‘Dalai Lama Thanks India For Helping To Preserve Tibetan Culture’
by Staff Reporter
(Times of India. March 13, 2000)
Dalai Lama stands to attention as Tibetan children sing the Indian
National anthem during the inauguration of the Festival of Tibet
at the Birla Matushri Hall in Mumbai on Sunday
(ToI Pic: Santosh Bane)
'We regard India as a guru and consider ourselved disciples of
India,' Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said on Sunday.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the 'Festival of Tibet' at the
Birla Matushri Hall.
The six-day festival, which begins on Monday, has been organised by
the Friends of Tibet (INDIA) and Tibetan Youth Congress. The Dalai
Lama was introduced to a packed audience by industrialist Mukesh
Ambani who described him as the 'epitome of peace and goodwill among
all nations' and 'a messenger of Lord Buddha's message of peace'.
The Dalai Lama, however, said he was just a practitioner of the
Buddha's dharma and was like any other human being. 'I am not
special,' he said, adding it was very important to realise that
all human beings have the same potential. 'It is very important to
utilise your good potential and you will be a happy person.'
The festival, which aims at showcasing the unique and endangered
culture of Tibet, was given a personal touch by the Dalai Lama who
spoke at length about the great bond between India and Tibet. The
spiritual leader noted that in the past few years, intentionally or
otherwise, though a cultural genocide was taking place, the Indian
government and the country's citizens had helped preserve the culture
of his land. The festival, through its various exhibitions and film
screenings, will highlight the intermingling and shared evolution
of Indian and Tibetan cultures. 'There are many poems in Tibetan,
that mention things of Indian origin like the Ganges,' the Dalai
Lama observed, adding, in a lighter vein, that no one mention the
Great Wall of China.
'I believe that Tibetan spirituality and its unique cultural heritage
is based on compassion and peace and therefore we can say that
Tibetan culture is the culture of peace,' he observed. He further
stated that becaues of the influence of Buddhism, there is much
emphasis on altrusim in Tibetan culture. The Dalai Lama explained
that though there were different philosophies and religions,
they proclaimed the same principles of love, peace, compassion,
forgiveness and contentment.
He described the practice of compassion as crucial to the making
of a good citizen. 'We are intelligent human beings and we need
to utilise our intelligence effectively,' he said in his 90-minute
speech on 'Ethics For The New Millennium'.
The talk was followed by a question-answer session. Fielding the
queries deftly, the Dalai Lama said too much attachment to one's
own faith and lack of awareness of other religions led to unrest,
hence the need for people to practice compassion.