By Tenzin Dharpo
His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the capacity crowd of 12,000 at the Ahoy convention centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands on September 16, 2018. Photo by Jurjen Donkers
DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 17: Exiled Tibetan leader and foremost Buddhist figure His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing a 12,000 strong gathering on Sunday at the Ahoy convention center in Rotterdam, Holland, said that the Tibetan struggle is just not political but also the challenge to preserve the Buddhist knowledge which he called one of the “world’s treasure”.
The Tibetan leader said, “The Tibetan struggle is not just political. The knowledge we have kept alive originated in India, mainly from Nalanda. It involves a logical approach to philosophy and psychology that is now only found amongst Tibetans. It’s a store of knowledge that is among the world’s treasures.”
The Dalai Lama with members of the ICT at the event organized by the pro-Tibet support group to commemorate their 30 year anniversary at the Ahoy center in Rotterdam, Holland on Sep. 16, 2018. Photo-dalailama.com
“I retired from political responsibility in 2001, passing that authority on to an elected leadership. However, preserving the Nalanda Tradition and making it more available to my fellow human beings remains a major concern,” he further said.
The Dalai Lama was accompanied by Hollywood actor and long-time friend of Tibet, Richard Gere who as the Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, began the discussion organised in commemoration of the organisation’s 30th year anniversary.
Gere who has a long-standing association with the Tibetan movement appealed, “Please remember the people of Tibet and look into how you can help them.” ICT, a pro-Tibet support group announced that the organisation would offer a financial grant to the Bengaluru based Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education as a commemorative gift of gratitude to the Tibetan leader.
The Dalai Lama also met with over 5000 Tibetans living in Netherlands, Belgium, Britain, Spain and Austria who presented him with a silver Dharma Wheel as token of their gratitude.
“We’ve been in exile almost sixty years and some of you here are in a second exile. In our homeland, our own people and culture are on the verge of extinction. Historically we’ve faced all kinds of ups and downs, but now we’re at a crucial juncture where the very Tibetan identity is under threat,” the Tibetan leader said adding that hardships and adversity has not seen the Tibetan spirit diminish over the years.
The 83-year old leader today gave a teaching on Eight Verses for Training the Mind
at the same venue, concluding his schedule in the Netherlands.
He is scheduled to go to Germany on September 19-20 and then head to Switzerland on September 21 to attend the 50th anniversary of the Tibet Institute Rikon, apart from giving public talks and teachings.