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His Holiness Visits Three Cities in Northern India

By Tenzin Samten  /  November 24, 2017;

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the KISS Humanitarian Award
Photo: OHHDL

His Holiness the Dalai Lama left his residency in Dharamshala on November 17 for a weeklong three-city tour to Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata.

His first event was at Salwan Public School in Rajinder Nagar in Delhi where the Indian students welcomed him with traditional Tibetan offerings on November 18. Chairman of the Governors, Kirpal Singh in his welcome address described His Holiness as an apostle of peace, a symbol of love and compassion who is also a global spiritual leader and an enthusiastic advocate of democracy.

Speaking to the students, His Holiness said, “Those of you who belong to the 21st century have the opportunity—and responsibility— to create a better, more peaceful, compassionate world. Many of my generation will not live to see it, but we place our hopes on you.” He also said the world is interdependent and living together in peace and harmony has benefit for all. He stressed that seven billion human beings should be treated as one family with love among all. “Focusing on the differences between us leads to problems. Since basic human nature is compassionate, behaving with more compassion and warm-heartedness makes us happier and sets us at ease,” he added.

His Holiness announced that he is committed to encouraging a revival of ancient Indian knowledge in India and has requested Tibetan monks in South India to learn English and Hindi so that they can assist him in this project.

He said that as many of today’s problems are linked with a materialistic way of life, a different approach is needed, combining an ancient understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions with modern ideas on education which could contribute to a more compassionate world.

His Holiness with young children supported by Smile Foundation
Photo: OHHDL

The following day His Holiness gave a talk Universal Responsibility and Compassion at the Smile Foundation – a non-government organisation (NGO) which works towards empowering underprivileged children, the young, and women through education, healthcare and market-focussed livelihood programmes.

Speaking to over 600 people, His Holiness expressed his joy at the help the NGO brings to underprivileged children, saying, “Since Independence, education has expanded and improved in this country, and yet there remains a huge gap between rich and poor. And the poor get left behind. It is essential that they are able to build self-confidence.”

He said he has come to realise that poor people feel that they are inferior and not capable, which His Holiness stressed is not true and it is lack of confidence that holds them back. To reduce the gap between rich and poor, His Holiness said that healthy people should provide educational facilities and poor people should work hard to bolster their self-confidence through education.

His Holiness donated 1.25 Crore rupees [$ 193,109 / £ 145,368] to the NGO over the next five years.

His Holiness concluded with the advice that we cannot change the past but we have in our hands the ability to make our future more peaceful and compassionate.

On November 20, His Holiness arrived in Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Odisha where the Honourable Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik and Minister of Tourism and Culture, Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, among others, welcomed him at the Biju Patnaik Airport.

“Honoured to receive His Holiness the Dalai Lama at my residence today. Discussed many issues of contemporary importance and sought his blessings and guidance for working towards our state’s development and welfare of the people,” CM Patnaik tweeted.

KISS Humanitarian Award ceremony at Bhubaneshwar, Odisha
Photo: OHHDL

The Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS) in Bhubaneswar honoured His Holiness with the KISS Humanitarian Award in recognition of his “concern for the oppressed human beings from all over the world in need of compassion”.

Addressing the gathering, His Holiness stressed that steps should be taken to make 21st century a century of peace. Negative emotions such as anger and jealousy destroy peace hence, it is important to find ways to develop inner peace to create more peace in this world.

Later that day His Holiness met 1,600 Tibetans from the Phuntsokling Settlement in Chandragiri, telling them that he hopes to help revive the rich ancient Indian values of Nalanda tradition by visiting different places in India.

“We live as refugees, but we have kept our traditions alive. Our spirit is resilient and strong. The time will come when Tibetans in Tibet and those in exile come together again,” concluded His Holiness.

His Holiness speaking to members and guests of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata
Photo: OHHDL

On November 23, His Holiness spoke on Revival of Ancient Indian Knowledge to members of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata. In his address, His Holiness spoke about how all seven billion human beings are needing love and compassion. He reiterated his commitment to fostering religious harmony in the world, citing India as the example where all religious traditions can live together. His Holiness said that feudalism is an outdated custom and that he has ended all political responsibilities forf the Dalai Lama. He also encouraged change for India’s caste system , saying, “I feel the same about the caste system, the classification of some people as untouchable, while others are privileged. It too is out of date and undemocratic. It’s time it was changed”.

His Holiness said that the world today is facing a moral crisis –and that the root of all the problems are because of a lack of compassion or moral principles. To correct that, His Holiness suggested that modern education’s focus on materialism should be changed to include education on inner values.

His Holiness declared that he will dedicate the rest of his life to reviving an understanding of India’s ancient knowledge and trying to promote this through education. While in Kolkata, His Holiness met the Tibetan community.

His Holiness returned to Dharamshala on November 24. Next month His Holiness will be traveling to south India and in January he will give a teaching in Bodhgaya, Bihar.

His full schedule is available at: https://www.dalailama.com/schedule

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