His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama inaugurated Summer Highest Buddhist Council (Pegon Yarchos Chenmo) at Spituk on 29th July. The council was organised by Spituk Galden Targyasling Monastery.
In the council Galden Tripa Rizong Rinpoche, The Arahat Bakula Rinpoche, Thiksay Khanpo Rinpoche, Geshes, monks, Minister for cooperative, Tsering Dorje Lakrook, Member of Parliament, Thupstan Tsewang. Chief executive Councillor, LAHDC, Rigzin Spalbar, Member of Legislative Assembly, Nawang Rigzin Jora, other eminent guest, dignitaries and the school students participated.
Geshe Konchok Wangdus in his opening speech, said, that the council is initiated to understand the religious education and promoting inter-religious harmony in Ladakh. With the encouragement and advice of His Holiness, Buddhist understanding in the region has greatly improved in the recent years.
Pegon Yarchos Chenmo is organised on the recommendation of His Holiness Dalai Lama. This is the 3rd Council in Ladakh; the first was initiated by Central Institute of Buddhist Studies. In the council, debates and discussion will be carried on among the different school of Buddhism and on a different subject like Science, moral education etc.
The young Bakula Rinpoche debated in front of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Debate discussion on,” whether beings exist inherently or not”, was followed by the Monks of Spituk Monastery , school children, girls as well as boys, debated on fundamental topics like the Four Noble Truths, the differences between the aspiration and engaging awakening minds and the methods for developing them.
His Holiness addressed the gathering, noting that, the changes in Ladakh have taken place in both positive and negative ways. The growing rate of suicide cases in Ladakh also is because of the problem the rest of the world is facing, that is the ” moral crisis”. The problem faced is the man made. The real solution for this problem is not just the prayer but to take action against it.
The difference between the 20th and the 21st century can be the era of bloodshed and era of peace. His holiness added that the 20th century was an era of immense bloodshed. The turning point of the 21st century depends on the young people. If worked for peace and happiness it can be a glorious era, and if nature would be angry and greedy than it will lead to conflict and suffering period. Inner peace and development of mind, clearer understanding of reality is one of the ways to make the 21st century a peaceful and happy era.
His Holiness, said, “I make a distinction between Buddhist science, philosophy and religion. People who are not Buddhist needn't pay attention to the religious aspects of the tradition, but there is no reason why the science and philosophy shouldn't be openly accessible to whoever wishes to benefit from them. These days, eminent scientists are taking an interest in the profound explanations of reality and the workings of the mind to be found in these sources." With regard to traditional modes of study, His Holiness explained that the past masters of India and Tibet took an approach in writing and debate in which they counter others' views, asserted their own and criticise.
Speaking on the event, Chering Dorjey Lakrook expressed happiness and joy to be part of the council and even honoured to get the council opened up by His Holiness Dalai Lama. He shared the importance of such council to be participated by the youth and to be held annually because today’s generations are not well aware of Buddhism in the real sense. This is because the subject is not in their curriculum and it becomes neglected by the students. He added, “After the debates and discussion I hope the student will gain more and more interest in Buddhist philosophy and studies.” The keen interest of younger generation to understand the Buddhism will be fulfilled if such council are initiated and make it as a custom to celebrate such council.
Respect for all the religious traditions and even the views of those who assert no faith is one among the moral values. Apart from all the infrastructural development, the inner peace and development of mind becomes prime importance of leading a happy life.
CEC-LAHDC, Rigzin Spalbar talked about the importance and value of His Holiness teaching the relevance of Buddhist teaching in the present day to the Ladakhi youths who are confused about the value of their local culture and traditions.
Pegon Yarchos Chenmo will be carried on for 15 days.