His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits BORI after 51 years
Friday, 30 March 2007, 4:00 p.m.
Dharamshala: Last Monday was a day of nostalgia for His Holiness the Dalai Lama as he visited the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) in Pune after 51 years.
In 1956, as a 21-year-old leader with the burden of fellow Tibetans on his shoulder, His Holiness visited India on being invited by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti.
At that time, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited BORI where his photographs were taken. 51 years after that visit, His Holiness was back at BORI during his recent visit to Pune from 24-27 March.
The photographs and Tibetan texts His Holiness saw at the institute made him decide that the Sarnath-based Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies would collaborate with BORI on which the director of BORI, M. G. Dhadphale expressed the desire to introduce Buddhist studies at the Institute.
Remembering other things about Pune, His Holiness spoke about Pune-based scholar of German VV Gokhale, a professor at Fergusson College, who also served as a representative of the British Government at Lhasa, capital city of Tibet.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also read from several priceless Tibetan books that were brought by Gokhale to Pune and preserved at BORI.
His Holiness signed the visitor's book at BORI. It says, "With my sheer hope that this BORI will grow and proliferate much".
The previous day that is on 25 March, His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the 2550th anniversary of Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha organised by Ambedkar Institute of Social and Economic Change.
In his address, His Holiness urged people to study and imbibe knowledge of religion to understand what is right and wrong.
"To understand what is the right path, one need to base knowledge upon extensive study. At the same time, one should not just be satisfied by attaining bookish knowledge, but understand and implement it in the course of life", His Holiness was quoted as saying by the Express News Service.
Praising India for its proverbial 'Unity in diversity', His Holiness said that the world could take a lesson in tolerance from India.
"The world today is torn apart in the name of religion. India, on other hand, has religions that were born inside it and those that came from other countries. Despite this, it treats different religions at par and is highly tolerant", His Holiness said adding that people should try to learn the principles of different religion, which espouse universal message of peace and non-violence.
His Holiness also stressed that Gautam Buddha was not treated as God in Buddhist philosophy and that he was a human being.
"The Buddha was a human being and he lived a normal mortal life. Hence, we do not call Buddhism a religion of the Gods, but a religion of the people", the ENS quoted His Holiness.
Also speaking at the event, member of the Planning Commission, Bhalchandra Mungekar said that the Buddhist philosophy of peace should be embraced by one and all.
"The Indian constitution has got its base in Buddhist principles and ideologies", said Mungekar.
(www.tibet.net is the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.)