The Dalai Lama on Sunday flagged the “growing interest in Buddhism” in China after years of “suppression and oppression” of the faith and its followers.
His Holiness was addressing devotees in Bodh Gaya, the site where the Buddha had attained Enlightenment two millennia ago, after a “long life offering” ceremony, a traditional prayer made for the longevity of the 87-year- old Buddhist leader.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner said, “The Buddhist tradition of Tibet has gained lots of attention from people in the West. In the past, Buddhism was known to be an Asian religion. But today its philosophy and concepts, particularly with regard to psychology, have spread throughout the world. Many scientists are taking interest in this tradition.”
“So, this is not only for Tibet ..but even China. It has a direct bearing on China as well because China has been a Buddhist country but there was so much suppression and oppression of Buddhism and Buddhists in China,” said the Tibetan leader, who had to flee his homeland in 1959, a decade after Mao Zedong’s communist revolution.
“So, there could be much change happening in China and the world. I have always remained optimistic about the possibility of a better world,” he added.
“Tibet, which is also called the land of snows, has undergone many tragedies. But it has come as a blessing in disguise. People around the world have now become aware of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition,” said the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama, who has since sought asylum in India and settled in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, which has come to be known as “mini Tibet” because of a large number of Tibetan refugees staying there, has come to this international Buddhist pilgrim town in Bihar, which he calls the ‘Vajrasthan’ (the pure land), after a gap of two years.
“It is a coincidence that this ceremony, where prayers are made for my long life, is taking place on the first day of the Gregorian calendar. So, this is in a way an indication that we may be looking at good times ahead,” added the renowned leader. Over 80,000 Buddhist devotees, including Sri Lankan Buddhist monks, attended the event. Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu also attended the Bodh Gaya event.
In related news, recently a Chinese ‘spy’ was detained for allegedly following and posing a threat to Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya. Chinese national Song Xialolan, 50, arrived in Delhi on December 20 from Dharamshala; later, she proceeded to Bodh Gaya to spy on his activities. According to police, the ‘spy’ got stuck in India during the pandemic.