His Holiness Dalai Lama on Dr Kalam’s 89th Birthday
I am blessed to have participated in a virtual program where His Holiness Dalai Lama addressed the students from around the world and the members of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation on the event of the 89th Birthday celebrations of the former President of India. His Holiness spoke from his holy abode in Dharamshala, on the topic of “Liveable Planet Earth, Working Together for a Peaceful World”. The event was live broadcasted on YouTube in over fourteen languages.
Below are from the notes I took from His Holiness speech. You can watch the full video above.
- Physical brain vs the sixth mind. Much attention is being by scientist and doctors to the physical brain, but we need to realise the importance of our mind in our overall wellbeing too.
- Karuna (It was magical to hear the way His Holiness pronounced this Sanskrit word) and Ahimsa are important, they come from thousands of years of Indian tradition.
- Global warming is real, September this year was the warmest according to the scientist.
- Most of the problems we face now are our own creations.
- Peace of mind is very important. Ancient Indian tradition too stresses, on this, being in constant fear destroys our peace of mind. Having more compassion, an altruistic mind brings less fear and peace of mind.
- I always think and regard the 7 billion human beings as my brothers and sisters. same human beings. Oneness of human beings brings human peace.
- We can learn from how the European Union was formed and those who were fighting with each other in the first and second world war, are now able to live peacefully and are having no more fighting. India and China the two most populous nation in the world should have some form of union, maybe a big Asian union including Japan and all other small countries like Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, then I think, practically, we can save a lot of money, which are otherwise being spent on military purchases. Nobody wants to kill. We all want peaceful communities. You with young minds, need to come with new ideas and innovations, shouldn’t carry the past baggage, have a sense of concern for the poorer section of people.
Q: Should the world wait for another prophet like Buddha to come for world peace? A: I think, fairly speaking, in Buddha’s time it was small communities, small nations, there was no concept of internationalization. Now we have a Global economy, technology advancements and we are now closer to each other than ever. For the future of India, you need good relations with your neighbour; West needs better relations with Asia, that’s the reality. We can live happily. We need better education, avoidance of “I” & narrow mindset; Quantum Physicists says there are big differences between appearance and relativity. If you go to a deeper level, all of us (friends, enemies) are just particles. Most of the destructive emotions are on appearances level only. Constructive emotions like Karuna and compassion are at a deeper level, through meditation, we can develop them. We cannot develop anger through meditation, which comes only at the appearance level and not from reality. Anger may come for anyone, but nobody can meditate on anger, it will be silly. Through the peace of mind, we can have a peaceful person.
Q: How can we get through the pandemic through spiritually and directly? A: In India, the number of people infected is high, yet recovery is high too. The medical professionals are doing wonderful work, meanwhile, the individual should not get demoralized, which will weaken the immune system; we need to be full of enthusiasm, we need to think of having full energy to serve humanity; each person should think of our locality, then the nation, then the world. We need self-confidence and positive thinking.
The gap between the rich and poor is morally wrong, we have to think more than that, we are all the same human beings on this planet, we have to think side by side. The richer countries have to do more and think about their poorer brothers and sisters.
Q: In these dire situations, how do we have the faith to keep tackling the tough problems of Climate change without losing hope? A: The human mind has a great power to see things from different aspects. Our education should not repeat the same knowledge of previous generations & ways, our reality has changed much, our thinking has changed, yet everything is interdependent; we have to think of oneness of 7 billion human beings. Use our intelligence properly, widely, not thinking narrowly (will give us the strength to keep going).
Q: How has the coronavirus affected people positively? A: Basically we need more of self-confidence, peace of mind, a holistic mind, these will help you. Courageous thinking will improve immunity. With the help of doctors and self-confidence, we can win this pandemic. Being demoralized is the source of failure.
Develop Self-confidence (to develop it be truthful and honest; negative emotion will reduce it), Human Intelligence (to be utilized properly). Our Brain and whole-heartedness should get combined.
Thank you, your Holiness.
Update 5th Nov 2020
“The Week” magazine has released a special edition of its November 5th, 2020 issue celebrating the above event and the life of Dr Kalam. The magazine asked me for a quote of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam that I remember well, that’s when I recalled of a profound statement made by Dr Kalam in a talk, he had delivered in 2014 that had come true now.
For Dr Kalam, technology was never about the present, but its potential in the future. In 2014, he shared his thoughts with three-hundred of my software engineering colleagues on the “Dimensions of communication in the 21st century”, where he said “I visualize a hundred percent mobile telephony-based office, where all office work from morning to evening will be done in a 100% paperless and 100% transport less mode. Office meetings will happen over mobile based video call. In such a world, transport to office will be history and people will work from the comfort of their family and home”. And in its own way 2020 has proved his vision true.
You can read the full transcript of Dr Kalam’s speech in 2014 here and about the event here.
[Disclaimer: This post is from my notes, it is not comprehensive nor meant to be accurate. Please refer to the video if in doubt]