By: Tsering Choephel
DHARAMSALA, 06 May: His Holiness the Dalai Lama attended the 25th founding anniversary celebration of the Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch (BTSM) at TsuglagKhang in Mcleod Ganj as the chief guest on Friday.
Addressing the audience which comprised of Tibetans, Indians and tourists of various nationalities, the Dalai Lama spoke about the special bond India and Tibet established many centuries ago with the advent of Buddhism in Tibet in the 17th century.
Sporting a traditional Himachali hat that was presented to him during the opening ceremony, the Dalai Lama expressed his gratitude to the government and the people of India.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of India at the centre, as well as local authorities, for their great kindness to us.”
Acknowledging BTSM’s support for the Tibetan cause over the last 25 years, the Octogenarian Tibetan leader thanked every member of the pan-Indian Tibet support group.
“India is a free country, a place where we found freedom of religion. All the world’s religions are represented here, but Buddhism originated in this country,” the Dalai Lama added.
The Tibetan spiritual leader spoke on the essence of Buddha’s teaching and said “The heart of the Buddha’s teaching is the combined practice of compassion and wisdom.”
“The practice of Bodhicitta, the altruistic spirit of enlightenment, is the essence of all his teaching. The more we become acquainted with a concern for the welfare of others, the more we will regard others dearer than ourselves.”
As the day also marks Buddha Jayanti, -commemorating the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada tradition- the Tibetan Nobel Laureate said “on this special occasion, I urge my spiritual brothers and sisters to be warm-hearted and lead a meaningful life, to be dedicated to the welfare of others. Warm-heartedness is the key to peace and harmony in the world.”
Dr Indresh Kumar, the Chief Patron of BTSM in his address spoke about the historical tie between India and Tibet and highlighted Tibet’s independent past declaring that Tibet has never been part of China.
Pankaj Goel who is the National General Secretary of BTSM pledged to continue their support for Tibet.
Both Kumar and Goal chanted “Jai Tibbat, Jai Bharat” – meaning victory for Tibet, victory for India – during their speech to a loud cheer from the audience.