|Just as no pleasures can bring delight
To someone whose body is ablaze with fire,
Nor can the great compassionate ones be pleased
When harm is done to sentient beings.
These words of wisdom by Bodhisattva Shantideva must ring loudly in our ears specially before we celebrate any holy occasion. To the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and the likes, the humans and the non-human animals are all their beloved children. Imagine how a mother would feel when one of her child celebrates her birthday by the murder of her other children even though it was well intentioned? His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Laureate, is a very revered person world-wide who has tirelessly advocated all his life towards compassion and loving-kindness for all sentient beings. So indeed it is very disturbing to note that in the name of celebration of our beloved kundun’s birthday we hold social gathering where non-vegetarian food is served in plenty. Instead of trying to be virtuous and bringing happiness to all why do we need to mar such a sacred day by being the cause of pain and misery to other living beings? With these thoughts recurring in our minds Tibetans for a vegetarian society has made the most extensive campaign yet. In our special campaign titled “ A birthday gift for Kundun” we pleaded to one and all to maintain the sanctity of the occasion by engaging in compassionate actions and praying for the long life of His Holiness and well-being of all sentient beings. We appealed everyone to be vegetarian or vegan on this occasion and host gatherings with a compassionate vegetarian/vegan themed food. T4VS feels this is the most befitting gift and the most honourable tribute to Kundun. We tried to cover all the Tibetan settlements in India and outside too. We even tried to reach over 350 plus Tibet Support Groups spread globally. We used every possible means we could in our endeavour. With numerous tasks to carry out for our campaign it was physically and mentally very exhausting right till the end.
Artists performing at TIPA
While in Mcleod Ganj (Dharamsala) we showed for the first time for three consecutive days in the local cable network a couple of very moving documentaries titled “The Witness” and “ Peaceable Kingdom” that were produced by Jame La Veck from the Tribal of Heart which were specially sent to us in appreciation to our work.
For the whole day on the 6th of July there was a heavy downpour in Mcleod Ganj and even though we were thoroughly drenched we persisted with our effort. We distributed hundreds of phamplets as well as kept appealing people to refrain from eating meat on the holy occasion as a birthday gift for Kundun. We had also made a special card in which our non-vegetarian brothers and sisters were requested to sign and pledge to be vegetarian on the kundun’s birthday as a mark of respect and for the long life of His Holiness. We are very pleased to inform that in such a short period of time we had nearly 400 hundred people from far away places like Greece, Iceland, France, USA, Sweden, Egypt, besides Indians and Tibetans volunteering to make this birthday gift which has been already forwarded to the Private Office of His Holiness.
People buying the VCD album by supporter artist sold thru T4VS at discounted prise than the market rate
Tibetans for a vegetarian society has been organizing a series of ‘Jham Ning-je’ Musical Concerts to propagate love and compassion for all sentient beings very successfully. In Dehradun, Delhi and Bir we had so far the best shows in these respective places and the people immensely appreciated our special concerts wherever we went. In Mcleod Ganj we had organized for the first time ‘Jham Ning-je’ Musical Concert’ to mark the 70th birthday of Kundun. By having to organize a show in a short period of time we faced many problems on the way like not being able to get the hall booked on the desired date thereby we had problems in gathering the artists together and then we had incessant rain. With the support of multiple famous artists of the Tibetan community like Tenzin Woesar, Pemsi, Pempa Tsering, Karag Pempa, Dhondup Tashi, Jayang, Tsomo(a rare charismatic dancer), our delightful host Tsewang Lhakyi and with few other volunteer singers backed by our friends and well-wishers we managed to get acts right in the last moment. The show was an instant hit winning the hearts of the people and the crowds just went gaga over it. Before the show commenced we had a mute display of t4vs documentary showing animals mercilessly killed for food. Our shows are not just about entertainment but are also to provoke a thought in making us realize the importance of compassion and loving-kindness in our world.
'A birthday gift for kundun' card signed by nearly 400 non-vegetarians on short period
I am happy to just learn from the media that even His Holiness wanted people to celebrate his birthday by being more altruistic. It therefore delights me to know that this year the birthday celebrations were more humane and happier for all and I immensely thank from the depth of my heart on behalf of T4VS every individuals and organizations (specially those in Europe) who heeded to our humble appeal. I take this opportunity to thank everybody involved; dear friends, supporters, well-wishers, members, artists, staffs of TIPA, DIIR, and people all around the world for supporting us and the cause. Your participation is our strength. So please keep loving and supporting us. We have a long way to go and much to accomplish.
Tibetans for a vegetarian society (T4VS) is deeply touched by your support and love in our campaign 'A Birthday Gift For Kundun'
Thank you! Your love and support is our strengthReport sent by Tenzin Kunga Luding, Founder and Managing Trustee of T4VS
* Tibetans for a vegetarian society (t4vs) is the first Tibetan vegetarian and vegan group registered as a non-profit charitable trust. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the Patron-in-Chief and former President of India His Excellency R Venkataraman is one of the Patrons of the trust.