By Tenzin Menkyi
Singer Patti Smith has a light moment with the Dalai Lama, Glastonbury Festival, June 28, 2015 Photo" Jonathan Hordle/REX Shutterstock
DHARAMSHALA, June 29: Thousands of music lovers on Sunday sang birthday greetings for the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama turning 80 next week on the concluding day of Glastonbury festival, one of the largest music festivals in Europe.
His Holiness was welcomed on his arrival at the venue by Michael Eavis, the founder of the Festival attended this year by 203,000 people.
His Holiness walked on the stage with American singer Patti Smith who led the birthday song for the octogenarian leader as he cut the cake.
Speaking at the festival's Peace Garden, His Holiness said today’s education system is material oriented. He said that children should be taught the virtues of human values based purely on compassion and love, not on religious affiliation. "The existing education system is very much orientated about material values. This creates anger, hate, negative thinking ... If we continue teaching on the value of external, material values it will be hard to find solution…Inner value needs to be added to education from university to kindergarten…The long term solution of man-made problems we must look at education, about warm heartedness or sense of care," said the Tibetan leader whose turning 80 this year is being celebrated by Tibetans and supporters around the world.
The Tibetan leader said the real meaning of the word ‘jihad’ is not doing harm to others, but engaging in combat with your disturbing emotions. He said the very purpose of religion – to have a happy life – is not served if religion becomes the cause of the conflict.
“In this very moment, in some part of the world, like Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and some other places-they’re killing, human to human being…And the worst thing (is that) conflict, killing each other, in the name of their faith,” said His Holiness.
Supporting the message by the Pope on climate change, the Tibetan leader urged world religious leaders to speak out about current affairs affecting the future of mankind.
Meanwhile, China has blamed the organizers of the festival for inviting the Tibetan leader reviled by China as “wolf in monk’s robes” to engage in “anti-China splittist activities.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang has told a daily news briefing that he was not aware of the details of what the Dalai Lama was doing at the Glastonbury Festival. "China resolutely opposes any country, organization, body or individual giving any kind of platform to the 14th Dalai Lama to engage in anti-China splittist activities," Lu was quoted by media reports as saying.
In 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron had to put a trip to China on hold after Beijing expressed its opposition to him meeting with the Dalai Lama. China also called off a visit to the UK by Wu Bangguo, a senior Chinese official, in 2012.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is on a three day visit to the UK starting June 28, will give a public talk at Aldershot on ‘Buddhism in the 21st Century’ hosted by the Buddhist Community Centre UK (BCCUK), at Aldershot later today. His Holiness will also inaugurate the BCCUK temple and pray for the victims of the recent Nepal earthquakes with the Nepalese Buddhist community and leaders of other religious faiths.