Chetsang Rinpoche interacts with Ladakh youth, speaks on social inequality and rising suicide cases

By Rinchen Angmo Chumikchan LEH, Jun 30, 2016
 His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche interacted with the youth of Ladakh and talked about the menace of social inequality and rising suicide cases. A talk on social inequality and the rising suicide cases, organised by the Ladakh Buddhist Association, Youth Wing, was held at Sindhu Sanskriti on June 19.

In the interaction session, the Rinpoche pointed out that Buddhist religion is a casteless religion and added that there was nothing written about it in any Buddhist scriptures. He said that castes were created on the basis of a profession which continued to exist even today.  During the rule of the kings in Ladakh, many people started migrating to Ladakh, and it was one of the ways to keep control on them.

“Ladakh was a small society then and caste was one of the ways to stop them from entering into Ladakh,” said the Rinpoche. Before the 8th century, this inequality did not exist at all, adding that to consider others as inferior was not a good intention. And, hence, he emphasized, the practice should end for the good of all.
The Buddha said:

By birth one is not an outcaste,
By birth one is not a Brahmin;
By deeds alone one is an outcaste,
By deeds alone one is a Brahmin

Talking about the rising suicide cases among the youth in Ladakh, the Rinpoche said we were not able to cope up with the sudden change. “Ladakh is witnessing a change that is very sudden and there is a lot of competition going on and youngsters are exposed to many things which lead to mental problems and then commit suicide,” he said.

He pointed out that one of the reasons is that our social fabric is deteriorating. “Today, the relation among the people of Ladakh is decaying and the economy is going up.” His Holiness said that we should conduct more and more discussions and seminars against the ills of a caste system. It will gradually change, he said. 

Emphasising on training the youth, he said there should be coordination between the body and the mind so that the youth became strong enough to resist suicide tendencies.