By Tenzin Dharpo
His Holiness waves to the audience at the conclusion of teachings in Latvia, June 18, 2018. Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
DHARAMSHALA, June 18: The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is currently in Latvia giving a religious teaching on Friday said that he is not rooting for any particular team in the ongoing football World Cup in Russia.
The 82-year-old when asked if he was supporting any team said, “Personally, I have little interest in sport, so I have no favourite team.”
“I feel that competition that results in everyone involved reaching the top can be regarded as healthy and positive. However, if it entails putting obstacles in your rivals’ way, it’s not so good,” the Dalai Lama further said.
While further elaborating on his experience with sports, he said, “When I was young I played a bit of badminton and ping-pong. In Beijing, in 1954/55, I played ping-pong with the Chinese Prime Minister, Zhou En-lai, but my motivation was poor—because he had a minor disability I thought it would be easy for me to win.”
The foremost Buddhist figure in the world today concluded his three-day teaching in Riga, Latvia that began on Friday. On June 16 and 17 the Dalai Lama gave teachings on Tsongkhapa’s in Praise of Dependent Origination (tendrel toepa)
and Diamond Cutter Sutra (dorjee chodpa)
. Today, he conferred a Manjushree Empowerment (jamphelyang jenang) concluding the teachings.
“I generally feel quite uncomfortable giving Buddhist teachings in non-Buddhist countries, when the majority of the audience comes from a Judeo-Christian background. However, I don’t feel such misgivings here where the majority of the audience come from traditionally Buddhist regions,” the Tibetan leader said on Saturday to the congregation.
The teachings were organized by Save Tibet Latvia, Save Tibet Foundation (Moscow) and Tibet Culture and Information Center (Moscow).