodrang) in Lhasa, which governed all or most of the Tibetan Plateau with varying degrees of autonomy. This Tibetan government enjoyed the patronage and protection of firstly Mongol kings of the Khoshut and Dzungar Khanates (1642–1720) and then of the emperors of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty (1720–1912). In 1913, several Tibetan representatives including Agvan Dorzhiev signed a treaty between Tibet and Mongolia, proclaiming mutual recognition and their independence from China, however the legitimacy of the treaty and declared independence of Tibet was rejected by both the Republic of China and the current People’s Republic of China. The Dalai Lamas headed the Tibetan government afterwards despite that, until 1951.
The name “Dalai Lama” is a combination of the Mongolic word dalai meaning “ocean” or “big” (coming from Mongolian title Dalaiyin qan or Dalaiin khan, translated as Gyatso and the Tibetan word (bla-ma) meaning “master, guru”.
The Dalai Lama is also known in Tibetan as the Rgyal-ba Rin-po-che (“Precious Conqueror”) or simply as the Rgyal-ba.
In Central Asian Buddhist countries, it has been widely believed for the last millennium that Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, has a special relationship with the people of Tibet and intervenes in their fate by incarnating as benevolent rulers and teachers such as the Dalai Lamas. This is according to The Book of Kadam, the main text of the Kadampa school, to which the 1st Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup, first belonged. In fact, this text is said to have laid the foundation for the Tibetans’ later identification of the Dalai Lamas as incarnations of Avalokiteśvara.
This lineage has been extrapolated by Tibetans up to and including the Dalai Lamas.
Thus, according to such sources, an informal line of succession of the present Dalai Lamas as incarnations of Avalokiteśvara stretches back much further than Gendun Drub. The Book of Kadam, the compilation of Kadampa teachings largely composed around discussions between the Indian sage Atiśa (980–1054) and his Tibetan host and chief disciple Dromtönpa and Tales of the Previous Incarnations of Arya Avalokiteśvara, nominate as many as sixty persons prior to Gendun Drub who are enumerated as earlier incarnations of Avalokiteśvara and predecessors in the same lineage leading up to him. In brief, these include a mythology of 36 Indian personalities plus 10 early Tibetan kings and emperors, all said to be previous incarnations of Dromtönpa, and fourteen further Nepalese and Tibetan yogis and sages in between him and the 1st Dalai Lama. In fact, according to the “Birth to Exile” article on the 14th Dalai Lama’s website, he is “the seventy-fourth in a lineage that can be traced back to a Brahmin boy who lived in the time of Buddha Shakyamuni.”
- Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.
- Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.
- Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
- 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.
- My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
- We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.
- Sleep is the best meditation.
- Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.
- 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.
- Home is where you feel at home and are treated well.
- With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.
- The basic Buddhist stand on the question of equality between the genders is age-old. At the highest tantric levels, at the highest esoteric level, you must respect women: every woman.
The Time is Now.
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