OSAKA, Japan: Following a short flight from Haneda airport, His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived at Itami airport in Osaka city around noon today, 9 May.
It was raining when Holiness the Dalai Lama’s plane landed at the airport. From the airport, His Holiness the Dalai Lama went straight to the Rihga Royal Hotel.
As His Holiness reached the hotel and entered the lobby, a group of over one hundred Taiwanese and Mongolian devotees welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama with bouquets and traditional Tibetan scarves.
After reaching his room, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met Mr Makato Oda and Mr Eisuke Takahashi of NHK, one of Japan’s largest TV broadcasters. His Holiness then gave an almost two-hour long exclusive interview to them.
During the interview, His Holiness the Dalai Lama emphasised the importance of non-violence and inner values such as love, compassion and morality. His Holiness the Dalai Lama also spoke about his reincarnation issue, explaining that the continuity of the Dalai Lama institution depends entirely on the Tibetan people.
“As far back as 1969, I have stated that it is up to the Tibetan people to decide whether the institution of Dalai Lama should remain or not. However, these days the Chinese government seem more interested in the issue than myself,” His Holiness laughed.
“I find it baffling because the Chinese government’s interest in the issue is solely political, not religious. During the Manchu dynasty, Chinese involvement in the issue is understandable because of religious connection emanating from the priest-patron relationship. However, modern Communist China calls itself atheist. So, they have no business in the issue. That’s why I often joke that the Chinese government should first announce the reincarnation of Mao Zedong and others if they really believe in reincarnation,” His Holiness added.
Having said that, His Holiness explained that the sustenance and advancement of Tibetan Buddhist culture is not dependent on one person. He recalled that the teachings of Lord Buddha and other ancient Indian masters have flourished even without the institution of reincarnation. His Holiness declared continued study and in-depth analysis of the Buddhist scripts as the core essence, which can guarantee effective sustenance.
Expressing his unwavering commitment to non-violence, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that non-violence should be the only true alternative to resolve a crisis.
“As long as I am alive, I am committed to non-violence. It is only through non-violence that we can create a positive impact,” His Holiness maintained, and urged world leaders to extend more support to non-violent movements. “It would send a wrong message if world leaders continue to back violent movements without paying concrete support to non-violent movements such as the Tibetan struggle. Non-violent movements need to succeed to set precedence for others,” His Holiness added.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama further extolled education as the key to developing a happier world but lamented the current education system as inadequate when it comes to guaranteeing inner peace. He called for a more holistic education system, which includes inculcating inner values among children to develop a compassionate mindset from infancy.
“This innerness, people should pay more attention to, from kindergarten level up to university level. This is not just for knowledge, but also to create a happy human being, happy family, happy community and, finally, happy humanity,” His Holiness said.
Speaking about the Middle Way Approach, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that it is the only realistic solution to resolve the Tibet issue in a mutually beneficial way.
“I really admire the concepts of federations such as the European Union where countries are foregoing their sovereign rights to join the union. In today’s interdependent world, countries cannot live in isolation without depending on others. As for Tibet, we have a huge land and a rich culture but we need China’s help to develop economically,” His Holiness said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also applauded the reconciliatory spirit of the Japanese and the Germans. “Even though two atomic bombs were dropped in Japan, most Japanese have reconciled from the past and doesn’t carry sentiments of vengeance anymore. The same goes for the Germans. Similarly, Tibetans should be realistic and preserve its rich cultural traditions through genuine autonomy,” His Holiness said, emphasising that ‘common interest should be more important than independence at this crucial juncture in our country’s history.
Tomorrow, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will begin his four-day teaching on ‘A Guide to Bodhisatva’s Way of Life’ by Shantideva. About 2700 devotees from seven countries including Taiwan, Korea and Mainland China will converge at the Osaka International Convention Center for the teachings.