Nicolae Tanase: Nawang, what is the meaning of life?
Nawang Khechog: In brief, we must try to live a life with these two principles. First, we try our best not to hurt or harm anyone and then try our best to help and serve anyone within our reach.
Since our human life is much complex and complicated, so we must try to have better education and good enough living facilities and greater inter-connection in life and in the world. So on these foundations we can take care of our own wellbeing as well as we can serve others much greater way. Of course we must try our best not to engage in any harmful actions physically, verbally and mentally. Yes, this must be the basis of our living standard.
Now I am supposed to be an universal Buddhist follower. So I will also try to share some points from this perspective. One of the ancient legends about Tibet says: whoever goes to Tibet, they somehow feel so happy and peaceful. I used to think. Why so?
Yes, it may be because of the pure and beautiful landscape and environment. But I feel it is mainly because it is Mahayana Buddhist culture and practice. For more then a thousand years Mahayana Buddhist teachings captured the imagination of Tibetan Emperors and Tibetan people that all sentient beings are the same as who want happiness and do not want suffering. Therefore, we all must try to practice universal compassion and universal love. Which means we must try not to hurt any sentient beings and try to love them all dearly with whole heart. The culture is so wide spread that even on the lips of those butchers, would say, Om Mani Padme Hoong, I pray this for all mother sentient beings. This mantra is carved on the rocks and printed on prayer flags, everywhere on the mountains and in every villages and towns. Even a small kid to elderly Tibetan, everyone chants this universal compassion mantra. Almost you can never escape from this atmosphere. In America you can’t almost escape from the advertisement of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. In the same way you can not escape from the mantra of universal compassion in Tibet.
The heart of Mahayana Buddhist tradition is such that every sincere practitioner must try to cultivate Universal Compassion and Universal Love, Universal Responsibility and Bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is the supreme heart that one wants to attain Buddhahood (the Highest Enlightenment). So that one can lead all sentient beings to the great freedom from all sufferings and to the supreme happiness, joy and serenity of Buddhahood. Buddha is not a reserved state. We all have Buddha nature and we all can become Buddha. It is like any one born in USA, he or she can become the President of this nation.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a great example of a being who can spread the inspiration and atmosphere of such universal love and universal compassion. More than the last one thousand years Tibet has manifested countless such beings and you can imagine what that would do to whole of the nation. Bodhicitta, the universal love and compassion radiates from the heart of all these great beings.
This is my highest meaning of life. Although I am at the very basic and Kinder Garden level. Well I am 62 years old today and this journey of mine started at the age of 18. And I am still doing my little baby steps. But I can say that I have found a great meaning of life and feel great sense of satisfaction and purpose in my life, and much happier with this meaning and maybe I have become a little bit more useful to the world after finding this great meaning of life in my teen age. This has been my guiding light no matter what kind of ups and downs took place in my life. I must say how fortunate it has been to have such a sun shine and greatest inspiration like His Holiness the Dalai Lama in my little and short life. Oh La La!!! Ma Ma Miya !!! Happy PourrrrrrR…..Ray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
~Nawang Khechog is first Tibetan Grammy Nominee and the most renowned Tibetan flutist in the world. He has won multiple awards from Tibet, India, Nepal and United States of America. He is one of the Tibet’s formost world music & spiritual music composer and also one of the first Tibetan musicians to be able to break into International music scene with his original and authentic musical compositions (solo and collaborative albums) to be distributed around the world.
Nawang was a monk for 11 years and studied Buddhist philosophy and meditation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other Tibetan masters. He also lived as hermit, meditating in the Himalayan foothills for several years under the guidance of His Holiness.
Nawang received Tibetan Music Award (“Special Recognition”, similar to “Life Time Achievement Award”) He also received Raasrang World Flute Festival Award of India from Former president of India, Dr. A.P.G. Abdul Kalam and International Civil Golden Award, The Highest Civilian Award of Nepal and he received “The Multicultural Award ” from Boulder and the Visionary Awards of Colorado, USA “Best Music of the Year” and “Best World Music”.
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