The teaching began with a group of Theravada monks reciting the Mangala Sutra in Pali, followed by a recitation of the Heart Sutra in Sanskrit by students of the Central University for Tibetan Studies.
Addressing the devotees, His Holiness said, “I feel fortunate to be able to give this teaching and you should think yourselves fortunate to be able to listen to it. This is not about listening simply to receive blessings. Nor is it a case of hearing the teaching once and then setting it aside. You have to study steadily, understand it and think about it again and again.”
His Holiness also pointed out during the teaching that while the Pali and Sanskrit traditions of Buddhism have the Monastic Discipline or Vinaya in common, Tibetan Buddhism seems to be the only tradition to employ logic. For this, the Tibetans are grateful to the Nalanda master Shantarakshita who helped establish the practice of Buddhism in Tibet and who was himself a master of philosophy and logic.
His Holiness received the transmission and explanation of this text, Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, from the Kinnauri, Khunu Lama Tenzing Gyaltsen in Bodhgaya. However, the first teaching he received from him was his Praise to Bodhichitta in a sparse Hindu temple here in Sarnath, which Khunu Lama Rinpoche said was an ideal, quiet place to stay.
Over 6000 people are currently attending the four-day discourse by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, comprising of approximately 2000 monks and nuns; 800 from the Himalayan regions; 2500 from the Tibetan public; 96 registered members of the media and 650 foreigners from 33 different countries.