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The symbol of love and peace – His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE

“We all share an identical need for love, and on the basis of this commonality, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister. No matter how new the face or how different the dress or behaviour, there is no significant division between us and other people. It is foolish to dwell on external differences because our basic natures are the same.”-The Dalai Lama

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The highest spiritual leader of Tibet, and a retired political leader of the nation- His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

A guiding light of benevolence and courage for millions of people around the world- His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, was born on a filthy floor of stables of his destitute household on July 6, 1935 in the small village of Taktser in northeastern Tibet. Despite the fact that he was one of 16 children, only seven of his siblings lived to adulthood.

Dalai Lama- Ocean of Wisdom. Tibetans normally refer to His Holiness as Yeshin Norbu, the Wish-fulfilling Gem, or simply, Kundun, meaning The Presence.

His Holiness eloquently portrays his youth in his memoirs. “One thing I recollect loving as a kid was going into the chicken coop with my mother to retrieve the eggs and then lingering behind.” I enjoyed lounging in the henhouse and imitating clucking noises. As a child, another of his fun hobbies was to stuff things into a bag as if he were about to embark on a lengthy journey. “I’m going to Lhasa! I’m going to Lhasa!” he would cheer with all his lungs. ” This, coupled with my insistence that I be allowed always to sit at the head of the table, was later said to be an indication that I must have known that I was destined for greater things.” 

Buddhists believe that the Dalai Lama is reincarnated to accomplish his duty of imparting enlightenment to the world, he was only two when he was recognized as the reincarnation of His predecessor, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. And yet he was just two, he was seen to have begun ‘late’. He was four years old when he was escorted in a caravan to the Dalai Lama’s palace in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1939.

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the age of four at Kumbum Monastery in Amdo, Eastern Tibet.

The remembrance of being taken away from his people at only four, has stayed with the Dalai Lama. That separation and the year that followed constituted “a somewhat unhappy period of my life,” he remarked. Fortunately, his family moved to Lhasa after a while and he grew up with his parents and siblings. 

Notwithstanding, the Dalai Lama spent most of his childhood in seclusion as Tibet was detached from the rest of the world, with only a few tourists visiting Lhasa. The little kid spent his days learning, worshiping, and playing. It’s little renowned that he remains one of the world’s foremost scholars of Vajrayana Buddhism.

Heinrich Harrer with his former pupil, the Dalai Lama.

At eleven he made an unordinary buddy- Heinrich Harrer, a thirty-something Austrian mountaineer, undertook a life-threatening expedition from the Indian border to Tibet in 1946. Harrer, one of just a few foreigners in Lhasa, became a friend and tutor to the young Dalai Lama, exposing him to the outside world. Harrer taught him English and math, patched a broken projector so he could enjoy a Henry V film, and transcribed BBC news bulletins for the Tibetan government. Seven Years in Tibet, his chronicle of those years, was subsequently adapted into a classic movie starring Brad Pitt.

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25th Anniversary of the Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama eventually arrived in Dharamshala and established an alternative government. The young man blossomed into one of the world’s most extraordinary spiritual luminaries in Dharamshala. Hailed as a hero by many and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. His charismatic demeanor galvanized many people to his quest of liberation for his motherland. His empowering lessons about world peace, human rights, the environment, responsibility, compassion, tolerance and deeper understanding among several religions of the world have made him a symbol of spirituality and hope for peace back in the time.

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Offerings by the Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Kumar Chamling during the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Gangtok, Sikkim.

In Gangtok, Sikkim, India, 24 December 2010 – the people and government of Sikkim successfully held a prolonged life prayer ceremony in glory of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s eight-day trip to the northeastern Indian state, where he emphasized on the pertinence of revamping teaching practices in the education system, which he contends has inadequacies. 

He shared his belief for the further research exertion required to deliver something that was severely lacking in schooling.” Every nation has education system which put emphasis on keeping their own unique national identity, which is in today’s reality is out of date” His Holiness emphasized, “Today, we must teach people about the philosophy of my world and our world.” 

His Holiness outlined Sikkim as a pertinent state due to its strategic position. “I certainly tell my Indian acquaintances that Tibetan Buddhist culture and their faith is something like the first defense line of India and I jokingly tell them, my visit here is strengthening the defense line of India.”