Đức Dalai Lama thăm Nhật Bản
Trong chuyến viếng thăm và hoằng pháp tại Nhật Bản vào ngày 16-11, Đức Dalai Lama đã đến thăm Viện công nghệ Chiba, ở Tsudanuma, Nhật Bản, nơi nghiên cứu chuyên sâu về khoa học công nghệ của Nhật Bản, cho ra đời nhiều sản phẩm khoa học, công nghệ thông minh cho thế giới.
Tại đây, Đức Dalai Lama đã được nghe giới thiệu một số công trình, sản phẩm công nghệ của viện và ngài có buổi chia sẻ với cán bộ công nhân viên của Viện.
Đức Dalai Lama và Peter Yarrow sau khi ông ta biểu diễn
bản nhạc 'Never Give Up' tại Viện công nghệ Chiba
Đức Dalai Lama và nhà báo-nhà văn Yoshiko Sakurai tại Viện công nghệ Chiba
Vào ngày 17-11, Đức Dalai Lama đã tham gia vào cuộc đối thoại với một số nhà khoa học của Nhật Bản về vấn đề vũ trụ, cuộc sống và giáo dục tại khách sạn Okura.
Ngày 18-11, Đức Dalai Lama đến thăm trường Yakumo, một trường nữ sinh tại Tokyo. Tại đây, Đức Dalai Lama đã chia sẻ và giao lưu với các nữ sinh.
Đức Dalai Lama và hiệu trưởng của trường Yakumo
Ngày 19-11, ngài đến thăm chùa Zojoji, Tokyo và chia sẻ với chư tăng và quý vị trong ban quản lý của chùa.
Vào ngày 21-11, Đức Dalai Lama sẽ có buổi chia sẻ trước công chúng về chủ đề: “Chuyển sang một thế kỷ thứ 21 hòa bình” tại khách sạn Century.
Vào ngày 23-11, Đức Dalai Lama sẽ có buổi nói chuyện về “Ý nghĩa của nghệ thuật và văn hóa” tại trường Đại học Kyoto Seika.
Ngày 24-11, Đức Dalai Lama sẽ tham gia vào một cuộc đối thoại với bà Banana Yoshimoto về “tôn giáo và nghệ thuật” tại Trung tâm Hội nghị Quốc tế. Ngày 25-11, Đức Dalai Lama sẽ có buổi pháp thoại với công chúng về đề tài “Hãy sử dụng tốt nhất trí tuệ của Phật giáo vào trong cuộc sống hàng ngày” tại hội trường Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Minh Nguyên tổng hợp
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Addresses an All Party Parliamentary Group in Japan
November 20th 2013
Tokyo, Japan, 20 November 2013 - His Holiness began the day by meeting some Tibetan students who are studying in Japan. He spelt out to them how Tibetan Buddhist literature has been a unifying factor among Tibetans for centuries. The Kangyur and Tengyur are not only held in respect by almost every Tibetan, but also by other Himalayan and Central Asian peoples. Next, he met a group of Chinese to whom he explained his threefold classification of the contents of those same scriptures into science, philosophy and Buddhism. He told them that since the aim of Buddhist practice is to cultivate wisdom, eliminate ignorance and overcome suffering, he increasingly encourages twenty-first century Buddhists to study.
|Eriko Yamantin welcomes His Holiness the Dalai Lama before his address to an All Party Parliamentary Group at the National Diet Building in Tokyo, Japan on November 20, 2013.|
Photo/Office of Tibet, Japan
“Respected brothers and sisters, I’m extremely happy to be here once more. I would like to tell you of my deep gratitude to all those involved in making this meeting possible. You have expressed warm feelings of friendship and deep concern for which I would like to thank you.”
He went on to explain that many of the problems we face are of our own making, because we pay too much attention to the secondary differences between us. In fact all 7 billion human beings share a desire to live a happy life and have the same right to fulfil that desire. In that context there should be no scope for one group to harm another.
“Throughout human history we have tended to divide people into ‘them’ and ‘us’, which inevitably leads to conflict. On a human level, there is no real basis for such divisions; we are all part of ‘us’. It is not that there are no differences between us, but they are secondary to the fact that we all belong to one human family, living on this one blue planet that is our home. We need to make an effort to build a peaceful, happy human community.”
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the All Party Parliamentarian Group at the National Diet Building in Tokyo, Japan on November 20, 2013. Photo/Office of Tibet, Japan|
“Japan is one of the most fully modernised nations, it is one of the leading countries in Asia and it’s a country whose religious traditions place great value on peace. I hope you’ll join me in the wish to build a more peaceful world, which is why wherever I go I try to promote the idea that we 7 billion human beings belong to one human family.”
“As you can see, I’m a Buddhist monk and it pains me when conflicts appear to be stoked by religious differences. This is what seems to be happening between Buddhists and Muslims in Burma. It’s very sad. I have appealed to the Buddhist monks there, when conflict flares up, to remember the face of the Buddha. I am convinced that if the Buddha were there he would offer protection to those Muslims who find themselves under threat.”
His Holiness explained that his second commitment is to the promotion of religious harmony, and that he hopes this is something Japan can also contribute to. Diverting from his theme he mentioned how important it is for Japanese students to improve their command of the English language, which is the international language, in order to better contribute to the world community.
“Finally,” he said, “I’m a Tibetan, a refugee who has lived nearly 55 years in exile. During this time, many, many people have shown us sympathy and support and I appreciate it. Since we elected a political leadership in 2001 I became semi-retired and after elections in 2011 I completely retired from my political responsibilities. On top of that I also brought an end to the institution of the Dalai Lamas occupying a temporal role in Tibetan affairs. This is part of my small contribution to furthering democracy among Tibetans.”
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the All Party Parliamentarian Group at the National Diet Building in Tokyo, Japan on November 20, 2013. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL|
“So this is an outline of concerns that I will pursue for the rest of my life,” he said.
“With regard to the new Chinese leadership, many friends have told me it seems to be more practical and realistic. Premier Xi Jinping is taking a stern line against corruption and in this he seems to be a man of courage and action. The recently completed third plenum noted the needs and concerns of the rural population and poor working people, which include a judicial system functioning to international standards. The Chinese people are hard-working and realistic and it is in them that there is hope for the future. “
There was only time for His Holiness to be asked one question and that related to the self-immolations that have taken place in Tibet. He reiterated that these events are sad and observed that it is in protest against the great difficulties they face that these people are prepared to give up their lives; it’s not because they are drunk or beset by domestic problems. He said it is difficult for him to ask them to act differently because he has nothing to offer them. It’s for the Chinese authorities to investigate the situation thoroughly to establish why so many in Tibet have chosen this path. He repeated how sad it is, especially when some of those who have set fire to themselves have been young mothers of small children.
Standing to leave, His Holiness’s attention was caught by the Tibetan flag standing next to his table. He said he would like to tell a story. During one of his meetings with Chairman Mao Zedong in Peking in 1954, Mao had asked him whether Tibet had a flag. When His Holiness cautiously answered that it did, Mao replied,
“Good, you must fly it alongside the national flag.”
This is why, today, despite hardliners in Peking asserting that the Tibetan flag is a symbol of the ‘splittists’, His Holiness feels he has Mao Zedong’s personal permission to keep and fly it.
Students of Yakumo Academy, Tokyo, cheer His Holiness the Dalai Lama
November 18th 2013
Tokyo, Japan, 18 November 2013 - When His Holiness the Dalai Lama stepped out of his car into the sunshine and the grounds of the Yakumo Academy this morning a great cheer went up. He was audibly welcomed not only by the students on the quadrangle, but also those on the balconies and at the windows of classrooms on the upper floors. Many of them waved Tibetan flags in their hands. He was greeted personally by the President-principal Akira Kondo Toshiro.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama is greeted by students as he enters the hall before his talk at Yakumo Academy, a girls' school in Tokyo, Japan on November 18, 2013. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL|
He spoke about the violence and bloodshed he and his generation had witnessed in the 20th century and the immense suffering that had been the result. This was despite the great developments and innovations that had also taken place. He suggested that some of the unfortunate events that have taken place in the early years of this century are a result of mistakes made in the last.
“What’s important now is to ensure that the 21st century becomes an era of peace and non-violence. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any problems, there will, so long as sources of conflict remain, but we need to resolve them not by resort to force, but through dialogue. It’s not easy to establish peace, but look at what Japan and Germany achieved. After being completely destroyed, these nations rebuilt themselves out of the ashes of their destruction. What it took was vision, determination and will power.”
We have to ask ourselves, he said, whether it’s possible to achieve a peaceful world. In the early decades of the 20th century, many people felt that war was unavoidable, that it was necessary to maintain the national interest. When the first and second world wars were declared, citizens joined the war effort proudly and willingly; this kind of attitude has completely changed. People protested about the wars in Vietnam and Kosovo and at the time of the Iraq crisis millions of people all over the world demonstrated against it. War brings huge suffering and people opposed it. His Holiness said:
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at Yakumo Academy, a girl’s school in Tokyo, Japan on November 18, 2013. Photo/Office of Tibet, Japan|
“In 1996 I met the British Queen Mother who’d been born at the beginning of the century and I asked her whether over that time the world had become better or worse. She had no hesitation in saying that it had got better. She said that when she was young there was no talk at all of human rights or self-determination, which most people now expect to exercise. These and the emergence of concern about natural ecology are indications that we have become more realistic and forward thinking. So there are grounds for hope.”
He admitted that there are those who argue that basic human nature is aggressive so war and violence are unavoidable, which requires serious and careful consideration, but he would say the evidence is to the contrary. Our mothers give birth to us; she cuddles and feeds us. We trust her, so long as we are in her arms we feel safe. Scientists say this physical contact is necessary for the proper growth of our brains. The child who grows up in an affectionate family, grows up happy and healthy.
Scientists have conducted experiments that show that children are naturally inclined to prefer kind responses, which suggests that human nature is essentially compassionate. Because others are the key to our own survival, compassion is an implicit part of our lives. As social animals we naturally show each other affection.
Looking into the audience, His Holiness laughingly said:
“Look, some of you are smiling, which is a natural human response, and which I always appreciate. I see that many of you have taken special care of your hair, but if you were to smile too, you’d look even better. I understand that students historically study English at this school and I think that Japanese students should do so, because like it or not English is the international language. Even my broken English has allowed me to reach out to others.”
|A student asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during his talk at Yakumo Academy, a girl’s school in Tokyo, Japan on November 18, 2013. Photo/Office of Tibet, Japan|
Another student told him that these days Japan is facing threats of trouble from other countries and she would like to know how they should cope with it. He laughed, saying:
“O, this is complicated. I always believe that a fundamentally positive approach is to take account of the oneness of humanity. Dividing the world into ‘us’ and ‘them’ might have worked in the past, but it doesn’t any more. We have to talk through our problems with confidence. We Tibetans, for example, have suffered a great deal, but we are committed to talking through our difficulties with our opponents, considering them our fellow human beings, to achieve our goals.”
The final question was about how to reconcile advice that runs counter to your own plans. He suggested consulting others, thinking deeply and taking all the options into account before making a decision. But once you reach a decision, he said, you should stick to it. This is what His Holiness says he tries to do himself.
One student then stepped forward and on behalf of her fellow students thanked His Holiness for coming to the school and for his talk. She told him they appreciated his thoughtful words and would not forget them. She hoped he would enjoy the rest of his visit to Japan.
|Peter Barakan interviewing His Holiness the Dalai Lama in connection with an animated film focussing on the life of the Buddha in Tokyo, Japan on November 18, 2013. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL|
Regarding asceticism, His Holiness clarified that the Buddha did for some time engage strictly in ascetic practices like fasting. However, he eventually concluded that the best course was to avoid the extreme of luxury and the extreme of asceticism. He discovered that to make best use of the potential of the mind requires a strong and healthy body. He thanked the team for their work to help people become more aware of the Buddha and what he taught.
Dialogue with Scientists in Tokyo on ‘Universe, Life and Education’
November 17th 2013
Tokyo, Japan, 17 November 2013 - For the fifth in a series of dialogues His Holiness the Dalai Lama has held with scientists in Japan since 2004, he was accompanied into the hall where the meeting was taking place by the Abbot of Koyasan, headquarters of the Shingon school of Japanese Buddhism. Dr Haruo Saji opened proceedings, drawing attention to the many correspondences that exist between Buddhist and scientific approaches to reality. He also mentioned that there are things that are difficult for us to know and referred to our inability to see our own real face. He said what we see in the mirror is only a reflection and a photograph is only dots of ink on paper. The Koyasan Abbot said he has found much in common between his tradition and Tibetan Buddhism and looked forward to listening to His Holiness’s conversation with scientists. The moderator, Prof. Akira Ikegami introduced His Holiness.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the dialogue with scientists in Tokyo, Japan on November 17, 2013. Photo/Office of Tibet Japan|
He pointed out that the Buddha’s advice to his followers not to accept what he said at face value, but to experiment with it, to examine and investigate it, contains a healthy scepticism in common with a scientific approach. Subsequent Indian masters like Nagarjuna had followed this advice critically examining what true cessation, the third of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, meant. He revealed that liberation or true cessation is a state of mind in which the negative emotions that defile and obstruct the mind have been completely eliminated. And to achieve it we have to understand emptiness of intrinsic existence. Nagarjuna clarified that to say ‘form is empty, emptiness is form’ refers to nothing existing objectively, to things existing merely as designations on the basis of their parts.
His Holiness highlighted the practical nature of the Buddha’s teaching. The Four Noble Truths were taught on the basis of causality. The Buddha himself was, to begin with, an ordinary human being like us, but through intense training became enlightened. He said we all have Buddha nature, but we have to bring it to fruition through our own efforts. Buddha nature is our subtle mind and mind is perfected by employing the mind.
“From a Buddhist point of view understanding emptiness is important, because it is through this wisdom, this glimpse of reality, that we eliminate our disturbing emotions. An American friend, a psychiatrist called Aaron Beck, once told me that when people are angry, they see the object of their anger as almost entirely negative, yet 90% of this is just their mental projection. Ignorance, which underpins our destructive emotions, has no valid basis, but the wisdom that understands reality in based on reason. The Buddhist approach is to use our intelligence to the maximum. We have to investigate and seek truth from facts. And for this reason I am eager to engage in discussion with scientists.”
|Audience members listening to the dialogue between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and scientists in Tokyo, Japan on November 17, 2013. Photo/Office of Tibet Japan|
His Holiness remarked that Buddhists distinguish inanimate living things from sentient beings. Although plants, animals and people can ultimately be reduced to the same kind of particles, plants have no ability to know and no ability to feel pleasure or pain. The difference is the presence of consciousness, the substantial cause of which is consciousness. His Holiness mentioned too that after extensive discussions with his old friend Francisco Varela they had concluded that a sentient being could be defined as something that can move voluntarily.
Susumu Sakurai, a Master of Science at Tokyo Institute of Technology gave a presentation about Mathematics in relation to humanity. He asserted that mathematics has been developed and explored by human beings who have discovered numerical realms that are superior to the universe as a physical entity, but which have also become a significant tool to understand the universe. He cited the curious perfection of ‘pi’, the mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. He gave an enigmatic demonstration that everyone’s birth date could be found in it.
Asked to comment, His Holiness said that to do so he would need to know something about the topic and that although the presentation had been wonderful, he had always been poor at mathematics.
The third presentation of the morning was given by Akiko Katsumata, Assistant Professor at Suzuka Junior College. She spoke about the importance and educational value of putting yourself in someone else’s place and cited several cases when she had learned a lesson because she had failed to do so. On one occasion she went to a restaurant with someone with cerebral palsy and proceeded to order for her, thinking it was a kindly and efficient thing to do. Her companion complained that she had behaved as if she did not exist.
|View of the stage during the dialogue between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and scientists in Tokyo, Japan on November 17, 2013. Photo/Office of Tibet Japan|
Asked for his thoughts to end the morning session, His Holiness said:
“All beings want happiness and to live in peace undisturbed. Therefore the concept of human rights is universal. It should apply to everyone who experiences pain or pleasure. This is also why developing sincere concern for others is the source of your own peace of mind; it brings with it trust and a sense of peace. Cultivating warm-heartedness contributes to our own well-being.”
The afternoon session opened with Norio Kaifu, Professor Emeritus, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, who declared that he was an astronomer with an interest in Buddhism. He said that he believes there is neither a beginning nor a final theory about the universe. In fact the universe is evolving as it continues to expand. He said the universe has evolved through a combination of the laws of physics and an enormous series of coincidences, citing his own life as a consequence of such a series of coincidences. He suggested that in this context, Buddhism seems to be the only religious tradition that is compatible with science. He concluded by telling His Holiness that he is part of an international project to construct an astronomical observatory in Tibet.
The second presentation of the afternoon was given by Shinichi Nishikawa, Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University who asked what scientists should be looking for in the 21st century. He drew attention to the number of things that human beings deal with that have no physical existence. He gave the example of a clock which physically exists, but also of its function and purpose to tell the time which has no physical existence. He also mentioned that it is the emptiness of a vessel and the space in a window or doorway, an absence of physical existence, that allows them to function.
His Holiness was prompted to remark that there is an important difference between something that is shown not to exist and something that has not been proved to exist. He talked about three classes of phenomena, those that obviously exist, those that are slightly hidden and those that are extremely hidden. Obvious phenomena are the things we can see, but also include our experience of consciousness, which is obvious to us even though we cannot see, touch or measure it.
|Haruo Saji, Kazuo Murakami, Akiko Katsumata, Susumu Sakurai, Moriya Okano, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Akira Ikegami and Norio Kaifu together at the conclusion of their dialogue on "Universe, Life and Education" in Tokyo, Japan on November 17, 2013. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL|
His Holiness explained that Buddhist literature preserved in Tibetan can be classified into science and philosophy, which can be of interest to anyone, and religious matters of interest only to Buddhists. He announced that two volumes of Buddhist science materials have been compiled and will be published in the near future.
Among the final comments, Prof. Nishikawa said that due to the constraints under which they function, scientists are not free but they are safe. His Holiness responded:
“I’ve had many serious discussions with many scientists. And I’ve discovered that the best scientists are intelligent, open-minded and receptive. Their minds are not set, but open. However, they do not accept anything until it can be proved by experiment and reason.”
Prof. Kaifu asked His Holiness how he would summarize Buddhism and he replied:
“All major religions carry the same message about seeking to live a happy life. What is unique about Buddhism is that not only is there no concept of a creator, but also no concept of an inherently existent self. Its basic philosophical view is that all things are interdependent, that they come about in dependence on other factors, and its conduct, non-violence, is of universal benefit.”
Prof. Murakami was invited to offer closing remarks. He said he was happy to have been able to bring this event about. He thanked His Holiness, the moderator, the coordinator, the five speakers and Mr Lhakpa Tshoko, His Holiness’s Representative in Japan, for their contributions to making this special event possible. The audience was generous with its applause.