Excellence Reporter: Geshe Tharchin, what is the meaning of life?
Lharampa Geshe Jampa Tharchin: I believe that the meaning of life is living happily and joyfully. In Tibetan language, the word Happiness is compound by two syllables De–Kyi. The first one is related to physical happiness or comfort; being physically healthy. In order to develop a healthy condition we need to eat nutritious food, sleep properly, exercise, and avoid harmful foods.
We necessarily need to keep strong our body. If we get such a physical condition we will have less difficulty and there will be less difficulty for our relatives and friends as well. In particular, if we are healthy with a strong body we will be able to be more useful for others. We can do more for them; therefore keeping our body healthy is crucial, very important in our life.
The meaning of the second syllable is joy or delight, refers mainly to mental joy, inner happiness. We need to spend our lives with a joyful mind. To be able to live our life with joy a stable mind is required; one that is not immediately perturbed by external circumstances, abiding in calm and peace. We should look at the external situations with a wider perspective, looking at those situations as small things instead of making them bigger.
We need to enhance our inner qualities such as love, kindness and honesty, applying an effort to be able to abide with our joyful mind wherever we are, without getting disturbed. Generating this peaceful mind, we will find harmony in relationships, with the people that are around us: parents, relatives, friends, colleagues and so forth. Feeling concern and wishing to help them when they are in trouble.
If there is a small disturbance within them we should practice patience and try to be beneficial for them. Anyway, if in our family there is one person with a positive attitude it will be possible to stay a long time together, making long term relationships, there will be harmony, you will create more friends. By having many friends it is easier for us to overcome difficulties and we will laugh more together. By practicing in this way, we will find happiness for one day, and then in two days, and then one week, one month, one year, two years. Subsequently we will be able to live happily our whole life, and then when others think about you, they will also be happy. They will think positive things about you, for example: “There is a good person in our family”, “We have a good person in our organization”, “There is a good person in society”, “There is a good person in our country” or “There is a good person in this world”.
We must also care for our environment, this is very important. If we practice through our life in this way, we will be able to accomplish life’s main essence: to be happy. If we live our life happily, there will be more laughs and we could be more beneficial for others, this combined with the practice of love, kindness, and patience, we will accomplish the very essence of life. This is the meaning of life.
~Lharampa Geshe Jampa Tharchin, studied at Sera Je Monastic University in South India for 21 years gaining the Lharampa Geshe degree PhD. Geshe Tharchin taught at Kopan nunnery in Nepal for one year before coming to New Zealand. He has been the resident teacher at Chandrakirti Meditation Centre in Nelson New Zealand for 9 years, teaching the FPMT Basic Program. Geshe Tharchin has a wonderful congregation and enjoys a varied programme of community events and teaches several beginners and philosophical classes weekly.
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