By Shyamal Sinha
His Holiness the Dalai Lama landed in Dharamshala after concluding 20-day visit to four nations in Europe where he gave public talks and religious sermons. Key officials from the exile Tibetan government (Central Tibetan Administration) including Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, Speaker of the Tibetan parliament welcomed the Tibetan leader at the airport.
The 82 year old Tibetan leader began his itinerary from Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland on September 10, where he gave a public talk on ‘Compassion in Action’ and then visited Frankfurt, Germany to take part in a conference on ‘Western Science and Buddhist Perspectives’ followed by a two-day symposium on Buddhist Science and Modern Science in Tuscany, Italy.
2017’s four nation Europe trip ended at Riga, Latvia where His Holiness the Dalai Lama spent three days including a 2-day teaching on Kamalashila’s The Middling Stages of Meditationand Tsongkhapa’s Concise Stages of the Path to Enlightenment at Skonto Hall on September 23 and 24. His Holiness also gave a public talk on ‘Harmony without Boundaries’ at the same venue the following day.
The visit also saw the egalitarian leader recieve various honors. He was awarded the ‘Builder of Peace, Justice and Nonviolence Prize’ in Messina (Italy) on 17 September and an Honorary Masters Degree by the University of Pisa on 21 September in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the understanding of psychology and for his inspirational guidance and leadership in promoting the study of Buddhist Science. Two towns in the province of Sicily, Italy conferred honorary citizenship upon the Tibetan leader.
During the EU visit, he also reached out to a leader of one of EU’s prominent leader Angela Merkel of Germany who won the fourth election there. “This result reflects an appreciation of your standing by your principles, your farsightedness and your ability to fulfill the people’s aspirations. The strength and stability you have brought to your leadership within the European Union has also been a beacon of hope and inspiration, not just in Germany, but to the wider world,” the octogenarian leader wrote in a statement.
He also reiterated his deep admiration for the spirit of the European Union saying “importance of the greater collective interest and welfare of its members”. “I believe this co-operative spirit could be an inspiration for similar unions in Africa, Latin America and Asia in times to come, contributing to the greater peace and prosperity of the world.”