By Tenzin Dharpo
The Dalai Lama during a meet with the press at Malmo, Sweden on Sep. 12, 2018. Photo- OHHDL
DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 12: Foremost Buddhist figure and exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is currently in Malmo, Sweden on a four-nation tour in Europe has said that he wants to make a pilgrimage to Wutaishan mountains in China provided his two conditions are met by Beijing.
In an interview with Dutch daily De Volskrant,
the Tibetan leader said, "I am keen to make a pilgrimage to Wutaishan. I have two conditions. Many Tibetan and Chinese Buddhists will come to meet me there, so I want to have the freedom to give a religious teaching. And I want to visit top universities in Beijing. I have been discussing emotions, psychology, the cosmos and quantum physics with scientists in India and the West for almost forty years. I want to do that in China.”
The Dalai Lama said that he has made his wish known to Chinese friends, adding that he now “waits”.
The Tibetan leader also suggested that the pilgrimage to China will also serve to build confidence for the Chinese government to allow him to later visit his home town of Takster in Amdo, Tibet, as well as other parts of Tibet such as Kham and eventually to Lhasa city, the tradition capital of Tibet.
The Nobel laureate who turned 83 in July said that his pilgrimage to China is to meet Chinese brothers and sisters and particularly Buddhists there. China’s growing Buddhist population is said to have crossed 224 million constituting just over 18% of China’s total population.
The octogenarian leader further said that Chinese President Xi Jinping is “much more open minded” and has publicly made “positive” statements on Buddhism. However, he added that he does not know the “real thinking” of Xi Jinping who despite having an open mind, continue to face resistance from hardliners in the Chinese communist party.
The Tibetan leader who has dealt with the Chinese leadership for over fifty years say that his counterparts should see him as a solution rather than an impediment. “Friends with connections with the retired party-elite say that in those circles, there is a belief that criticism of the Dalai Lama only makes him more popular abroad. It is better to use the Dalai Lama than to push it away," the Tibetan leader confided.