Dalai Lama is a world famous spiritual leader and a proponent of Buddhism who has gained huge recognition for his invaluable teachings on life, suffering and materialism.
The 14th Dalai Lama was born to a family of farmers in Taktser, Amdo. He was selected as the tulku of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1937. He was born Lhamo Thondup on 6 July 1935.
The Dalai Lama advocates specifically for the welfare and religious rights of Tibetans and for the preservation of their culture.
After the death of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1935, Lhamo Thondup succeeded him and assumed the status of the most powerful political and spiritual leader of Tibet when he turned 16.
Since the age of 2, he was taught and trained in religious education and practices.
He was a strong supporter of forming a democratic government for Tibetans which led to his and his supporters’ exile from their country. He escaped to India and has lived here since then.
In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for the struggle for the liberation of Tibet and the efforts for a peaceful resolution. He is one of the most beloved leaders and spiritual guides of the last century.
His teachings have influenced millions of people and his speeches and quotes of compassion and love have inspired them to live similarly as well.
Here we have some of his quotes that give you deeper meanings to the truths and wisdom in life.
“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”
Like the famous Buddhist quote, a lighted candle will not lose its shine by lighting another candle, Dalai Lama insists on sharing our knowledge with others.
You help one in attaining enlightenment and it will lead to your immortality through the knowledge that will live beyond your years on Earth.
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“Although you may not always be able to avoid difficult situations, you can modify the extent to which you can suffer by how you choose to respond to the situation.”
The control and eventuality of any situation do not lie in our hands. But our response to it is with us.
Choosing to respond in a way that will benefit instead of destructing anyone on the path will serve well at all times.
“An open heart is an open mind.”
Acceptance is the greatest concern in our time. We seek acceptance for who we are from everyone.
Similarly, we find it difficult to accept everyone fearing the social construct and conditioning we are used to. Dalai Lama’s words – an open heart – meaning a heart ready to love one without conditions mean that you love people without conditions.
It essentially means your mind is open to accepting them.
“When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience. When we are able to recognize and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.”
Once again, Dalai Lama groups together compassion and wisdom seeking our actions to benefit everyone.
This removes the fear for oneself, ignorance of the turmoil of other people and encourages forgiveness of any past mistakes committed. Compassion will never lead you to do the wrong thing.
“Optimism leads to success; pessimism leads to defeat.”
Positive thinking and love for all are two important qualities impressed upon us in Buddhism. They are essential and great qualities to have in our life at all times.
“Irrespective of whether we are believers or agnostics, whether we believe in God or karma, moral ethics is a code which everyone is able to pursue.”
Compassion and love do not need religion. It is not the belief in a system that matters; it is the faith in goodness.
Righteousness should be everyone’s belief system for it surpasses everything else.
“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.
“I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in that religion or this religion, we are all seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness.”
Happiness is at the core of what we search through our lives as humans. We may not understand fully what true joy encompasses, but nevertheless, it is ultimately joy that is the goal of our existence.
Attaining it the right way without causing harm to another being in the process will mean more in the end.
“Optimism doesn’t mean that you are blind to the reality of the situation. It means that you remain motivated to seek a solution to whatever problems arise.”
“I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable to you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is of no use, then you can discard it.”
It is wise to always think and use our common sense on any subject. One should never believe in any idea without giving it enough thought individually or without proof.
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“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”
Wisdom leads to answers and in turn contentment. Ignorance only leads to fear or misunderstanding of the unknown which will never help us in life.
“Our human intelligence tells us which of our emotions are positive and helpful and which are damaging and to be restrained or avoided.”
“There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us, not even the Buddha. So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?”
This is a question all of us must take the time to answer, at least to ourselves. Finding the purpose of your life might be difficult and not happen in a few days. But the answer to this question usually is simpler.
Social constructs, conditioning, fear of disappointments and disappointing will top of all our lists.
Instead of giving in to these reasons, we might have to consider if these problems are as impossible to overcome as we make them seem or just excuses for staying within our comfort zone.
“Our ancient experience confirms at every point that everything is linked together, everything is inseparable.”
Oneness with the Universe is a concept commonly preached in Buddhism. They teach you to see others as your own self.
This is to teach us compassion and empathy for their troubles and help them in their suffering while also sharing your joy with them.
“People take different roads seeking fulfilment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”
“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.”
Our mind is in our control. And so is our life.
You start thinking positive thoughts as you begin a day, you will realise it imparts only that energy in your body and pushes you towards a beautiful day.
17. Bringing Change
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
Small drops make an ocean. Every small action counts. Every small change can snowball into a revolution. It always starts with you.
Thinking what we do will not make any impact is not a good reason to stop doing good.
“It is very rare or almost impossible that an event can be negative from all points of view.”
There is always a silver lining if we look hard enough. Our perspective is the only thing stopping us from finding it.
“Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”
Just like knowing when to say some things when you want to be heard, you should be aware of when to remain silent.
There are times when silence makes a bigger impact and times when it will avoid creating negative situations.
20. Personal Growth
“The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.”
There is no actual competition in the world to be the best. The competition is only with yourself.
It is only to become better than your yesterday’s version. That is the only comparison worth making.
“The world doesn’t belong to leaders. The world belongs to all humanity.”
The world may be ruled by different rulers. But as a community, as a society, none of us would survive without the existence of humanity.
The lesser it is seen and expressed, the more difficult the world becomes for our existence.
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
It is not always bad luck when you don’t get what you wanted. At times, what you wanted might not be what you needed and sometimes there are better things out there just waiting for you to grab hold of.
Do not lament the loss of something you never had.
Let these teachings guide you in pursuing a life free from attachments and worries for the future and adopt a healing attitude towards the most grave issues you face in your life.