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His Holiness’s Engagements in August

By By Jigme Wanchuk  /  August 27, 2017;

Interfaith Dialogue in Mumbai, India on 13, August 2017. Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

With the Doklam standoff on-going between India and China, His Holiness the Dalai Lama engaged in both political and spiritual discourse this month. The Tibetan leader said that India and China must resolve their differences through dialogue instead of violence.

His engagement in the dialogue between Russian and Buddhist scholars on August 8 at their seminar in new Delhi, on the nature of consciousness, was widely discussed. The following day, His Holiness gave delivered the Rajendra Mathur Memorial Lecture at the Teen Murti Bhavan, former residence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, where he spoke to an audience of 350 people.

On August 10, he gave a public address, The Art of Happiness, at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi at the invitation of the Association of British Scholars – a national forum to facilitate the networking of Indians who have studied or trained in the United Kingdom.His Holiness said that the problems facing human beings are of their own making. He stated that self centredness was the basis for competitiveness and jealousy which provokes fear, irritation and anger.

His Holiness announced on August 11 that, with great regret and on the advice of his doctors, he had tocancel his upcoming visit to Botswana to attend the Mind and Life conference inGaborone from August 15 to 20, due to his being“unusually tired” by his recent activities. His personal physicianshad also advised him to avoid undertaking long journeys. He expressed profound regret to the President of the Republic of Botswana for cancelling his visit, but said he was happy to know that the conference in Botswana would take place as scheduled despite his absence.

The proposed visit had prompted objections and threats from China who said that Botswana should cancel the visit and “earnestly respect China’s core interests and make the correct political decision.” Botswana’s president Ian Khama, however, is reported as saying that despite China’s heavy investment in the country, “We are not your colony” and that His Holiness is welcome there.

His Holiness travelled to Mumbai to attend the seminar World Peace and Harmony through Interfaith Dialogue on August 13, where he was welcomed by the host Acharya Dr Lokesh Muni. In his address, His Holiness said, “Constant fear, anger and suspicion undermine our immune system, whereas compassion has the effect of strengthening our health”.

While in Mumbai, he attended the launch of Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ Course Secular Ethics for Higher Education.

The Dalai Lama expressed his sympathy and made donations through the Dalai Lama Trust when he learned that a landslide had swept away public buses and private vehicles on the Pathankot-Mandi Highway in Himachal Pradesh.Himachal has been home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile for 57 years.

His Holiness arrived back in Dharamshala on August 15 for his much needed rest. He will impart a four day teaching in McLeod Ganj at the end of August, following which he will tour Europe throughout September.

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