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His Holiness the Dalai Lama Congratulates Edgars Rinkevics on His Election as New President of Latvia



His Holiness the Dalai Lama Congratulates Edgars Rinkevics on His Election as New President of Latvia



Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to Edgars Rinkevics to congratulate him on his election as the President of Latvia.

“Since 1991, I have had several opportunities to visit your beautiful country,” he wrote. “On those occasions, I have been deeply moved to observe the widespread interest and enthusiasm that people, both young and old, have shown in my efforts to promote human values, to encourage an appreciation of the oneness of humanity and to commend the importance of inter-religious harmony.

“Given the history of Latvia and its neighbours, Estonia and Lithuania, people in these countries are well-placed to show to the world the value of non-violence, freedom and democracy.

“Today, the world is passing through very challenging times. However, the experience you have gained during your long and distinguished career in public service will serve you well when it comes to carrying out your duties in your new role. May I wish you every success in fulfilling the wishes and aspirations of the people of Latvia.”


Foundation for Preservation of Mahayana Tradition Offers Long Live Prayer to His Holiness the Dalai Lama



His Holiness the Dalai Lama walking through the Main Tibetan courtyard on his way to attend a Long Life Prayers offered to him by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 24, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India, 24 May 2023: Heavy rain that had fallen through much of the night eased up as His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s car brought him to the gate of his residence this morning. He was met and greeted by board members of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), who then escorted him to the Tsuglagkhang. A red carpet up the middle of the temple yard was scattered with flower petals. At the top of the aisle His Holiness was welcomed by monks and nuns offering bouquets of flowers. As is his custom, he stopped several times on the way to greet members of the public.

Entering the temple His Holiness saluted Sikyong Penpa Tsering, Speaker Khenpo Sonam Temphel and Chief Justice Commissioner (acting) Karma Dadul, who were guests of the occasion. Facing His Holiness after he had taken his seat were Thamthog Rinpoché, Abbot of Namgyal Monastery, Abbot of Kopan Monastery, Geshé Chonyi, newly appointed Lobpön of Namgyal Monastery, Lobsang Dhargyey and Yangsi Rinpoché. Behind them, the Kopan Chant-master, Geshé Losang Sherab led the proceedings.

Three hundred and fifty members of the FPMT, 150 of them from abroad, took part in today’s ceremonies. This Long-Life Offering was based on the ritual of the ‘Offering to the Spiritual Master’ known as ‘Indivisible Bliss and Emptiness: The Ritual of the Profound Path of Lama Chöpa’. Tea and ceremonial sweet rice were served and during a break in the ritual to make offerings of them, His Holiness addressed the assembly.

“Today, you are offering prayers for my long life. In this world, people who have faith in the teachings of the Buddha, particularly people from the Himalayan region who feel a special connection to Avalokiteshvara also consider they have a link to me. If I am able to live long, there is the benefit that I will be able to serve the teaching and sentient beings.

“Buddhism originated in India, but eventually its circumstances changed. In due course the Buddha’s teaching spread to Tibet and the circumstances have changed there too. Although Buddhist traditions were not widely known in the West, these days there is growing interest in them there.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the congregation during the Long Life Prayer offered to him by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 24, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“I am determined to work for the flourishing of the Buddha’s teachings and welfare of all sentient beings, as Jé Tsongkhapa wrote in a verse at the end of his ‘Great Treatise on the Stages to the Path to Enlightenment’:

Wherever the Buddha’s teaching has not spread
And wherever it has spread but has declined
May I, moved by great compassion, clearly elucidate
This treasury of excellent benefit and happiness for all.

“So, if these prayers today are effective, everyone will benefit. Tibet and the neighbouring lands of the Himalayan region have a long-standing connection to the Dalai Lamas. I am determined to work for the benefit of the people who live in these places, but in addition there are now scientists across the world who are interested in what the Buddha’s teaching have to say about the workings of the mind and emotions. I would like to help them as much as I can too.

“For these purposes, supported by your prayers and dedication, I feel I may be able to live another twenty years or so. I’m keen to let people, especially those who have no religious allegiance or interest in spiritual affairs, know the importance of cultivating love and compassion and achieving peace of mind.

“However, it is also good to remind ourselves of what the Arhat Sagala says in the Vinaya scriptures— ”Do not be contented merely to wear monastic robes. Study the content of the Three Baskets and engage in the Three Trainings in ethics, meditative concentration and wisdom. Practise the teaching with enthusiasm.”

Members of the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) presenting offerings to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Long Life Offering Ceremony at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 24, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness observed that the situation in Tibet remains tense, but in Mongolia Buddhism is being revived. He repeated Jé Tsongkhapa’s aspiration, ‘May I, moved by great compassion, clearly elucidate this treasury of excellent benefit and happiness for all.’ He encouraged those listening to him to do their best to practise the Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings. He reiterated the importance of practice, noting that those who teach without the support of personal practice are seldom effective. Serving the Dharma and sentient beings needs to be rooted in study and practice.

“These long-life prayers,” His Holiness went on, “are being offered today by the FPMT, an organization with many centres around the world that has for quite some time been led by the late Zopa Rinpoché. A very trustworthy person, Rinpoché has recently passed away and I pray that his reincarnation will be able to serve the Dharma and sentient beings in his next life.

“If we all practise, Buddhism will not vanish soon, but will survive for several centuries more. We follow great and learned masters like Nagarjuna who upheld the teachings of the Buddha not merely on the basis of faith, but by relying on reason. This is the unique quality of the Nalanda Tradition. We examine the words of the teaching in the light of reason and accept them accordingly.

“Zopa Rinpoché really did his best. He worked immensely hard for the teaching and to benefit sentient beings. I hope his reincarnation will also be a proper custodian of the Dharma and pray that that may be so. You should do the same.”

The ceremony continued with a ‘tsog’ offering. FPMT board members took part in offering a mandala, as well as the threefold representations of enlightenment, presenting a statue of the Buddha, a scripture and a reliquary object to His Holiness. In addition, there were offerings of a monk’s staff, symbolic of the 37 factors of enlightenment, monastic robes, and other accoutrements of a monk, the seven royal emblems, the eight auspicious symbols and the eight auspicious substances. Meanwhile, a procession of FPMT members, monastics and lay-people, filed through the temple bearing offerings.

The ceremony was concluded with dedication prayers, a ‘Prayer for the Flourishing of Je Tsongkhapa’s Teachings’, a prayer entitled ‘Causing the Teachings of
Buddha to Flourish’, a ‘Prayer for the Spreading of Ecumenical Buddha’s Teachings’ and finally ‘The Prayer of the Words of Truth’.

As he left the temple, His Holiness made a point of catching the eye of as many members of the crowd as he could. He waved to those who were further away. Down in the temple yard he climbed into a car in which he drove slowly back to his residence, smiling and waving as he went.

With the large pile of offerings to be distributed to the crowd in the background, members of Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) lined up at the entrance of the Main Tibetan Temple holding offerings to present to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Long Life Offering Ceremony in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 24, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Congratulates Siddaramaiah on Becoming the Chief Minister of Karnataka


His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during His Holiness’s 78th birthday celebrations at Sera Je Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on July 6, 2013. Photo by Tenzin Choejor


In a letter this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama congratulated Siddaramaiah on becoming the Chief Minister of Karnataka once again.

“Last April marked the 64th anniversary of our life in exile,” he wrote. “In order to find a suitable place for resettlement of the many Tibetans fleeing to India at the time, Prime Minister Pandit Nehru appealed to the Chief Ministers of different states to provide land. The most generous response came from then Chief Minister of your state, S. Nijalingappa. I had in fact met him earlier in 1956 when I visited India and have a very clear memory of the meeting.

“Subsequently, as you know, more than 30,000 Tibetans were settled in Karnataka in the 1960s, the largest group of Tibetans in exile. I remain grateful to the state of Karnataka and in August 2018, took part in a special function in Bengaluru to thank the state and its people for their friendship and generous support.

“In addition to setting up five residential settlements in Karnataka that allowed Tibetan communities to be rehabilitated, I am proud that the state is also where many of our major monastic centres of learning were re-established. Through rigorous programmes of study these institutions are keeping alive the traditions of ancient Indian wisdom, including valuable instructions for achieving peace of mind, that we Tibetans received as part of the Nalanda Tradition.

“I would like, therefore,” His Holiness went on, “to express once more our deep gratitude to the government and people of Karnataka for the warm and friendly support they have provided Tibetans during these critical times.”

He concluded, “I take this opportunity to wish you every success in meeting the challenges that may lie ahead in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people of Karnataka.”

Irrepressible Tibet: Seven Decades of Fighting Chinese Lies with Compassion and Truth



After decades of brutal communist persecution, the people of Tibet remain unmoved and unafraid. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is at the heart of their resilience.

By Jason Morgan, Reitaku University

His Holiness the Dalai Lama watches as the candidates for ordination at his residence in Dharamsala, India on March 26, 2023. (© The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Tenzin Jamphel)

It is often said that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a totalitarian government. Indeed, it is true. But what does it mean, concretely, for peoples who fall under Beijing’s totalitarian dictatorship? What can countries in Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Americas expect as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) expands its reach and tightens its grip worldwide? The answer can be found in Tibet.

Tibet teaches us what Chinese totalitarianism really looks like on the ground. Likewise, Tibet, especially the spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, offers hope in the face of brutal communist persecution.

Communists Hate Religion

It is common knowledge that communists hate religion. Karl Marx famously sneered at religion as the “opiate of the people“. During the Spanish Civil War, communists hunted down priests and nuns and ransacked churches. The same thing happened during the Cristero War in Mexico. In Vietnam, communists massacred priests and nuns, confiscated church property, and hounded regular believers. This pattern has been repeated wherever communists have seized power: Cuba, North Korea, Cambodia, Venezuela, East Germany, and Poland are just a few of the many examples.

But while communists hate religion, they also often find that they cannot rule without it. The atheist state at which communists aim appears to be an impossibility. Where traditional religion is killed, new cults form in its place.

Perhaps the best illustration of this is the former Soviet Union, which waged war on the Orthodox Church before trying to come to terms with it. Or, look at Mao Zedong, who fomented murderous chaos in China while being worshipped as a living god.

Communists hate religion. But, communists also invariably discover that religion cannot be killed. In many cases, this only increases their hatred. Under these circumstances, religious leaders and laypeople suffer horrific abuse, even genocide, at the hands of communist rulers.

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Peace March at Tokyo Ginza street by people from Myanmar, Cambodia, Iran, Ukraine, Belarus, Tibet, Uyghur, Southern Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and Japan. December 10, 2022. (Photo courtesy of FB/ MI & FF)

Seven Decades of Anti-Religious Hate 

More than seventy years ago, there had been great hope among some in Tibet that the newly-minted People’s Republic of China would “liberate” Tibet. For instance, the tenth Panchen Lama, Choekyi Gyaltsen, appeared to take the side of the PRC against the Nationalists in the Chinese civil war.

However, the reality of communist rule soon blotted out idealist imaginings. In 1950, Chinese communists invaded Tibet and took the country by force. In 1951, the Dalai Lama was forced to sign an “agreement” acknowledging that Tibet was a part of the PRC. Then in 1959, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the fourteenth reincarnation of Avalokiteśvara (the bodhisattva of compassion), fled his native Tibet to neighboring India.

The Dalai Lama fleeing from Tibet to Tawang in India in 1959. (© The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama)

Cultural and Physical Genocide

During the more than seven decades of communist rule of Tibet, the Tibetan people and their leaders have been subjected to perhaps the most extensive, systematic, and long-lasting campaign of hate and genocide in the history of mankind. Monasteries and convents have been razed. Buddhist monks have been imprisoned and killed. Buddhist nuns have been raped en masse. The rich Buddhist heritage of Tibet has been materially gutted. Prayer wheels have been desecrated and destroyed. Statues have been toppled. Sutras have been burned.

American intervention, in the form of secret CIA guerrilla commandos parachuted into Tibet, appears only to have made things worse.

The Tenth Panchen Lama had once welcomed the communists as “liberators.” He, too, was arrested and brutally tortured when, in 1962, he dared to inform Chinese premier Zhou Enlai of the horrors which the PRC was perpetrating in Tibet. By 1989, the Tenth Panchen Lama was dead, possibly murdered by Beijing.

Furthermore, the Eleventh Panchen Lama, a small boy, was kidnapped by Beijing in 1995. His whereabouts still remain unknown. The PRC has foisted a fake Panchen Lama on the Tibetan people. But Tibetans have almost universally rejected such measures, despite being forced to worship the fake Lama at gunpoint.

Amid Beijing’s cultural and physical genocide, auto-immolation by monks, nuns, and regular Tibetans in protest of PRC brutality continues.

The Calm at the Eye of the Storm

The Tibetan people have suffered for more than seventy years under Beijing’s totalitarianism. They, their religion, and their culture have been targeted for extinction by Chinese communists.

Much of this suffering has, of course, gone on inside Tibet, which is cloaked in Chinese censorship and out of view of the rest of the world. However, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, remains in Dharamsala, India, among the Tibetan government-in-exile. In India, the Dalai Lama’s public life helps the world to see the campaign of hate that the PRC is waging against him.

Beijing regularly accuses the Dalai Lama of being a “splittist” and a “separatist.” One charming Chinese official called the Dalai Lama a “wolf in a monk’s robe” and a “monster with a human face”.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the interfaith conference at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India on December 28, 2017. (© The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Tenzin Choejor)

Threatened for Meeting With the Dalai Lama

Beijing also routinely threatens people and governments for communicating with or meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama. WashingtonSri LankaIndiaFranceMongoliaGermany, the European Union, and even Lady Gaga have been upbraided and outright threatened for meeting with His Holiness.

In fact, the Chinese government acknowledges that it views with disfavor those who interact with the Dalai Lama. As the India Times reports, “‘Any country or any organization of anyone to accept to meet with the Dalai Lama in our view is a major offense to the sentiment of the Chinese people,’ said Zhang Yijong, Executive Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department” of the CCP.

The Dalai Lama was himself also threatened for his EU visit. In 2012, the Dalai Lama revealed Chinese plans to assassinate him.

And, the officially atheist Chinese Communist Party absurdly claims authority to interfere in the Dalai Lama’s next reincarnation. Even the United Nations Human Rights Council has been used, shamelessly, by Chinese communists to spread lies about Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama’s place within it.

The Latest Anti-Tibetan Hate from Totalitarian China

In April of 2023, the Dalai Lama was subjected to a particularly vicious round of Chinese fake news. During an event in northern India, Chinese propaganda alleged, the Dalai Lama had engaged in highly inappropriate behavior with a young boy.

However, Penpa Tsering, the Sikyong, or president, of the Tibetan government-in-exile in India, explained that His Holiness’ behavior was “innocent.” It was not inappropriate, but instead demonstrated culturally appropriate “affection.”

Dr Tsewang Gyalpo Arya, the head of Tibet House Japan and scholar of Tibetan religion and history, writes that:

“Mr Jigme Ugen, a Tibetan living in the United States, explains how the incident happened with the full footage of the video and the hidden hand of China sensationalizing the Dalai Lama’s innocent interaction with the child. It came out later as another Chinese conspiracy to vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama and undermine the Tibetan struggle for freedom and justice in their homeland.”

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Dr Tsewang Gyalpo Arya speaks at an anniversary event on March 10, 2022, in memory of the Tibetan uprising.

‘A Despicable Ploy’

There is even more to the story. Dr Arya continues:

“Another reason for the CCP to come up with this despicable ploy is that on March 8 His Holiness recognized a boy as the 10th Jetsun Dhampa Huthukthu (Jebtsundamba) one of the highest Mongolian Buddhist lamas, at a religious function in Dharamshala, India. Around 600 Mongolians and many Tibetans attended the sacred function. Mongols and Tibetans have a deep historical, religious, and cultural relationship. In fact, the 9th Jetsun Dhampa Huthukthu escaped China and sought refuge in India along with the Tibetans.”

The April 2023 Chinese fake news attack on the Dalai Lama was couched in yet more, and much older, fake news. The Chinese used the invented pretense of the Dalai Lama’s remarks to the young boy to bring up another lie, namely that Tibetans were “slaves” before the arrival of Beijing.

Showing the Way Beyond China’s Totalitarianism

It is obvious why Beijing hates the Dalai Lama. He represents a spiritual and religious hope that all humans share. People in Tibet, Mongolia, the rest of Asia, the West, and even China appreciate Tibetan Buddhism. Millions of people worldwide respect and value the Dalai Lama and seek to live with compassion and truth as he does.

In Japan, too, a group of parliamentarians has gone beyond political division to come together in support of Tibet. The Dalai Lama has been welcomed at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan, and so has Sikyong Penpa Tsering.

Where China represses, destroys, kills, and bullies, the Dalai Lama radiates compassion and love. The Dalai Lama has never responded to Beijing’s hate in kind. Instead, His Holiness the Dalai Lama offers reconciliation, peace, and joy. He proposes, in perhaps an echo of his spiritual predecessor Tsongkhapa’s teachings, a “middle way” for co-existence between Tibet and China.

Even after almost three-quarters of a century of totalitarian dictatorship, the Tibetan people remain unmoved and unafraid. The Dalai Lama is the center of that resilience.

And His Holiness is not just for Tibetans. Anyone in the world can look at the Dalai Lama and know that communist dictatorships are powerless against religion. Truth always wins in the end.

Author: Jason Morgan

Jason Morgan is an associate professor at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan.

Click here for the original report.

Opinion: Understanding the Attack on the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a remote village in Ladakh, India in August 2022 (Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL)

By Sang Mota (Sangmo)

From the beginning, I could not understand what the big deal was. When I saw the short, edited video clip of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with his tongue stuck out at a boy circulating on Instagram and Facebook, my initial reaction was surprise at the frenzied online reaction. This behavior is very normal in my Tibetan culture, especially in the Amdo region from which H. H. the Dalai Lama and I both come. I tried not to react to toxic social media reaction.  However, after a week or so, I realized that the online attacks would not end there, so I could not remain silent.  This manipulated video clip has painted our Tibetan spiritual leader as a pedophile through a monolithic western perspective of our Tibetan traditional customs. This needs to be explained and clarified by Tibetan people.

I have worked professionally as a social worker and domestic violence counselor at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Victim Services Unit in Brooklyn. I primarily focused on the Eastern Asian population, but also helped in the Human Trafficking, Sex Crimes Division, Homicide, and Crimes Against Children Division. I offered not only language and cultural competency, but also created a safe space for vulnerable, voiceless, and traumatized domestic violence and sexually assaulted victims/survivors. During almost a decade of working in the field, I never heard of a pedophile showing their true face publicly, especially in front of a camera. The research clearly indicates that child abuse occurs behind closed doors.

Was I surprised when a few major TV networks around the world, such as BBC, CNN, and Fox News, used this manipulated short video clip to create clickbait headlines in order to get people’s attention to aim for higher ratings? Not at all. But what saddened me the most was they did not do their basic journalistic homework. Instead, they took the easy route of social media cutting and pasting for their purposes:  to grab the audience. Like television, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and others, the news outlets all kept endlessly recycling the same manipulated video clip.  The motivation behind this information seems to be political in nature as well. What is lacking here from the beginning is a complete version of the video, which would have provided clarity. This young Indian boy was not only with his mother and his grandfather but also with a group of over one hundred Indian school students who received a private audience with H. H. the Dalai Lama. Moreover, the young boy asked a few times for affectionate interaction from H. H. the Dalai Lama by saying, “Can I hug you?”

In today’s high technology world, we are more connected than ever but it does not mean that we all know each other’s culture and customs. A perfect example of this was the misunderstanding of the phrase, “Suck my tongue,” which in Western culture sounds hypersexualized. But in Tibetan culture, it is a customary, intergenerational play. Since Tibet is also the size of western Europe, there are variations in customs across the broad region. As such, certain forms of play may not be familiar to all regions in Tibet.  H.H. the Dalai Lama’s playful interaction is predominantly practiced in the Amdo region where I come from. ‘Suck my tongue’ or ‘bite my tongue,’ or ‘eat my tongue’ are commonly used phrases when we play with children.  Specifically, when children persistently want more snacks, and adults have nothing left to give them, then adults would playfully offer their tongue. I myself even played with my nephews and nieces by using the phrases mentioned above in my early 20s in Tibet.  The cultural misconception here is that these phrases are not to be taken literally; children obviously do not suck or bite the tongues of adults.

Traditionally, especially in rural areas across the Tibetan Plateau, most children did not grow up with many toys around them.  Intergenerational play was a way our adults showed affection towards children with playful behaviors such as tickling and making strange facial expressions to make children smile and giggle. Now, we have an abundance of toys for children to choose from and play with, and Tibetans no longer need to continue certain cultural practices of intergenerational play.  Additionally, these older playful customs are not known by some newer generations of Tibetans because some intergenerational playful customs have diminished with the advent of more toys and electronics. Many younger Tibetans do not even know about many aspects of traditional intergenerational play. I wish we had more cultural anthropology research to look back on to show the Tibetan customs and subtleties.

Both the global media, predominantly from a western perspective, and a few Tibetans reacted negatively to H.H. the Dalai Lama’s behavior with the Indian child and stated his behavior was not acceptable. After almost 30 years residing in the United States, I can contextualize their reaction because in western culture, the “tongue” is hypersexualized. However, I was deeply shocked and disappointed with the truly unprofessional statement from SNAP, a U. S, based organization (The Survivors Network of Those Abuse by Priests). SNAP was quick to project their own interpretation and allege child abuse by H.H. the Dalai Lama. It is clear they had done no research on H.H. the Dalai Lama and Tibetan culture. I pity them for their cultural blindness, despite being a professional organization. First and foremost, professionally, it did not even occur to them to consider asking about the cultural turn of phrase and its meaning within Tibetan culture. As an advocate holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Master’s Degree in Social Work, and trained as a social worker in the United States, I know a thorough assessment should be taken first when we determine a situation or meet a client in crisis. We are strictly instructed not to project our values or cultural bias onto others.

After the incident, His Holiness apologized for any harm caused by his action because he regretted causing misunderstandings, not because he is guilty of ill-intent. Historically, widespread allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests against children have occurred, and oftentimes victims were silenced. Sexual misconduct happens not only in the West but is also a problem within Tibetan communities. I know this personally through a lifetime of commitment to combatting gender-based violence and sexual assaulted victims /survivors both in Tibet and outside Tibet. I see that slowly, brave Tibetan victims/survivors come out and share their stories, but the majority of Tibetan communities remain quiet about it. Only a small number of individuals and advocates publicly support their cause.

As a Nobel Peace Prize winner, H. H. the Dalai Lama commands my respect. Many of you may not know there are many forms of Tibetan Buddhism sects and H. H the Dalai Lama was trained in the Gelugpa Sect, which is also known as the “Yellow Hat” sect. Although H.H. the Dalai Lama is the Gelugpa Sect leader, he is also considered a nonsectarian spiritual leader for all Tibetans, similar to the way the Pope is a spiritual leader to a diversity of Catholics and other Christians.

The H.H. the Dalai Lama’s playful personality and sense of humor may not be widely understood sometimes and may be out of cultural context, but he does not deserve to be compared to those religious leaders who actually abuse children sexually. He does not deserve to be immediately shoved under the rug by detractors. Have you ever heard any accusations against H.H. the Dalai Lama of child sexual abuse? To those who do not know who H.H. the Dalai Lama is, for decades, His Holiness has tirelessly worked to promote and spread love, nonviolence, and compassion for the future of humankind. He always emphasizes that our world now requires us to accept the oneness of humanity because we share the universe. H.H. the Dalai Lama always emphasizes we are brothers and sisters from the same human family. He treats people from all walks of life equally without bias. A few years ago, in an interview with the New York Times, His Holiness himself stated that he sees himself as a feminist and thinks the world would be a better place with women leading the way. Women, in his view, are innately compassionate and intelligent. H.H the Dalai Lama is not only a beacon of hope, compassion, and peace to the world, but also a champion and ally of the underprivileged, women, and children.

Ethical journalism should not use unverified sources in the interest of gaining viewers and readers.  Unethical practices of journalism only care about promoting their own interests, like the major TV networks, BBC, CNN, Fox News, and other social media which were so quick to trash H.H. the Dalai Lama’s credibility and integrity. By using their platforms, the media put Tibetans in a vulnerable position. The media’s unprofessional, irresponsible, and purposeful undermining of Tibetan culture caused unprecedented emotional distress to all Tibetans, young and old around the world.  A perfect example of this is the young Tibetan student from Belgium (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxZ_MORQclo) who suffered during the discussion in her religion class. She shared that her religion is Buddhism and said her spiritual leader is H.H. the Dalai Lama. Her teacher mocked her, saying that H.H. the Dalai Lama is a pedophile and showed the manipulated video clip to the class to humiliate her. This is one of the ripple effects to which the major TV networks and mass social media have contributed. Shameful! The negligent media owes an apology to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people.


(Views expressed are her own)


The author has worked as a social worker in the Victim Services Unit of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.  She specializes in domestic violence in the Eastern Asian population.  She has her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Hunter College. Currently, she works as a Real Estate salesperson at Douglas Elliman in New York.  She lives in Manhattan with her husband.

Rare Tibetan manuscripts translated into Hindi seeking Bihar CM’s support

Bihar Research Society officials displaying Tibetan manuscripts collection to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (Photo/HT)

By Tsering Dhundup

DHARAMSHALA May 17: The much-awaited Hindi translations of the centuries-old Tibetan manuscripts on Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy, which were brought back to India from Tibet by noted author Rahul Sakrityayan, are ready to be published and are waiting for the preface of the book, as well as funds promised by the Bihar Chief minister, according to Hindustan Times.

These are the first five books of more than 50 Tibetan manuscripts on Buddhism being translated into Hindi by the Sarnath-based Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies.

As part of efforts to make Buddhism’s core principles and philosophy easily understandable for the people, the Bihar government in 2019 tied up with the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS), Sarnath, to translate more than 50 Tibetan manuscripts into Hindi. Accordingly, the Bihar government allocated a budget of ₹1.94 crores for the publication of the Hindi translation of the manuscripts. The first instalment of ₹15.50 lakh was released to the institute.

A senior official of the CIHTS said that five books, which have been translated, are awaiting the introductory message of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for printing. “Our vice-chancellor (Prof. Geshe Ngawang Samten) has sent letters to the chief minister twice in the last year and met him in person in April this year at Rajgir for the message and the 2nd instalment of the fund, ₹25 lacks. However, both are still awaited,” the official told HT, adding that the institute had proposed releasing five books on the auspicious Buddha Purnima (May 5).

The books ready for publication include ‘Karm Vibhang Sutra’, ‘Pragyaparmitahridaya Sutra’, a collection of books written by Acharya Deepankar Shrigyan, ‘Madhyamkalangkar Karika Bhashya Evam Teeka’, and a collection of other rare manuscripts.

“These are Tibetan translations of original manuscripts written in Sanskrit on palm leaves about Buddhism and its philosophy that were in possession of old Nalanda and Vikramshila universities. These manuscripts were taken to Tibet during the 7th-11th centuries to translate and propagate Buddhism. These manuscripts were translated into the Tibetan language under the guidance of scholars on handmade papers and in natural ink,” said a researcher.

The institute had earlier planned to get the five translated versions of the manuscripts by Dalai Lama during his visit to Bodh Gaya between December 28 and 31 in 2022. However, the plan had to be postponed due to a delay in the CM’s message on the books and the 2nd instalment of the agreed amount, said a CIHTS official, quoting a letter to Kumar by the vice-chancellor on December 15, 2022.

Director General of Bihar Museum Anjani Kumar Singh, who is an advisor to the Bihar CM, said that he would inquire into the delay from the Department of Art and Culture, which had signed the MoU with the CIHTS.

Rahul Sankrityayan brought ten thousand Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts from Tibet (from 1929-1938) on his four trips to Tibet. These manuscripts were originally written in Sanskrit by scholars and monks studying at ancient Nalanda and Vikramshila universities in India between 7th to 12 century AD. Their copies and translations were taken to Tibet while the originals were lost when these two universities were destroyed, according to archeological records.

Representative Kelsang Gyaltsen Attends Annual Buddha Day Ceremony in Taipei


Representative Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa speaking at the Buddha Day Ceremony.

Taipei: Representative Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa of the Office of Tibet in Taiwan attended the annual Buddha Day Ceremony organised by Tzu Chi Foundation in Hualien on 14 May 2023.

The grand ceremony attended by around 20,000 people to pay homage to Buddha also witnessed the attendance of the current Taiwanese President, Tsai Ing-wen, and other prominent leaders including the erstwhile President, Ambassadors and Representatives from other countries. Ven Geshe Tenzin Namdol Rinpoche, the Buddhist philosophy teacher at the Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was also invited to the ceremony with great honour.

Earlier on 10 May, a similar ceremony was held at the Hsuan Chuang University in Hsinchu City, Taiwan, where Representative Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa addressed the gathering attended by the Deputy Mayor of Hsinchu City and the Deputy Representative of the Indian Embassy in Taiwan. It was also partaken by the university’s Principal, faculties, students and Buddhist monks from both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions.

-Report filed by Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Taiwan

Buddhist philosophy teacher Ven Geshe Tenzin Namdol Rinpoche taking part in the ritual of prayer offering.

Group photo

Celebration of annual Buddha Day in Hualien.

Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi Inaugurates ‘Buddham Saranam Gacchami’ Exhibition in New Delhi


Hon’ble Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi

Hon’ble Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi inaugurated the “Buddham Saranam Gacchami” Exhibition in the presence of senior Buddhist monks, H.E. Ambassadors, diplomats and Ministry officials on May 10, 2023 at the National Gallery of Modern Arts, New Delhi. H.E. the Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche of the Drepung Gomang Monastery was the Guest of Honour at the event.

The Exhibition organized in the week succeeding Buddha Purnima was based on the life of Lord Buddha and showcased the voyage of Buddhist art and culture around the world, exhibiting works of art by iconic masters of modern Indian art, divided into sections, each documenting a distinct facet of Buddhism and Buddha’s life. These artistic works that have been put on display offer a glimpse into the history and philosophy of one of Buddhism.

Hon’ble Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi

The Exhibition started with the lighting of lamp and presentation of Angavastra amidst chanting by senior Buddhist monks. It was followed by a performance of “Shweta Mukti” which showcased feminine glory of Nirvana presented in Odissi Dance style by Kavita Dwibedi and her troupe.

Venerable Kundeling Rinpoche especially praised the natural setting in which the event was organized.

Addressing the gathering, Meenakashi Lekhi said, “The teachings of the Buddha remain ever so relevant today as 2500 years ago.”

She mentioned that though Siddhartha Gautam was born in Lumbini, he got his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya and today both the places – in Nepal and India, bind the two countries strongly together.

She further mentioned, “India is not only the centre of Buddhist philosophy but also of art and culture and hence it has been India’s responsibility to bring forward the values of Buddhism to the larger world.”

“This is the purity of India ideology, and materialism and along with the value systems is India’s gift to the world,” she added.

According to her, the exhibition – `Buddham Saranam Gacchami’ was part of an effort to bring forward some rare and unique elements of art associated with Buddhism, especially the works of artist Nandalal Bose.

Missions of numerous countries were represented at the event through their Head of Missions and deputies. The Exhibition was attended by most of the countries which have significant Buddhist population such as Nepal, Myanmar, Mongolia, South Korea, Thailand, Bhutan, etc. The exhibition also saw participation of Ambassadors from countries like Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg, Jamaica, Portugal, Georgia, Iceland, Ecuador, Syria, Peru and senior diplomats from many others.

The Exhibition showcased paintings from countries like Sri Lanka and Myanmar and showcased how Buddhism traversed across different countries. The aim of the exhibition is to delve into an exploration about the spirituality of art and their elements related with Buddhism and its journey expressing the universal values of wisdom, compassion, and peace.

The iconic Indian artist Nandalal Bose has explored the life and teachings of Buddha and his path of spirituality through line drawings with an ethereal quality. The scenic Himalayas in its true beauty find their representation in the works of Nicholas Roerich and Bireswar Sen.

The diplomatic corps appreciated the Exhibition and the cultural programme as they got to know more about the life of Lord Buddha and the values espoused by him. The Exhibition is open for public till 10th June at the National Gallery of Modern Arts, India Gate.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Congratulates King Charles III On His Coronation



His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Prince Charles walking on the grounds of Clarence House in London, UK, on June 21, 2012.

Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India – On the auspicious occasion of his coronation His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to King Charles III to offer his warm congratulations.

“May Your Majesty live long,” he wrote, “and the peoples of the United Kingdom enjoy happiness and prosperity.

“Having been privileged to enjoy your friendship for many years, I am confident that you will continue to accomplish this great responsibility with kindness and affection, dedicated to the service of others.

“Today,” His Holiness added, “the international community is going through very challenging times. I believe we must make concerted efforts to achieve a more compassionate, peaceful world by resolving problems like the gap between rich and poor and protecting the natural environment of this planet that is our only home, in the spirit of the oneness of humanity.

His Holiness concluded his letter: “I wish you every success in meeting the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the British people and contributing to the creation of a more peaceful world, free of violent conflict.”

source — dalailama.com

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Expresses Gratitude to Indian Government on 25th Founding Anniversary of BTSM



His Holiness the Dalai Lama arriving at the Main Tibetan Temple courtyard to attend Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch (BTSM) 25th Anniversary celebrations in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 5, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India, 5th May 2023: This morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama attended a gathering in the Tsuglagkhang courtyard to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch (BTSM), a pan-Indian Tibet support group. He was met at the gate to his residence by Dr Indresh Kumar, Chief Patron of the organisation, and then stood for a moment while photographs were taken of members with him.

As part of an Indian welcome His Holiness was presented with flowers and a lamp, and offered a tilak on his forehead. He was then given a traditional Tibetan welcome that included the ‘Chema Changpu’. As he walked up the central aisle, Tibetans in traditional dress held out katas, white silk scarves, to him. He stopped to watch Tashi Shölpa dancers from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). Before taking his seat, he participated in lighting a lamp before a portrait of Sarasvati to inaugurate the occasion.

The lady moderator told the audience how blessed they were to have His Holiness there with them. As part of a formal welcome of the Chief Guests they were each given a traditional Himachali hat. A colossal marigold garland was produced that encircled the entire group.

National General Secretary BTSM, Pankaj Goel, spoke first opening his address with a rousing cheer of ‘Jai Bharat, Jai Tibbat’. He welcomed the chief guests and members of the audience. He mentioned that in the 25 years of its existence BTSM has established branches all over India. He described how proud members were to have His Holiness’s approval and how determined they were to maintain their support for Tibet.

National General Secretary BTSM, Pankaj Goel, speaking at the Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch 25th Anniversary celebrations at the Main Tibetan Temple courtyard in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 5, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Amongst its many activities BTSM takes people on pilgrimage to the Himalayas. Goal announced that Tibet will be free again one day and that Indians and Tibetans will celebrate together at Mt Kailash. In the meantime, one of the organisation’s goals is to recruit more young people as members.

Chief Patron Indresh Kumar spoke next and referred to the historic connections between India and Tibet. He was full of praise for His Holiness. He noted how auspicious it was for the gathering to be taking place on Buddha Purnima and rejoiced that the Buddha’s teaching remains with us today.

Harking back to traditional tales of the struggle between good and evil, he observed that ultimately good triumphs through non-violence. He affirmed that BTSM takes a non-violent stance in its activities, adding that a resort to violence only brings harm to humanity.

He stated that it is important to take China to task for the way it has treated Tibet and Tibetans. He pledged that BTSM will to hold China to account while remembering all the Tibetans who have suffered under its occupation of Tibet. He recited the mantra ‘Om mani padme hung’.

Dr Indresh Kumar, Chief Patron of BTSM, speaking at the Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch 25th Anniversary celebrations at the Main Tibetan Temple courtyard in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 5, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

He alluded to BTSM plans to spread awareness of Tibet and promised to continue to work for the Tibetan cause. In conclusion he stated that Tibet was once a free country and has never been part of China. He ended with a cheer, “Jai Tibbat, Jai Bharat”.

His Holiness opened his remarks with the observation that after his coming into exile, Pandit Nehru arranged for him to live here in Dharamshala.

“India is a free country, a place where we found freedom of religion,” he declared. “All the world’s religions are represented here, but Buddhism originated in this country. This why all the books included in the Kangyur and Tengyur collections begin, ‘In the language of India the title of this work is …’ There have long been special connections between India and Tibet. This is where the profound traditions we maintain came from.

“In the 7th century the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo, married a Chinese princess which indicates the strong historic relations between Tibet and China. However, when it came to redesigning a Tibetan form of writing the King chose to base it on the Indian Devanagari alphabet with its vowels and consonants.

“From the time of Songtsen Gampo there were Chinese monks in Tibet. But a later King, Trisong Detsen, wished to evaluate the different Chinese and Indian approaches to Buddhist practice. He organised a debate between the Indian master Kamalashila and the Chinese monks. Kamalashila gave thorough explanations of the Three Higher Trainings and so forth, while the Chinese monks didn’t have a lot to say. The King decided that Kamalashila’s approach stressing the importance of study, reflection and meditation was more appropriate for Tibetans than the Chinese focus only on meditation. He asked the Chinese monks to leave Tibet.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the crowd at the Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch 25th Anniversary celebrations at the Main Tibetan Temple courtyard in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 5, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Shantarakshita, Kamalashila’s teacher and a great master at Nalanda University in India, had earlier been invited to Tibet. It was he who established the Nalanda tradition with its reliance on reason and logic in the Land of Snow. He further advised that since Tibetans had their own written language, instead of having to depend on Sanskrit or Chinese to read the scriptures, they should translate them into Tibetan. This is how the Kangyur—the translated words of the Buddha—and the Tengyur—the translated commentarial treatises of subsequent masters—came into being. Consequently, Tibetans today still explain the Buddha’s teachings according to the Nalanda Tradition.

“These days devotees and students from many Buddhist countries come to visit us here because we have upheld the complete teaching of the Buddha. What’s more, we practise as well as study. We cultivate resting as well as analytical meditation and read the scriptures and treatises in the light of logic and reason.

“When we engage in debate, particularly during examinations, if the challenger cites lines of scripture to justify his assertion the respondent takes off his hat as a mark of respect while he considers what has been said. However, if he concludes that the quotation doesn’t prove the point, he puts his hat back and says so.

“As for me, when I was a small boy, I began my studies with ‘Collected Topics. Then I moved on to the classic texts, several of which I memorised. I studied them with my tutors and debated what I’d understood with a team of debating assistants. Today, looking back, I feel fortunate to have encountered such learned scholars from our Buddhist centres of learning.

“Nowadays, because I’ve become so accustomed to taking an analytical point of view, whether I’m meeting with other religious scholars or even modern scientists, I feel I can confidently hold my own.

“Being able to conduct an investigative analysis is very precious. We don’t just accept blindly what we’re told, we examine the reason for things in a logical way.

Members of the crowd gathered at the Main Tibetan Temple courtyard listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch (BTSM) 25th Anniversary celebrations in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 5, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“When I sat for my Geshé exams in Lhasa I had already been tested in debate in the three great monasteries of Ganden, Sera and Drepung. I was wearing my best clothes, but underneath their cover my heart was pounding nervously. After my exams I was able to engage in a combination of resting and analytical meditation. And this has helped me transform my mind.

“In Tibet the Dalai Lama sat on a high throne, but here in exile we have no such formality. I am motivated by the following verse from the end of Tsongkhapa’s ‘Great Treatise on the Stages to the Path to Enlightenment’:

Wherever the Buddha’s teaching has not spread
And wherever it has spread but has declined
May I, moved by great compassion, clearly elucidate
This treasury of excellent benefit and happiness for all.”

His Holiness explained how every day, as soon as he wakes, he meditates on the essence of the Buddha’s teaching—the awakening mind of bodhichitta and the view of emptiness. He declared that there are several thousand monks and nuns engaged in study, reflection and meditation in the monastic centres of learning re-established in India. He expressed his deep appreciation for what they are doing, because this is how the teaching is preserved. It requires a combination of study and practice. He urged them to continue.

He remarked that one innovation he can claim credit for is to have encouraged nuns to study and also become Geshémas. In Tibetan schools too he has advocated a shift of focus from religion to philosophy. Where there were once religious mentors there are now philosophy teachers.

Artists from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) performing at the Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch 25th Anniversary celebrations at the Main Tibetan Temple courtyard in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 5, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Here in exile, we have not been working only for our own benefit. By preserving the Kangyur and Tengyur and studying the books they contain we have upheld views of reality and a science of the mind that can be of widespread benefit to others in a purely secular context. And we have been able to do this thanks to the generous support and encouragement of the Government of India at both the central and local levels. In our schools children receive a modern education but they have also been able to keep our values and traditions alive.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of India at the centre, as well as local authorities, for their great kindness to us.”

Applause swept through the audience.

“This Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Under its auspices people from all over India have lent their support to Tibet. We have received backing from many quarters to preserve our culture and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped us.”

Before returning to his residence, His Holiness watched with pleasure as artistes from TIPA sang and performed a dance that originated in the Kongpo region of Tibet. The male dancers flourished bows, while the women carried quivers of arrows. His Holiness took one of these quivers and waved it in the air before him as mark of auspiciousness.

SOURCE — Dalailama.com