Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama on Monday said with the world is celebrating Vesak, which commemorates the Gautam Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment after enduring six years of austerity, he offered a message of compassion and unity.

“On the basis of his own experience, the Buddha advised: monks and scholars just as gold is tested by heating, cutting and rubbing it. So, likewise, should you thoroughly examine my teaching and only then accept it, not merely out of respect for me, ” he said.

The spiritual leader, known for his simplicity and jovial style, said: “This (point of view) reveals a special quality of the Buddha. I respect all religious traditions. They are of great value because they all teach compassion.

“However, only the Buddha asks us to examine his teachings in the way that a goldsmith tests the purity of the gold. Only the Buddha commends us to do this. Another of his principal instructions was this: Sages do not wash away unwholesome deeds with water, nor do they remove the sufferings of sentient beings with their hands, neither do they transplant their own realizations into others.

“It’s by teaching the truth of suchness that they liberate beings. So the Bhagawan Buddha, the enlightened one, who is by nature compassionate, says that he cannot simply transfer his own spiritual experience and realization into his disciples out of love and compassion for sentient beings.”

The Dalai Lama, the leading spiritual figure bringing Buddhist teachings to the international community, said the disciples must develop their own spiritual experiences by reflecting on the truth of suchness as the Buddha explained it.

The Dalai Lama, who along with many of his followers fled the Himalayan homeland and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959, believes in three commitments: The promotion of inner values as the source of real happiness, the fostering of inter-religious harmony, as exemplified in India, and the preservation of Tibet’s language, culture and environment.

The Nobel Peace Laureate views himself as a simple Buddhist monk.

“Every morning, as soon as I wake up, I recite in praise of dependent arising and reflect on the interdependent nature of things as well as the altruistic spirit of enlightenment. I find them very helpful to my mind.”

Vesak, the day of the full moon in May, is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world. It was on the day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago, in the year 623 BC, that the Buddha was born.

It was also on the day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the day of Vesak that the Buddha in his 80th year passed away.

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