Keynote Speech at the 12th Delhi International Arts Festival

Dec 9, 2018. Keynote speech at the closing session "Re-imagining Kumbh: Faith, Spirituality or Life Force." National Crafts Museum, New Delhi.
Abstract

On the 9th of Dec, 2018, H.H. Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa was invited as the keynote speaker to the 12th Delhi International Arts Festival. His Holiness started by encouraging the audience to contemplate on the necessity and importance of all the things that we want and do. Using his own late mentor’s advice to him, His Holiness expressed the importance of being aware of our wants, needs, actions and their consequences.

The topic of the closing session was “Re-imagining Kumbh: Faith, Spirituality or Life Force.” His Holiness pointed out that the term Kumbh, which he learned from Swami-Ji means pot or vessel in Hinduism, is actually what each and every one of us always is according to Vajrayana Buddhism. A very important thing about this pot is that ultimately nothing is happening and relatively everything is happening all the time. It’s called the ultimate truth and relative truth. Learning from Buddha’s teaching and also from Kumbh, Shunyata is the base of everything. Once one realizes it, everything is an illusion. Everything is a dream. From birth to death, it is a dream.

His Holiness talked about what is happening to the ice near the North Pole now is not just a bad dream, it’s a nightmare. By not thinking and assessing what we need and just went for what we want, we human beings have managed to destroy our environment pretty badly. We are solely responsible and there is no one but us who can fix it. He later affirmed that it is never too late to do something.

His Holiness described the first three stages in human life. When we are born, we come totally empty. Our parents fill our Kumbh with everything like brainwashing. The period ends when our adult teeth replace the baby ones. From there until we are 16 is another level of Kumbh. This 2nd stage of our life we learn things by repeating, for example, repeat after what teachers teach in school. After 16, which is well into the mid-teenage period, one focuses on experimenting. In this period of Shunyata, another level of Kumbh, the person learns from friends, companions and environments. His Holiness stated if we fill the Kumbhs, the three emptiness stages with good and right things, we will have good and happy human beings who care for others and who will make differences in positive ways.

To His Holiness, Kumbha Mela is Celebration of Life, Celebration of Truth and Celebration of Base the Emptiness, the Path the Emptiness, the Fruition the Emptiness. Everything is complete all the time. Anything we put in dualistically, it makes it incomplete and limited. He stated that duality is the source of all the problem and suffering.

At the end, His Holiness quoted H.H. the Dalai Lama that you cannot prescribe one medicine for everybody. Each person has different needs so different medicines have to be prescribed. For some, Buddhism; for some, Hinduism; for some, Islam; for some, Christianity; and for some, non-believing, etc.

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December 31, 2018

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