By Shyamal Sinha
His Holiness the Dalai Lama met around 1000 foreign tourists at the Tsuglagkhang courtyard in Dharamshala for a brief interaction. The tourists have come from 68 countries in Asia, Australasia, Europe, North and South America, and Africa.
During the meeting, His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke about the oneness of humanity and the basic nature of humans as compassionate. He called for more understanding among each other and said that the 21st century should not repeat the mistakes of the 20th century.
“There are over seven billion human beings on this planet. Unlike animals, we humans are equipped with the faculty to think and communicate. We should use this faculty to foster harmony and peace,” His Holiness said.
“If we keep thinking about oneself, then the world will become very lonely. For instance, if I think of myself as the Dalai Lama and the rest as others, I will be very lonely,” His Holiness explained.
His Holiness expressed that modern education focuses too much on the minor differences such as nationality, faith, economic conditions, etc. His Holiness said that we should look at children and how they behave among each other to understand the oneness of humanity. “As children, we don’t differentiate among each other but we start doing that as we grow up,” His Holiness noted.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also expressed admiration at the secular nature of India’s thousands of years old tradition which respects all religious traditions. His Holiness however condemned the discriminating caste system of India and said that this should be discontinued.
Speaking about inner peace, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that inner peace is the basis of self-confidence, and that children should be taught about inner values and moral principles through a secular approach in schools instead of self- centered attitude.
His Holiness further spoke about religious harmony and lauded India’s multicultural traditions. “India is home to all of the world’s major religious traditions and also respects non believers. This is really wonderful and something to be proud of,” His Holiness said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also emphasised the importance of Tibetan language and said that the Tibetan language is the only language that has preserved India’s ancient knowledge. “The rich ancient knowledge of Nalanda is lost to the world now. However, due to the painstaking effort of the Tibetan translators, this knowledge is now available only in Tibetan language. Therefore, the preservation and study of Tibetan language is crucial,” His Holiness said.
The talk was followed by a question and answer session where the audience posed questions ranging from world peace to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s desire to return home to Tibet.