“We’ve been going through teachings for the last few days,” His Holiness observed. “Check your motivation. Don’t let yourself become preoccupied with things of this life or even of the next. Don’t settle for finding peace for yourself alone either. Reflect on the difficulty of finding this human life, how things are impermanent and that cyclic existence is in the nature of suffering. Take refuge in the Three Jewels, develop a determination to be free of cyclic existence, generate bodhichitta and think about how we are beset by wrong views that can be overcome.
When it came to His Holiness’s name mantra, he said that he had received it from Kyabjé Ling Rinpoche and now the audience had heard it from him.
Resuming the permission, His Holiness explained that it related to Khasarpani Avalokiteshvara with Green Tara to his right and Ekajati to his left.
He observed that humans are social beings, and while the intelligent thing to do is to try to help each other, we tend instead to work only for our own benefit. Nowadays, however, we do not live in isolation. Bodhichitta is about taking responsibility for each other’s welfare. He stressed that although all religious traditions teach about love and compassion, concern for others is not just a religious attitude, it’s of practical value.
“There will be change in Tibet,” His Holiness declared. “Tibetans who came here to attend the Kalachakra Empowerment were called home. Some officials in Tibet referred to the Empowerment as illegal—according to what legal system, I wonder? What they said was just an opinion. Nevertheless, Tibetans were warned that if they didn’t return in time, they would face trouble or their relatives would face penalties. This kind of action contributes nothing to social harmony, it is just disruptive.
“I’m pleased that Tibetans continue to be good hearted and generous. Chinese and other people abroad tell me this is something they admire in Tibetans. It’s something for us to be proud of.
“With regard to inter-religious harmony, instead of focussing so much on being Nyingmas, Sakya, Kagyus or Gelukpas, we should remember that we all follow the same teacher, the Buddha Shakyamuni and that our traditions derive from the 17 Masters of Nalanda.
“We can pray that all sentient beings are blessed by Avalokiteshvara Khasarpani. As a commitment it would be good if you could recite 10,000, or 1000, at least 100, ‘manis’ every day.
“There my job is done. Now it’s up to Sakya Dagtri to lead the Long-Life Offering.”
After a moment’s reflection, His Holiness picked up where he’d left off:
“Usually there is a point in the ceremony when the Lama accepts the Long Life prayers offered to him. In fact, my prayer every day is to remain as long as space remains and as long as beings remain. In this life, someone who started as a small boy in a remote and secluded part of Amdo has now reached the age of 81 or 82. I can see what benefit I can offer to others. You Tibetans have a link to Chenresig and to me—I will continue to try to do my best to help you.
“I’ve been very moved by the story of the First Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup, who was a great scholar and adept. He lived to a ripe old age and when his disciples told him there was no doubt he would be born in a Pure Land, he told them that was not what he wished at all. He said he wanted to be where there were unprotected sentient beings, and that he’d be there to help them. I have to take rebirth and it would be better to do so in a place where I can serve others.
“You are making this Long Life Offering to me and praying ‘May you live 10,000 years’, but we know that’s not possible. However, my dreams and other indications have shown that I could live to be 113. I don’t know about that, but I think I can say I’ll live to be 100. So, be happy, be at ease.”