Dharamsala (IANS) Tough times do not last, happiness does — at least this is what Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama appears to be telling the world.
Many Tibetans see him as a living God and he is idolised here and in the West. His Holiness will turn 86 on July 6.
If one thing the virus from Wuhan has not changed during the past two years, it is the Dalai Lama’s infectious smile. Despite living through extreme hardship, he’s showing the world how to live with joy even in troubled times, believe his disciples.
The Dalai Lama, or Ocean of Wisdom, is the leading spiritual figure bringing Buddhist teachings to the international community.
Finding joy and happiness, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu came together once again to share with the world their joyful insights on overcoming adversities and social injustices.
This time they were reunited virtually from their respective places on June 24 on the occasion of the release of their new film “Mission: Joy — Finding Happiness in Troubled Times”.
Initiating the conversation with South African anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Tutu, the Buddhist monk says he is very happy and it is a great honour to talk to his old and spiritual friend.
“Although physically there is a distance but mentally we are always together. I always consider you as an elder spiritual brother.”
“I myself till my death will carry your spirit. And then on one occasion on our meeting at Dharamsala you mentioned as a believer of God, so you after death are ready to go to heaven. According to Christianity, I am not a believer. So Dalai Lama, go some different place,” says the Dalai Lama with laughter, his secret weapon.
Saying that he has been looking forward to this session with his dear friend, His Holiness, and to see him looking so well, Archbishop Tutu says, “He looks like he is on top of the world.”
Archbishop Tutu came to Dharamsala for a week to meet the fellow Nobel laureate in April 2015. That was the Archbishop’s second visit here after 2012.
The Dalai Lama describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. For Tibetans, he is the human manifestation of Chenrezig — the Bodhisattva of compassion.
The elderly monk, known for his simplicity and jovial style, prefers to participate in meetings with religious leaders, and lectures businessmen on ethics for the new millennium and the art of happiness.
He chuckles throughout his talk and often slaps visitors on the back.
For him, joy could really be a source of world peace.
“Doing harm to others may bring some temporary satisfaction, but being helpful to them is the only real source of lasting joy,” the Dalai Lama is often quoted as saying.
As one of the world’s most inspirational figures, the Dalai Lama teaches that human beings are the same, all want happiness and no one wants suffering.
Just as physical hygiene is essential for a healthy body, a sense of moral hygiene based on warm-heartedness and compassion is equally important. He believes education should instil in children both cognitive and emotional intelligence in order to create synergy and balance between a healthy body and healthy mind.
As Tibetans everywhere join millions of admirers across the globe to celebrate the 86th birthday of the spiritual leader, the global face of the Tibetan movement in exile, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has issued an advisory amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has directed all monasteries and settlements to avoid congregation of public and instead mark the day as per traditions i.e. offering of the mandala and white scarves to the portrait of the Dalai Lama.
A staunch believer in the ‘middle-path’ policy that demands greater autonomy for his people in Tibet while accepting Beijing’s sovereignty, the spiritual leader, who is optimistic that he will be able to return to his homeland Tibet, is viewed by the Chinese as a ‘traitor’ who is bent on splitting Tibet from China.
In 1959, the occupying Chinese troops suppressed the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa and forced the Dalai Lama and over 80,000 Tibetans into exile in India and neighbouring countries.
On reaching India after a three-week-long hazardous journey, the Dalai Lama first took up residence for about a year in Mussoorie in what is now Uttarakhand.
On March 10, 1960, just before moving to Dharamsala, which also serves as the headquarters of the exiled Tibetan establishment, the Dalai Lama said: “For those of us in exile, I said that our priority must be resettlement and the continuity of our cultural traditions. We, Tibetans, would eventually prevail in regaining freedom for Tibet.”
Buddhist monasteries and cultural institutions destroyed in occupied Tibet have been revived and rebuilt in exile.
Currently, India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.