Top 15 Teachings of The Dalai Lama

The name ‘Dalai Lama’ is a combination of the Mongolic word ‘Dalai’ meaning ocean and Tibetan word ‘bla-ma’ meaning teacher or mentor. Gelug School is the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism, of which the Dalai Lamas are considered important monks. It is believed that the Dalai Lamas are manifestations of Avalokiteshwara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are known to be enlightened beings who have delayed their own nirvana to take rebirth and serve humanity.
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He has traveled the world and has spoken about a variety of topics including women’s rights, non violence, physics, astronomy and sexuality. He was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. The Dalai Lama regularly participates in public talks and lectures and some of his most important teachings can be encompassed in the following points-


15. “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

be kind

Kindness has the power to restore hope. The highest form of intelligence, in the midst of challenging situations is to be kind. It costs nothing and the fulfillment one achieves is priceless. When little actions are performed with kindness, they help create a better and a more humane world. It is important to be kind because it has the power to make a difference.


14. “Without your effort, it is impossible for blessings to come.”

work hard1

Success doesn’t come merely by luck. It takes hard work to become successful. As the popular saying goes, ‘God helps those who help themselves’. Dalai Lama stresses on the importance of hard work and putting in effort to achieve success. Success doesn’t come merely through God’s blessings.

13. “Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.”

adapt to change

Change is the only constant in the world. In order to survive in a word that is constantly evolving and changing, it is important to adapt oneself to change. While you embrace change, it is essential to stay close to your roots and not let go off your core values- values that define you as a human being.


12. “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”

be optimistic

Choosing to be optimistic or positive regarding your life makes a lot of positive difference to your emotional health. Everything has its pros and cons but life is going to be less stressful if you choose to be optimistic about it. According to the law of the Universe, you attract what you think, be it positive or negative. Expect the best and positive in every situation you are in.


11. “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”


Everyone’s way of living life and seeking fulfillment and happiness is different. And just because their way of life is different from yours, doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. There are many ways to happiness and fulfillment. Shunning people for adopting a different path to happiness will only destroy your peace of mind.

10. “Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”

take risks

Nothing great was ever achieved without taking risks in life. Risk taking is also an opportunity to stand out and prove yourself to be a leader. When you take risks, you either gain or you lose. When you lose, you gain experience and learn something new. Risk taking also leads to internal growth of a person.

9. “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”

Young students studying together

Young students studying together

Sharing knowledge helps you grow. It is a way to achieve immortality, because when you share knowledge, you tend to share things with people which they do not know already. You tell them something new for which they might never forget you. Sharing knowledge helps you achieve recognition and stay motivated.


8. “The way to change others’ minds is with affection, and not anger.”

change people with affection

To be liked, viewed with warmth and cared for is a basic human need. Affection is a component of love and the best way to change someone’s mind. Anger only worsens the situations. You can never ring about a change in a human being by being angry. Treating someone with love and affection can melt the hardest of hearts.

7. “Love is the absence of judgment.”

absence of judgment

Judgment blocks us from truth and love. If you judge, you cannot love. The true essence of love lies in the absence of judgment. Love is the natural state of a person and a positive presence. Where there is love, there is no judgment. Absence of judgment allows your heart to soften and more love to enter into your life.


6. “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

prayin and not getting

We often desire and pray for things without realizing if they might do us any harm. Not everything that we want might prove to be good for us. The universe works in various ways and sometimes not getting what you desire might be the universe’s way of telling you that it is not good for you. Trust the ways of the universe.


5. “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”


Never underestimate your power to make a difference in the world. A mosquito is one tiny creature, but if you sleep with one, it is going to be a nightmare. The constant buzzing and biting of a mosquito can turn your sleep into an experience close to hell. No one is too small to make a difference, you just have to believe in yourself and take that first step.


4. “If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”

help others

Helping others is a universal expression of concern and compassion. When you help others, you not only help that individual, but also the world to become a better place. Try to help people as often as you can. Helping people makes them feel loved and cared for. If you’re unable to help them, the best you can do is not to harm them.


3. “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”

dont lose the lesson

Whenever you lose, you learn a lesson. If you lose the lesson that you learnt from your defeat, you’re sure to repeat your mistakes again. It is okay to lose, as failures are the stepping stones to success but it is also essential to examine what went wrong so that the mistakes are not repeated.


2. “Don’t let a little dispute injure a friendship.”

dispute frienships

The key to a healthy relationship is communication. There is no place for ego in a friendship and it is essential to learn the art of compromise and negotiation. Little disputes are common in all relationships but they should not become the reason to ruin something as precious as a friendship.


1. “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”

be happy

One of the simplest yet most complex principles to actually put into practice, Dalai Lama preaches that happiness comes from our own actions. The real purpose of life is to be happy. To achieve true and long lasting happiness, one needs to inculcate values such as compassion, forgiveness, patience, tolerance and kindness. Eternal happiness does not come from material possessions.

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Gursimran Kaur