By Sherab Woeser
His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrating the ‘Namgyal Chorten’ built in commemoration of the Tibetan leader’s 50 years in exile at Takamatsu on November 2, 2009. His Holiness paid homage to the Japanese scholar Kobo Daishi. photo:Tenzin Choejor
Takamatsu, November 2: “I travel the world at the invitation of people like you, to share my experiences in life. I am 74. I have seen happiness and pain,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture, today.
The exiled Tibetan leader was speaking to the media at the ancient Hagyuji Temple, dedicated to Kobo Daishi, a learned scholar and the founder of esoteric Buddhism.
On his maiden visit to the port city, His Holiness conveyed his greetings to the local people through the media and expressed happiness at the opportunity to interact with his ‘Buddhist brothers.’
“Coming here to pay respect to the scholar and first propagator of Buddhism in Japan, Kobo Daishi, I am very happy and feel fortunate,” His Holiness remarked.
In response to a question from the media on any communiqués from the Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, His Holiness said that he received the Prime Minister’s ‘greetings’ through a group of Japanese lawmakers, yesterday. “I think he is an active, young politician,” added the Tibetan leader.
(From Left to Right) Ven. Saitou Yugen, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Ven. Matsunaga Yukie share a light moment at Hagyuji Temple on November 2, 2009. His Holiness is on his maiden visit to Takamatsu city. Photo: Tenzin Choejor
Hatoyama in 2007, as secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan had met the exiled Tibetan leader and expressed support for “high autonomy” for Tibet.
Arriving at the temple in the afternoon, the Nobel laureate was greeted by loud cheers of ‘Tashi Delek’ from the waiting crowd. Before entering the main hall, His Holiness unveiled and consecrated the new stupa (Namgyal Chorten)built in commemoration of the Tibetan leader’s fifty years of exile and to remember the Tibetan people and their ongoing struggle.
The Head of Japan Buddhist Federation Ven. Matsunaga Yukei and Abbot of Hagyuji Temple Ven. Saitou Yugen expressed their gratitude to His Holiness for accepting the invitation and shared their hopes of future visits from the Tibetan leader.
Earlier in the morning, His Holiness, arriving at Takamatsu Airport from Tokyo visited Zentsu-ji Temple, the birthplace of Kobo Daishi and offered prayers.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is scheduled to give a public talk in Matsuyama city, the capital of Ehime province, tomorrow.