After Meeting PM, His Holiness Begins Kalachakra
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama places a traditional scarf around Prime Minister Paul Martin (AFP/Getty Images/File/Tom Hanson)|
New York, 27 April: Defying China’s constant threat against meeting His holiness the Dalai Lama the Canadain Prime Minister Paul Martin called on the exiled leader of the Tibetan people at the residence of His Excellency Marcel Gervais, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ottawa. Religious leaders from other faiths were also present. His Holiness called on fellow spiritual leaders to make efforts to promote unity among followers of different religions, saying all religious faiths teach the values of truth, non-violence, and kindness.
Martin and His Holiness had a private meeting with only Archbishop Gervais sitting in on it. The Archbishop called it “very friendly and warm.”
His Holiness himself said the meeting had been “Great. Very good”.
Martin, referring to the recent racist attacks in Canada on a Mosque and a Jewish school, said the Canadians should learn from the Dalai Lama’s message of compassion, justice and tolerance.
After nearly ten days of hectic speaking and meeting engagements, His Holiness began the preparatory ritual for the Kalachakra initiation yesterday. The main initiation will start May 1 and end May 4, for which the organisers expect 9,000 people, making it the biggest Kalachakra turnout in North America.
His Holiness also gave a public talk yesterday evening on the “Power of Compassion” at the SkyDome. This was the second largest gathering in North America, after Central Park in New York. Although media reports, taking cue from the first report, had put the number of attendance at 25,000, the organisers say the actual number was far more as there were more people than the SkyDome’s seating capacity of 29,000.
Introduced by Justin Trudeau, son of former Canadian Prime Minister, His Holiness spoke against the concept of war, and suggested compassion and concern for others as an alternative to violence.
“Compassion”, he said, does not mean pity; it means respecting others as being entitled to the same happiness as we desire for ourselves.
Similarly, it is different from our normal notion of love, which is characterised by an emotion of attachment in the same way as it is partial to those whom we view as our near and dear ones.
The Buddhist concept of compassion could best be defined as a developed sense of concern for others. It is an inner quality necessary “as necessary for political leaders as for parents”, he said.
Speaking on the need to cultivate inner peace, His Holiness said a person with inner peace manages to stay calm in their innermost being despite occasional bouts of sadness and anguish. It is like an ocean, which remains calm underneath notwithstanding the waves on the surface. Asked what he thought were the biggest global problems, His Holiness named population explosion and the growing gulf between the rich and poor.
On April 24, 10,000 people attended His Holiness’ talk on “Living Peace” at the Civic Center.
A report by OoT, New York