By Tenzin Monlam
Tibetans welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama, November 24, 2017. Phayul photo
DHARAMSHALA, November 24: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama returned from a weeklong three-city tour of Delhi, Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata this morning. Before departing from Kolkata, he met with a group of Tibetan and Tibetan Muslims from Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Sikkim.
The 82-year-old leader said that out of all the refugees in the world, Tibetan refugees are the most fortunate and successful. He thanked every Indian government beginning from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st Prime Minister of India, for providing Tibetans schools and settlements in India.
“Despite being in exile for nearly 60 years, we haven’t lost the Tibetan spirit. Irrespective of wherever Tibetans have been residing – in India, the US, Europe or Australia – majority of them while carrying that spirit have been a great representative of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet,” the exile Tibetan spiritual leader said.
His Holiness told the group about the spread of Buddhism in Tibet from India through numerous Indian scholars, adding that unlike Pali tradition, Nalanda tradition (Sanskrit) encourages reasoning and not to follow the teachings out of faith. “Even Buddha has asked his followers not to follow his teaching merely out of faith. He had asked them to accept his teachings after thorough examination, which is very unique compared to any other religion,” he said.
Feeling proud over the level of advancement of Buddhist philosophy compared to modern science, the Dalai Lama said that another important aspect of its preservation lies in the preservation of Tibetan language. “Our language is very precious since the teaching of Nalanda tradition is best explained in Tibetan,” the spiritual leader said, “Other languages still lack the vocabulary to properly explain and teach. Therefore, we should be proud of our language and recognize it as a great deed of our ancestors.”
During his one-week visit, the Dalai Lama met with Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and was honored with 2017 KISS Humanitarian Award in Bhubaneswar.
His Holiness will be leaving on a two-week visit to South India next month, which includes teachings in Mundgod and Bylakuppe. He will also confer Hayagriva Initiation
at Sera Je Monastery on December 20 and give teaching on Tsongkhapa's In Praise of Dependent Origination
on December 20.
Following his South India trip, the Tibetan spiritual leader will be visiting Bodhgaya for a 50-day visit. His visit to the holy city will consist of two three-day teachings.