In honour of the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, New Delhi has hosted a celebration on 4 January to mark the life and accomplishments of the spiritual leader. Despite the Dalai Lama’s milestone birthday having passed in July 2014, his busy schedule has meant that a celebration in India was unable to take place until now.
The event was held at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi, where the Tibetan spiritual leader urges world leaders to make 21st century a century of dislogue.
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama also termed as “unthinkable” the killings in the name of religion and in national interest and asked the world to resolve conflicts through talks and make the 21st century a century of dialogue.
He also asked the world to work on ways to reduce and finally eliminate the killings in the name of religion and in national interest.
The Dalai Lama reiterated his three commitments that he had pledged to follow until death and urged others to do likewise, which include three commitments of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline; promotion of religious harmony and understanding among the world’s major religious traditions besides commitment to work to preserve Tibet’s Buddhist ecology and culture of peace and non-violence to promote human values.
“Killings in the name of religion and in national interest is unthinkable, we have to work how to reduce and finally eliminate this. We should solve conflicts through talks and respect other peoples interests…. The 21st century should be the century of dialogue,” he said while addressing a gathering to commemorate his 80th birth anniversary here.
The Tibetan leader who has been living in exile in Dharamshala spoke about how people outside India often found it incredulous that different faiths continued to coexist in harmony in the country.
“India should take more active role to show that different religions can survive together,” he said, adding India is one of the few countries in the world that has been able to maintain its tradition of cultural harmony over 1,000 years.
He also asked the younger generation to read and learn about the tradition and history of India to keep them alive.
Stating that major part of his life was spent in India, Dalai Lama appreciated India’s friendship, which he said has come through decades and therefore felt “honoured”.
Without mentioning the recent incidents of “intolerance” in India, he said “some miscreants must be there” but 90-95 per cent of Indian population carry the tradition of religious harmony.
The Tibetan spiritual leader was yesterday felicitated for his 80th birth anniversary by friends and admirers spanning leaders from different political parties besides a galaxy of thinkers, writers, actors and other walks of life from across the world.
The celebration held here for the spiritual leader, who had turned 80 last July, was also marked by a special musical tribute by sarod virtuoso Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan.