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May 14, 2012

Acceptance Address by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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Respected leaders, and also the leaders of the Templeton Foundation, and of course basically human brothers, sisters. This magnificent temple, historical temple, with a lot of human faces with smiles. Although I cannot see each person’s face, it seems as if no faces are certainly angry or certainly unhappy expressions.

So, I am one of the human beings. But we are equipped with human affection. So here I think a few hundred people, perhaps different nationality, different races, different faith, but that’s a secondary level. The fundamental level, we are the same human being. Mentally, emotionally, physically also, we are same. No differences, no barriers. I always feel if we touch fundamental levels, we are the same human being. Hardly no reason to quarrel, to fight each other, but often we forget that. We consider secondary level of differences. That really causes a lot of problems.

So here a big number in a sacred place with, I think, full of that human affection, human compassion. So I really enjoy, I am really moved. So whenever I give talk I always refer to brothers, sisters, I truly believe that, and the difference of titles, difference of status, I don’t know, and sometimes even difficult to pronounce. So I prefer to use the word, brothers, sisters; that’s much simpler, much meaning.

I want to seek one permission, my cap. This one, because you see, very strong light. This is not red hat or black hat or white hat or blue hat.  Just a simple, practical hat.

So firstly I must thank your foundation for choosing me as this year’s receiver of the award.  I am nothing special person. As I mentioned earlier, we are the same. Perhaps I had opportunity to carry this practice and also share more people, from my own experiences. That is ultimate source of calm mind based on self-confidence. Self-confidence develop more open mind. Consider others as human brothers, sisters. That feeling remove demarcation, we all same, one humanity. Even trouble maker within that humanity. That gives you self-confidence. Self-confidence reduce fear in society, and mainly because of the self-confidence you can act honestly, truthful, sincerely.  So that way we can develop atmosphere where we can develop trust. That will reduce fear, anxiety, loneliness, irrespective whether believer or non-believer. That is the key factor for happy life and also healthy body, and also the best sort of way to bring more friends, more, sort of, positive smiles. With money, with power, you may bring some smile, but artificial smile, not a genuine one.

Irrespective whether you are poor or rich or powerful or educated or uneducated, from the birth we are already equipped with these immensely useful positive protection already here. So I have more opportunity to practice that because my own life passing through difficult period. So whenever I have opportunity I always share with people upon my own experience, so therefore this award I consider some kind of recognition about my own little positive contribution for a better kind of humanity, start from individual level, family level, then community level, that way.

So now here, you are a few hundred people, each of you some friends, so we can multiply 10,000. Through that way 100,000. So please share, make clear, ultimate source of our mind, ultimate source of joyful life not depend on money, not depend on power but depend on inner value. That’s from birth, everybody’s equipped. So please make known our great potential inner source that I would like to see in you.

And then religious harmony. I am Buddhist.  That is secondary level I am Buddhist.  I am Tibetan. Because today this is a conflict. Although I think the main reason, economy reasons, power reasons, but often use name of religion. So sometimes religion itself becoming a factor to right and causing problems, causing even conflict. It is very sad. Suppose there is quarrel, killing, in money matter, understandable. Power matter, yes, understandable. But never religion. How conflict? Really illogical. Religion, all major religious traditions talk of forgiveness on the basis of practice of love, compassion. So then our source supposed to provide us compassion, forgiveness, that itself fuel of fight, killing. Really? Medicine cause more illness? And what to do then? Medicine supposed to cure illness. Similarly, various religious tradition supposed to minimize this negative human emotion and increase positive emotion. But that itself sometimes is causing more problem. It’s very, very sad.

Particularly at a time, in ancient time people remain isolated. That’s different questions. More or less independent, self-sufficient. Now today’s world not like that.  The economies are also heavily interdependent. The west needs east, east needs west, north needs west, south needs north, like that. Heavily interdependent. On top of that, environment issue. No matter how powerful one single nation is it cannot solve these problems. Entire humanity have to make effort, protection of environment. This is our only interest.

So therefore, according to this reality, now full cooperation is highly necessary. In order to develop full cooperation we need friendship. Friendship entirely based on trust. Trust based on warm heartedness. Keep here negative sort of feeling and use nice words, smile face, won’t bring trust, won’t bring genuine friendship. Genuine friendship come only if you show genuine human affection, genuine concern of others’ wellbeing. That is the basis of developing friendship. Friendship is the basis of genuine cooperation. Sense of global responsibility. Regard entire seven billion human being as one humanity, then I think many problems we can solve through human way.

So I am often telling people, the 20th century, century of bloodshed, including this cathedral some bomb, some bomb during Hitler, during Second World War. Although Churchill expressed, we must protect this cathedral, but others won’t listen that. So suppose sacred place, but bomb fell. You see some portion damaged like that. So that’s the 20th century event. Although that century I think really, really a wonderful century, we human being developed a lot of innovations and different ideas, different political, technological, science, really highly developed. I think to some extent war also helping to further develop technology or science also.

Anyway, 20th century became century of bloodshed, century of violence. If that immense amount of violence really brought better world, more happier world, then you might justify that amount of suffering and violence, but that not the case. Very beginning of this 21st century some unhealthy things in Middle East and also Kosovo, this area, it’s actually symptom of the vast mistake and vast negligence.

So now time has come, now we are 21st century, beginning of 21st century, now time come, we have to think more widely. It’s almost I think out of date, old way of thinking, my nation, my people, my religion. Now we have to think world, one world, and oneness of humanity. So, the thing where entire humanity, even animals, without question appreciate that warm heartedness, irrespective whether believer or non-believer. And so all major religious tradition, despite different philosophy, all carry same message: message of love, compassion, forgiveness. So this you share your friends, and through your friends, more people, all major world religious tradition, despite different philosophical view, all carry the same message: message of love, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline. And then these different philosophical views, the real purpose of these different philosophies is finding these basic human values.

So same purpose. Some say there is god that is absolute. Some say only law of causality. Yes, big different view. But both trying to convince people the value of warm heartedness, practice of compassion, forgiveness. So while I’m receiving this award I want to share, don’t put hope in one individual. You yourself must develop self-confidence and realize potential, share with more people. 1000 people make effort, it can multiply 10,000 then 100,000. That’s the way to change human mind, from one person praising something and hope is unrealistic. You must change from everywhere.

And also media people have also important role to educate people, money is not ultimate source of happiness. Real source of happiness is within ourselves. That also not necessarily based on religious faith. Even without religious faith, from birth we learned the value of human affection from our mother. Even animal. So we are equipped as the practice or the source of compassion from child, from birth. So media people also have important role. So I think every profession field, warm heartedness is ultimate source of beneficial act. Warm heartedness, with that, I think even warfare can be much less destruction. Ill-feeling here, hatred, even religion also become destructive.

I often telling people, politics, usually people say dirty politics. I usually say, politics itself not dirty, but people involved in politics becoming a little unclean, so the politics itself also become dirty politics. Similarly, religious sort of teaching, like myself, perhaps you also include. Suppose we are, sort of, teachers of religion, but if we carry this teaching with negative motivation, that religion also become dirty religion. So every field ultimately depends on sincere motivation. So irrespective of believer, non-believer, we all equipped with that and very important to make known ultimate source of happiness should not slip from our sight, but should pay more attention about our inner world. So through that way, your little recognition, my little contribution can affect, can reach more wider people if you make some attempt, some effort. And you, very strong voice, through your voice also, you see, you can send message to people. Our ultimate source of happiness, joyfulness is within ourselves. So tell them, that’s all.

Then if you owe money, keep my own pocket. Then I may, overnight I become a little bit richer. But I am a monk, no family, nothing. And practical level, I am guest of Indian government. So actually the longest guest of Indian government. Sometimes that guest creates a little bit of problem here and there but overall I consider myself as messenger of ancient Indian thought. Wherever I go I talk nonviolence, that’s India’s message. Wherever I go, religious harmony I talk. That also India’s message. So, really, I think India is the real, living example, all major religious tradition live together with respect.

So anyway, from that money I want to donate, although some paper already there, donate to the Save the Children fund. One reason, firstly, in the 1960s when the Tibetan refugee community really facing tremendous difficulties, also there’s a big difference in climate condition. At that time, Save the Children fund came to help us, 40 million children. And then recently when you see this award announced, around that period, I also heard through BBC the Save the Children fund worldwide movement and then I felt our real hope on the shoulder of younger generation. If not too much blunt, sometimes I feel older generation somehow our brain fixed, so sometimes it’s difficult to change or to look in more wider way. So of course it doesn’t matter, I’m also from that generation, so doesn’t matter. So our real hope, younger generation. If we properly educate them then they will change our world. This 21st century should be more peaceful, peaceful depend on compassion so therefore more compassionate world.  That should be our aim. So that will not materialize through prayer, through meditation, but through education. So, like the Save the Children fund, firstly help physical sort of health, then more important through education. Educate them more holistic way. So, my money, $1.5 million you see donate to Save the Children fund.

Then another portion, many decades my close friends or helpers, the scientists, mainly brain specialist or science of health, and many scientists now really find warm heartedness really bring inner peace. This is not just a word. They carried some experiment. They convinced through experiment, through training your mind, through awareness of different sort of values, a person’s mental state change, blood pressure reduce, stress also reduce. We are not talking about next life, we are not talking about heaven. We are simply talking about how to build healthy body through healthy mind. So scientific research immensely helpful. So therefore one portion I like to donate to them, that organization. That organization also Mind and Life, right from the beginning I also involve that foundation so I would have to give them.

Then remaining few 75,000, that our own, let’s say, community in India, Tibetan community, those sort of traditionally type of monastic institution. Since last few years we already started lesson of science to selected students. Very successful. We already have concrete plans to introduce more science in our monastic institution. So some portion I would like to give them.

So my own pocket still empty. So my pocket may complain me, but that’s okay, no problem. And finally, I really feel great honor receiving this award and as I mentioned earlier, with significant great temple and a lot of people full of human affection, I much appreciate. Thank you very much.