By Shyamal Sinha
The conclave, which began yesterday is organised by the Tourism Ministry of Andhra Pradesh, and is being attended by over a thousand Buddhist monks from all over the world including Tibetan monasteries in South India.
Expressing his greetings to the conclave, His Holiness the Dalai Lama emphasised the historical significance of holy sites such as Amravati and Nagarjunakonda in Buddhism, particularly in the Sanskrit tradition.
His Holiness highlighted the supreme contribution of Nagarjuna towards the understanding of the human mind and the imbibing of practices to tackle negative emotions.
His Holiness expressed appreciation for Sri Lanka and other Southeast Asian nations for preserving the Pali tradition in its purest form, but lamented the lack of a similar preservation of the Sanskrit tradition.
His Holiness then urged India to take moral leadership in the preservation and promotion of the Sankrit tradition.
“The Pali tradition has a lot of practitioners like Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, etc. These countries have a well-preserved Pali tradition,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama noted.
“Historically, China is also a follower of Sanskrit tradition. But there is no longer genuine freedom to study and practice this system although it seems to be changing a bit. Tibet and Mongolia are followers of Sanskrit tradition but we are in a difficult situation with no freedom. So, India, you have the moral responsibility of preservation of Buddhist Sanskrit tradition,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also called for studying Buddhism particularly the writings of Buddhist scholars such as Nagarjuna as an academic subject rather than out of sheer devotion.
“Historically, I think Nagarjuna can be described as a second Buddha. In Sanskrit tradition, his writings, even his language, are simply top class. Many Sanskrit scholars also told me the same about his writings,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama recalled.
“His writing, which is a part of ancient Indian knowledge, is very relevant to today’s modern world. That’s why I always say, in order to serve humanity, this ancient knowledge should be revived,” His Holiness remarked.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama further spoke about ancient India’s rich contribution towards modern science in the form of its knowledge of mind and its workings. He called for studying Buddhism along with modern science.
“Buddha’s teachings can go together with modern science such as quantum physics and human psychology. Many modern scientists are really impressed with the knowledge present in the Sanskrit tradition about human mind, human emotions and how to tackle emotions, not through faith but through analytical meditation,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama said.
The conclave will conclude on 5 February.