Day 2 in Melbourne – His Holiness speaks on issues from Buddhist science to environment and from refugees to compassion
Melbourne, Australia, 10 June 2011 (By Tsering Kyinzom Dhongdue) – His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated Quang Minh Temple of the Vietnamese Buddhist community in Melbourne’s Braybrook suburb this morning.A crowd of over 1,500 Vietnamese Buddhists chanted and cheered on his arrival. Many of them were overjoyed by presence of His Holiness in their midst and were moved to tears.
His Holiness’ prayers were followed by the chanting of Vietnamese monks and nuns. He stressed on the importance of developing inner peace as opposed to material wealth. He drew parallels between the Tibetan and Vietnamese Buddhist traditions and advised the large gathering that “as 21st century Buddhists, we should have the full knowledge of Buddha dharma. It’s not sufficient to recite prayers to claim we are Buddhists. This, he said, will come from a serious study of the religion.
His Holiness had visited the old temple 15 years ago. He said the community should focus on understanding the essence of Buddhist philosophy and that he hopes to see the big, new building being used as a class room and not primarily as a prayer hall.His Holiness then headed off to Footscray, a suburb known for its diverse, immigrant communities and addressed a rally for disadvantaged youth in the area. Youth worker Les Twentyman, who runs 20th Man Foundation to solve homelessness and poverty, organised this special event. A gathering, consisting mainly of children from the local school, came to hear His Holiness speak. Young kids from the age of 6 to 18 asked him a range of questions of one’s life. A donation was made from the Dalai Lama Trust to support the charity organisation .
After lunch, His Holiness participated in a conversation with a group of refuges from Burma, China, Vietnam and Eritrea, who have fought all odds in their home countries and have now established successful lives in Australia. The issue of asylum seekers is currently a subject of the\ Australian political debate. His Holiness shared his personal journey as a refugee and said one needs to look at the source of the problem to find an answer. He said while a natural disaster could sometimes trigger a refugee crisis, too often it is a matter of leadership and lack of moral principles. He then shared his life story as a result of the Chinese occupation of Tibet.His Holiness’ last event for the day was a reception hosted by federal Greens MP Adam Bandt. He was also met by long-time Tibet supporter and Greens leader Senator Bob Brown. His Holiness talked on the subject of moving cities towards a sustainable future, during which he expressed his deep passion for ecology. When asked what makes a good city, His Holiness said he would like to see more greeneries and less of cars on the road.
“With sincere efforts and by using modern technology, we can save our earth,” concluded His Holiness.