DELHI: In the minds of the six million Tibetans, India is the spiritual home, said the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sunday while delivering a special talk on “Role of culture and ethics in promoting global peace and harmony’ at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. The lecture was organised by Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad-Bharat and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.
“If we look back at the time when we came to exile in India, we had come to our spiritual home. In the minds of the six million Tibetans, India is our spiritual home,” he said, emphasising the 1000-year civilisational relationship between the two countries.
Describing himself as a student of Nalanda, he remembered the erudite Indian masters who introduced Nalanda tradition in Tibet, “In the 8th century, Shantarakshita was almost the top scholar and logician. Tibetan emperor invited him and inspite his old age, he accepted that invitation. Then later together with his best student, Kamalashila, introduced Buddha dharma according to Nalanda tradition in Tibet.
“Masters like Nagarjuna, Chandrakriti and Budhapalita were really great thinkers and philosophers. Dignag and Dharmakriti were great logicians…Buddha himself was a product of Indian culture and wisdom,” he said.
He further emphasised Buddha as a great thinker and ancient Indian scientist who discovered quantum physics thousands year before modern revelation.
“One aspect of Buddha is a great thinker, who mentioned Quantum thousands of years ago. Since Buddha emphasised on reason and experiment, so one aspect of him is ancient Indian scientist”.
His Holiness touted Indian civilisation, saying that the civilisation produced the greatest thinkers and spiritual practitioners.
“This country, India among the different civilisation such as Arab, China and others, it is quite clear that Indian civilisation produced most great thinkers of all and spiritual practitioners,” he said.
He said the world needs India’s Ahimsa, Karuna and secular ethics. “The more violence I witness in this world, the more I am convinced that world needs the knowledge and wisdom of the Indian tradition”.
“My latest commitment is to revive this tradition in today’s modern India. Only India has the ability to combine modern education and ancient Indian knowledge. As a chela, I would like to remind you to pay more attention to your own rich tradition,” His Holiness spoke about his principal commitment.
He added that the revival should come through action with clear vision, not through prayers.
His Holiness dealt with a series of current global crises, including the climate change, militarisation and growing disparity between the rich and poor in all pockets of the world.
“Feudal system is outdated. The system of authority in one person is outdated. So is war. Realistically, in the past, different nations were self-sufficient but today, everything is interdependent. East depend on the west, and similarly north and south”.
“On top of that, we have global warming. In our own lifetime, we are witnessing climate change. In summer of 1960, I reached Dharamshala. During winters, we would have a lot of snow. Nowadays, very less. Global warming is a reality,” he said, concerningly.
Pointing towards the rich and poor disparity, he said the reason was the lack of sense of concern for other’s well-being.
“The best way to fulfil your own interest is to take care of other’s interest. That brings self -confidence truth and honesty. We are social-animal. Self-centred attitude brings fear, more anxiety and loneliness. Take care of others, and you will have genuine friendship and trust.”
Responding to a question on gender equality, His Holiness hailed women as compassionate leaders of the future world, ones with the potential to create a warm and compassionate generation. “If most leaders of the countries in the world are female, I think we will have a more peaceful world. They should take a more active role,” he said, adding that his mother was his first teacher of loving and kindness.
In conclusion, His Holiness reiterated the aspiration of the Tibetan people to practice their culture, language and religion in their own homeland and uphold their dignity as people.
“We are not seeking independence of Tibet. According to history, in the 7th, 8th, and 9 century, Tibet, Mongolia and China were three great equally powerful empires. A Chinese scholar told me that there were no historical records from Tang to Manchu dynasty, where it was ever mentioned Tibet as part of China. History is history, we were an independent nation. Dr Lokesh Chandra had mentioned that even geographically, it could be identified how Tibet was an independent country. Even looking at the two geographies, one could tell that this side is China and other, Tibet.
“But we are in the 21st century, he said, stressing that Tibet can emulate the spirit of European Union.
“So long Chinese constitution recognises Tibetan Autonomous Region, Tibetan Autonomous District and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture as Tibetan areas, with the same right to preserve our own culture and language then we can remain within China. We can benefit from China’s economy and benefit each other,” the Tibetan leader said.
Event moderator, Shri Vijay Kranti, a prominent journalist and longtime friend of Tibet said, “60 years of Tibetan exile is a success story. It was a handful of hundred thousand people who have used India’s hospitality, love and support and made the best use of it. It is because of his leadership, wisdom, far-sighted vision and the faith of Tibetan people in him that India has evolved in the largest reservoir of Tibetan culture. This is a great achievement of India”.
Shir Shakti Sinha, Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library said in his remarks, “Thanks to Tibet, the ancient Indian tradition which was destroyed in India was revived by the Tibetan people. We are grateful for the fact that His Holiness has promoted the idea of mind and life, ethics, values and on how empathy is something that can be redeveloped”.
Ambassador Virendra Gupta, head of the Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad-Bharat also addressed the gathering.
Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile was among the dignitaries present. The talk was largely attended by members of the Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad-Bharat and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.