By Sherab Woeser
His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets with scientists during the morning session held in Koyasan University Auditorium in Koyasan, Japan, on November 3, 2011. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
KOYASAN, November 3: On a day when the topics of discussion at the Koyasan University auditorium ranged from the genetic information of cells to the complex Buddhist ideas of Dharmakaya, His Holiness the Dalai Lama methodically shared his ideas in drawing closer the two poles of human intellectual excellence.
On the last day of his stay at one of Japan’s most sacred places, Koyasan, the Tibetan spiritual leader held two separate sessions, one with leading scientists in Japan, carrying out path breaking research, and the other with some of the most learned Buddhist teachers at the Koyasan University who have kept alive the centuries old Shingon esoteric Buddhist tradition.
Joining Haruo Saji, a prominent Japanese physicist, Natalia Polouliakh, an Associate Researcher at the Tokyo based Sony Computer Science Laboratories, and Kenichiro Mogi, a Japanese brain scientist for a discussion between modern science and Buddhist science, the Tibetan spiritual leader attentively listened to their presentations and answered queries.
Explaining the Buddhist philosophy of the non-existence of independent absolute reality, the Dalai Lama argued that without the concept of interdependency, the nature of time cannot be pinpointed.
“If we introspect, time has no independent identity. Past is memory, future is yet to come. Therefore, present is very very important,” the Dalai Lama said.
“Utilise time properly, meaningfully. That is most important”.
Following the discussions that exceeded well beyond its scheduled time, Haruo Saji thanked the Dalai Lama for sharing his thoughts and “refined knowledge” with the participants.
“Listening to you, Your Holiness, I feel inspired to carry more work on my field,” Saji said.
Speaking to Phayul after the session, Natalia Polouliakh expressed her astonishment at the close relation between Buddhist science and practical biology.
“The Dalai Lama’s talk helped me in connecting the dots that our feelings of happiness or anger are directly related to our health,” Polouliakh said.
Later in the afternoon, His Holiness met with members of the Koyasan University faculty lead by the 125-year old University’s President. Rev. Fujita Kokan.
Appreciating the “keenness and seriousness” shown by the Japanese Buddhists, His Holiness mooted the idea of setting up an extensive joint programme for a comparative study of Japanese and Tibetan Buddhists texts and scriptures.
“Since you all are very interested, we must start some programme involving detailed and extensive discussion and study of texts and scriptures among few of the professors from your university and Tibetans from India,” the Dalai Lama said.
“You must translate your seriousness into a long-term action that can benefit the generations to come,” the Tibetan spiritual leader advised.
His Holiness noted that although Tibetans have suffered great hardships and lived as refugees for the past more than six decades with no religious freedom inside Tibet, the Tibetan community has been able to successfully keep their centuries-old knowledge “intact”.
Highlighting the importance of sharing knowledge amongst the traditionally Buddhist countries in Asia, the Dalai Lama envisaged an important role for China, with its 1.3 billion people, in building a “happy world” in the future
“By building healthy Buddhist countries we can build a healthy Asia and a healthy Asia will lead to a healthy and happy world,” the Dalai Lama said.
Accepting an invitation from the University to visit Koyasan again, His Holiness said to a thunderous applause, “I have received genuine love, kindness, and compassion from you all. I will come again.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Sendai, one of the areas worst hit by the March tsunami tomorrow.