His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to Shrimati Droupadi Murmu, the President of India, to offer his congratulations on her 65th birthday today.
“I wish you good health and success in leading this great and ancient nation,” he wrote.
“India, with its longstanding traditions of ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’, remains a model for others, a country where people of different faiths live together in peace and harmony. Democracy, the rule of law and freedom thrive in India because of these age-old values and traditions.
“Your Excellency represents the greatness of India, a nation where someone from a remote village has the opportunity to prosper and become the head of state.
“We Tibetans feel a special reverence for India as the source of our spiritual culture. The traditions of Nalanda University had a powerful impact on our development from the eighth century onwards. One of our own great scholars alluded to this when he said that, despite being a Land of Snow, until the light of India was brought to Tibet, it remained in the dark.
“Today, the world is facing many challenges. In this connection, I feel India is the only country with the potential to combine ancient wisdom with modern education for the common good. I am therefore committed to encouraging a greater awareness of India’s historic understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions among young people across the world.
“This year marks the 64th year of our life in exile. We Tibetans are immensely grateful to the government and people of India for their generosity and kindness to us. As the international community becomes more aware of India’s stature, not only as the world’s largest democracy, but now also as the world’s most populous nation, we feel proud of India’s strength and emerging leadership. I firmly believe that India is poised to make a significant contribution to the creation of a more peaceful, more compassionate world.”
His Holiness ended his letter by offering his prayers and good wishes.