Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Participants’ Reports 2011
Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Core 4A, UGF, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003 Tel: (91) (11) 24648450 ∫ Fax: Tel: (91) (11) 24648451 Email: email@example.com ∫ Website: www.furhhdl.org
ʺTo meet the challenges of our times, I believe that humanity must develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for our own individual self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. Today we are so interdependent, so closely interconnected with each other, that without a sense of universal responsibility, a feeling of universal brotherhood and sisterhood, and an understanding and belief that we really are a part of one big human family, we cannot hope to overcome the dangers to our very existence – let alone bring about peace and happiness.ʺ ‐ His Holiness the Dalai Lama
About the Foundation THE VISION Foster the celebration of diversity, the spirit of universal responsibility and the understanding of interdependence across faiths, creeds and religions. Support personal transformation in ways that facilitate larger processes of social change. Develop and sustain peace building and coexistence initiatives in regions of violent conflict and social unrest. Encourage and cultivate Ahimsa (nonviolence) as a guiding principle for interaction among human beings and with their environments. Offer inclusive and holistic paradigms of education that prioritize experiential learning, cross‐cultural dialogue, and a global ethic of peace and justice. Build capacity for conflict transformation, human rights and democratic freedom through partnerships with civil society groups across the globe. Explore new frontiers on understanding of the mind by building bridges between science and spirituality. Support the professional development of future leaders and decision‐makers through scholarships and fellowships. Create media products and educational materials that promote the objectives of the Foundation. Nurture an understanding of the relevance and value of Tibetan civilisational heritage to contemporary issues and predicaments. The MISSION To promote universal responsibility in a manner that respects difference and encourages a diversity of beliefs, practices and approaches. To build a global ethic of nonviolence, coexistence, gender equity and peace by facilitating secular processes that cultivate personal and social ethical values. To enrich educational paradigms that tap the transformative potential of the human mind.
In keeping with the rich Indian tradition of Gurukul, this project enriches formal education processes by facilitating inspirational contact with masters of different spiritual traditions, particularly Tibetan Buddhism. The participants, mainly university people, live in Tibetan monasteries and nunneries where they learn about Tibetan culture, art and philosophy. Participants have privileged access to teachers of ancient Buddhist traditions of Tibet. By observing the teachers’ way of life at close quarters, students envision new definitions of success, achievement and fulfillment. Gurukul has been held annually for a month in Dharamsala, the home of HH The Dalai Lama and the Headquarters of the Tibetan Government in Exile. Here, participants receive an extended introduction to Tibetan culture and religion by actively engaging in the daily activities of Tibetan life in the monasteries and nunneries, and with the communities in exile. They have the privilege of an audience with His Holiness. The Foundation is exploring possibilities for extending this program to Bylakuppe in South India. Through discourses, lectures, films and other learning media, Gurukul participants gain insights into the innovative ways in which a community in exile copes with displacement and strives to keep its traditions alive. Gurukul participants: • Live in Tibetan monasteries and nunneries. • Take classes in Tibetan Buddhism at the Library of Tibetan • Works and Archives. • Learn Tibetan handicrafts such as wood carving, thangka painting and appliqué. • Interact with Buddhist masters and Tibetan officials. • Experience traditional dialectic debates and spiritual chanting. Students also have the opportunity to give something back to the community. They are encouraged to teach English to monks, nuns and refugees from Tibet, and volunteer with service and welfare projects. 2012 will mark the 12th year of the unique Gurukul programme.
UP THE MIDDLE PATH Sharon Fernandes, INDIAN EXPRESS Posted online: Sun Aug 08 2010, 13:00 hrs What brings a group of youngsters to a crash course in Tibetan culture? At the Namgyal monastery in Mcleodganj, the answers are as varied as the people looking for them Said Reza, from the land where the Bamiyan Buddhas were built and then felled to dust, traces a map in the crisp Mcleodganj air. His fingers draw, in a few centimetres of space, the centuries‐old trade route that linked Central Asia to Tibet. This is also the path, he tells us, that Buddhism took when it travelled from Afghanistan to Tibet in 7th century AD. The conversation fits right in with the scene around us. A cup of ginger honey tea cools at an open café near Namgyal monastery, the crowd passing by is a rainbow hue: Germans, Africans, Americans, Indians and Tibetans. Buddhist monks, their iPods and iPhones gently gleaming against maroon robes, walk up the rocky lanes of the various monasteries scattered around Dharamsala. Twenty‐seven‐year‐old Reza from Balkh in Afghanistan is a student of Persian and Central Asian studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Unlike many visitors to this mountain refuge, he is not here to escape the summer raging in the plains. He is here for the Gurukul Foundation course, a 10‐year‐old initiative of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility that invites students from across the country to learn about Tibetan history, culture, art and the government of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. If Reza found rare books and rarer Tibetan manuscripts in the library of Tibetan Works and Archives in his month spent here, others in this year’s batch of 30 students were drawn to this crash course in Tibetan culture for different reasons. Here to find some answers in detachment is 22‐year‐old Dibyajyoti Das, a postgraduate student of physics at IIT, Kanpur. He is serious about snapping his ties from the world he comes from, at least for a month. “This is not a vacation. I deleted my Orkut and Facebook accounts before coming here. I wanted to have some time alone just with myself,” he says. At the Tushita meditation centre, he spent 10 days getting comfortable in that solitude, minus his mobile phone and iPod. Will life return to the tyranny of the status message once he returns to Kanpur? Das doesn’t have an answer. “I wanted to be in a place where no one knows me,” Rajarshi Sen tells us when we meet him, a string of prayer beads around his neck. He is 21, an undergraduate student at BITS, Pilani. “I am arrogant. I wanted to come to a place where I could be alone. And yes, in this month, I saw that the philosophy the monks talk about is really practised here. These were humbling experiences,” says Sen.
The flaming colours of the thangka are what drew Riddhima Jaiswal from Delhi to Dharamsala. This student of fashion at NIFT, Delhi, says she “wanted to get a closer look at Tibetan symbols and culture, so I can use it in the future in my work”. Twenty‐ one‐year‐old Aheibam Preetibala, who is studying anthropology at the University of Hyderabad, has no designer dreams. But most of her stay here has been involved in learning the thangka technique, handling the lush silk and the spools of thread. She is taking back with her the fruit of her labour—a tiny thangka in brilliant indigo, on it a yellow sun and smiling flowers. This is not a rigidly defined course. Students are left on their own, to pick and learn what they wish, to find their middle path. They can saunter up to the departments of the Tibetan government in exile and find, not stuffy red tape, but genial bureaucrats ready to listen to their suggestions. Or, find a cause to rebel for. Vikram Doshi, for example, wants to draw the country’s attention to a Tibetan treasure. An artist. “He is Pemba Dorje. He is 80 years old. He was the master sculptor at the Namgyal monastery and has made over 10,000 statues,” says Doshi, a 21‐year‐old who has studied computer science from St. Xavier’s Kolkata. Doshi wants to know what he can do to convince the Indian government to include Dorje in the list of Padma awardees next year. Jyotsna Sara George, a 20‐year‐old student of philosophy from St. Stephen’s in Delhi, is here because she wants to see how the monks bring the solemn truths of Buddhist philosophy to bear on their quotidian lives. At the Dormalinga nunnery, she sits on the floor, a wooden desk before her, as monk Rinchin conducts a class on philosophy. “When I show you a book, what do you see? What really is a book? Is it the pages? Is it the colour? Is it a shape?” she says. The answer, she says with a smile, lies beyond the physical fact of the book. George is an eager student and has plenty of questions. But what moved her, she says, more than philosophical abstractions, were the monks— their easy, smiling detachment from the world, their unobtrusive enjoyment of life. “Staying with them, eating with them and observing how they share the smallest thing teach you more than the lessons,” she says. And later, in a moment of perception, she adds, “Here each question begets more questions and in between somewhere are the answers.” Some of the students have kept things simple. Shruti Srivastav, a 23‐year‐old literature graduate from Ahmedabad, says, “I came here to learn the Tibetan flute.” Perched at the edge of a mountain is the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, home to the sounds of the damnyen (a six‐stringed lute) and the Tibetan flute. The prayer flags dance to their tunes. Hitting the high notes on her damnyen is Tenzin Nagdon, a student of political science at Delhi University. Her reasons are slightly different. “Tibetans in my own college don’t interact too much. Perhaps I can take back something that can bring my community closer,” she says. 6
A month has whizzed past and they are on their way back. Many still too tickled about meeting the Dalai Lama — “He opened the door and bowed before us! Can you imagine? We were shocked”. The others have new Facebook profile pictures of them at prayer wheels. Reza is armed for a presentation on the Silk Route for a conference in October. New routes are being laid out from Dharamsala.
Experience, Education, Epiphany Ananth Tharoor Srinivasan Apr 12, 2011 It’s been 52 years since China conquered what was once recognized as Tibet. Since then, thousands of Tibetans have fled to all corners of the world, no place more so than Dharamsala, north India—the residence of the Dalai Lama. However, while Dharamsala has become a veritable “New Lhasa” for all Tibetan refugees, Chinese authorities have rewritten the laws by which the next Dalai Lama will be chosen. Beijing has also ordered that the 15th Dalai Lama must be born in China and recognized by the Chinese government. This March, the Dalai Lama announced that he will give up his role as the political and spiritual leader of Tibetans. His Holiness (as the Dalai Lama is known by followers) has wanted to give up those responsibilities since he first sought refuge in India but was afraid that, by doing so, he might inspire violent resistance to the Chinese occupation in his home country. Since the announcement of his retirement, the Indian government has proclaimed that his Holiness may stay forever in the country—though that might be a foregone conclusion at this point. The Dalai Lama’s primary political responsibility over the last five decades has been to provide hope to millions of Tibetans that they may one day regain the right to political self‐determination. Irrespective of the formality of his leadership position, the significance of the Dalai Lama’s role in Tibet and for Tibetans and the world is clear. I had the opportunity to spend a summer in the Dalai Lama’s monastery, and I observed firsthand the power of the Dalai Lama’s conviction and example. I offer the following with gratitude to his Holiness and hope for the people of Tibet as they negotiate this leadership transition. An Experience In the summer before my senior year of college, my life and worldview experienced a profound change. My girlfriend of four years decided “to pursue other interests,” I lost near 20 pounds (you’ll understand why in a minute), and I was selected as a participant in a Gurukul Programme. Though the first two experiences had considerable effect on my life, the third changed my entire outlook. 8
The Gurukul Programme, sponsored by the Dalai Lama’s Foundation for Universal Responsibility, is a month‐long residency in the city of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, India. Dharamsala is a town of exiled Tibetan expatriates, many of whom have worked their entire lives to create the possibility of setting foot in their home country again. It is also the 50‐year home of their spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the true capital city for Tibetans today—a place where Tibetan culture is allowed to develop. Throughout the summer, my fellow participants and I had the opportunity to interact with monks and nuns, receive lectures on Buddhist philosophy from eminent Tibetan Buddhist lamas, learn how to make traditional Tibetan arts and craft, and engage in various projects with Tibetan NGOs. While living in McLeod Ganj, the mountain village above Dharamsala where his Holiness resides, I experienced the life of ethnic‐ Tibetans in India and grasped the enormity of the political challenges they face. When I first arrived in Dharamsala, I encountered a sixteen‐year‐old monk named Tenzin Lekmun. He was meditating on a bench while listening to his iPod. Oh yes, monks have iPods. Some monks had televisions; others had laptop computers. Of course, there is no Wi‐Fi (or ethernet) in the Namgyal monastery, so I’m pretty sure the monks are not playing video games. After talking with Lekmun for a while, I was shocked to learn that he had joined the monastery at age five, and even more shocked to discover that his parents were not the impetus behind his decision. While Lekmun is undoubtedly a “boy” in some respects (he enjoys playing soccer, hates doing temple chores, and hangs out at shopping malls), he has an elderly wisdom: a strong grasp of how to be happy in life. Like all the other monks at Namgyal, he is perpetually content. He never raises his voice, and is the embodiment of calm. He lives in the moment—with no regrets about his life choices. Apart from morning Buddhism lessons at the Namgyal monastery (the permanent residence of His Holiness), I spent my summer doing volunteer work for the Tibetan Parliament‐in‐Exile and the Supreme Justice Commission, which is recognized as the legal institution of highest authority for Tibetans. Though I had never previously worked on the issue of justice for Tibet, I was still able to contribute to the works of 9
these institutions. With the technological savvy of my generation and English‐language skills, I was able to restructure the Tibetan Parliament‐in‐Exile website and edit the annual English informational pamphlet on the Supreme Justice Commission. For my efforts, I was warmly embraced as a though I had always been a part of the Tibetan struggle for sovereignty. Indeed, each program participant was treated like an honored guest throughout the entirety of our stay in Dharamsala. This is ultimately because the cause for a free or autonomous Tibet has received little attention relative to any other social justice issue in my lifetime. Despite the work of celebrities like Richard Gere to bring Tibet into political discourse, support for and knowledge about the Tibetan cause seems to have only waned in the past few years. With that in mind, I feel proud to write about my experience in Dharamsala and bring attention to the plight of India’s eternal guests. An Education The summer in Dharamsala was the toughest living experience of my life. Waking up to the sound of a gong at 5 a.m. every morning is much less peaceful than your average alarm clock. I began to forget what I looked like after two weeks without so much as a mirror and, when our monastery ran out of water, I quickly had to get over the (apparently abnormal) desire to bathe daily. After eating the unsalted, un‐spiced temple food for a few weeks, dal chawal started to seem like a delicacy. As one who has often complained about Indian food at home, this was quite a breakthrough. I was also unfortunate to contract mild dysentery (“Delhi Belly”) in a monastery with no western toilet. Now you understand why I lost all those pounds. But living in Dharamsala was also a profoundly eye‐opening and educational experience. I learned that, above all else, the truth surrounding the Chinese occupation and subjugation of Tibet is severely downplayed and understated in the U.S. education system and the world at large. Hearing stories of refugees who fled gunfire from Chinese border patrols as they escaped into Nepal and working with the Tibetan government‐in‐exile taught me just how little I knew about the life of Tibetans who still live in Tibet. For example, although the Chinese claim there is religious freedom in Tibet, in reality there are very stringent limitations on the practice and promotion of religion. Monks and nuns are required to obtain two or three different permits to travel anywhere outside the monastery. A fixed ceiling has been placed on the number of monks and nuns allowed at each monastery, and while strict bans are enforced on the construction of new stupas, old ones are constantly being demolished. Furthermore, it is considered a crime to make offerings to monasteries, and spiritual teachers are often persecuted under the charge of being counter‐revolutionaries. In this way, Tibetan Buddhism and all spiritual practices of Tibetans have been curtailed in China‐occupied Tibet. 10
Tibet’s ancient forests and immense precious mineral deposits are being exploited to meet the needs of China. China even offers the Tibetan plateau for the disposal of radioactive and technological waste from other countries. Tibetan families are harassed and penalized for sending their children to Tibetan schools in India, and Tibetan children in China are left without any knowledge of their original language or culture. In late October of this year, the New York Times reported that thousands of Tibetan students in Western China had protested peacefully against proposals to curb or entirely eliminate the use of the Tibetan language in local schools. Their argument is that if ethnic Han who are Cantonese speakers can defend the use of Cantonese in schools, then Tibetans should have the right to defend their language as well. The way of life for many Tibetans has changed considerably over the past two decades. Farmers and nomads have been rounded up and forced into cramped reservation housing. The freedom to live where one desires has been curtailed. Despite the overwhelmingly small Tibetan population (relative to ethnic Chinese in the territory), birth control measures are strongly enforced on Tibetan families. Families with more than one child are penalized; they are fined and the additional child is denied a residential permit. Peaceful demonstrators demanding the rights guaranteed by the Chinese constitution (religious freedom, nationality equality, educational opportunities) are often accused of fomenting separatist sentiment and jailed or beaten. What is happening in Tibet is cultural genocide. It has come to the point where the Dalai Lama’s message of nonviolence is falling on deaf ears—those of Chinese government and exiled Tibetans. While in McLeod Ganj, I met Lhasang Tsering, a Tibetan freedom fighter and an outspoken critic of the Dalai Lama’s methods. His beliefs echo the sentiments of the rioters who caused much destruction in the 2008 Lhasa demonstrations. Tsering was recently quoted in the New Yorker: “It’s time for His Holiness to recognize the reality that China ... is [stalling] for time. To invoke patience and virtue in the face of genocidal and colonial rule is akin to national suicide.” There are a growing number of Tibetans who feel as Tsering does— that any action is preferable to waiting patiently. After all, they have already waited a half century for the world to come to its senses. Even if the cultural and natural devastation of Tibet does not command our attention, there are many more reasons why the world (and we Indians especially) ought to reconsider our inaction on the issue of Tibetan freedom. The Tibetan Plateau, now under Chinese occupation, is the largest storehouse of freshwater on Earth—excluding the North and South Poles. It serves as the head waters for almost all of Asia’s largest rivers: the Sutlej, Indus, Ganges, Yellow, Yangtze, Brahmaputra, Salween, and Mekong, to name a few. 11
Besieged by water scarcity problems and a dangerously large population, Chinese authorities have long had their eyes on Tibet’s water resources. However, while trying to quench its thirst, China could potentially create widespread water shortages among all its neighbors in the process. Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are all hostage to China’s water demands. Recent studies have documented a host of serious environmental challenges to the quantity and quality of Tibet’s freshwater reserves—most of them caused by China’s industrial activities in the region. Deforestation has led to large‐scale erosion and siltation. Mining, manufacturing, and other human activities are producing record levels of air and water pollution in Tibet. Together these factors have contributed to the region’s warming climate and quickly‐receding glaciers. Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, has stated that “at least 500 million people in Asia and 250 million people in China are at risk from declining glacial flows on the Tibetan Plateau.” Though India’s gracious hospitality in housing 150,000 exiled Tibetans for over five decades cannot be overlooked or understated, we must remember that housing Tibetans refugees was meant to be a temporary solution to the problem of Tibet’s occupation. Without the Chinese invasion, Tibet would today be serving as a buffer between China and India, which would be supremely beneficial for long‐term peace and stability on the Asian continent. Today, India is obliged to spend huge sums of money on border security. An Epiphany At the end of my time in Dharamsala, my fellow Gurukul participants and I were given an audience with the Dalai Lama. As we sat and listened to him speak in rapid but croaky English, I felt as though I was observing history. And in the brief hour that I was able to hear His Holiness speak, I observed how genuinely awe‐inspiring the man is. Despite having spent over 50 years in exile, despite the endless human rights violations in Tibet, and despite the pressures of being the spiritual and de facto leader of all Tibetans, the Dalai Lama is always smiling, laughing, and optimistic about the future. Children are taught of Mahatma Gandhi’s steadfast dedication to the practice of ahimsa (nonviolence), but few realize that the Dalai Lama is a living example of those principles. Although he recognizes that Tibetans and Tibetans‐in‐exile have had to endure unbearable oppression and hardship, he still sees no point in harboring animosity against the perpetrators. His case for Tibetan autonomy is based entirely on principles of justice and equality. Unlike activists who advocate Tibetan sovereignty and complete Independence from China, the Dalai Lama has always advocated a “Middle Way” solution which, while helping to prevent the separation of Tibet from 12
China, seeks human rights and democratic freedom for Tibetans—freedom not only to preserve and promote religion and culture, but also to work for the development of Tibetan education, health, and economy. Hearing the Dalai Lama’s thoughts and ideas was an affirmation of everything I learned in my 5 a.m. Buddhism lessons. All of his convictions and the actions that he takes are justified by Buddhist principles, which may be understood in part through the Golden Rule. The question of God’s existence is irrelevant to reality. No one is immortal and everyone wants, and should have the right, to achieve happiness. We are all sensitive to the pain and happiness of our fellow beings. While material wealth is clearly insufficient in the pursuit of happiness, if we cultivate contentment and kindness, we will feel empathy for all sentient beings in recognition of our mutual wish to rid the world of suffering. This ideology compels us to help others and lead a life of altruism, honesty, and kindness in preparation for the eventuality of death. One thing the Dalai Lama said to us resonated with me very strongly: “If we, who have to share this planet from birth to death, lose mutual respect, love, friendship, and empathy for one another, the human existence will become meaningless.” Compassion and contentment are the essence of Buddhist teaching, and they teach us that it is always in everyone’s interest to promote values of justice and equality. In order to maintain mutual respect and empathy we must be open to learning about others and hearing each other’s stories. Now, more than ever, I am committed to sharing this story and continuing to listen to the untold stories of others. Ananth Tharoor Srinivasan is a recent graduate of Duke University.
COMING BACK TO HOME Gurukul Programme 2010: Dharamsala Today, after the sojourn of one month here in Dharamsala, molding in the harmonious atmosphere of Tibetan culture and traditional fragrance, there is the intense feeling of a new flower of spirit a d motivation implanted and bloomed on the fertile soul of my memory. The short duration of dealing with Tibetan society rekindled the imperiled insight values and cultural traditions of our community. Personally, I felt from deep within that the Tibetan students are being isolated from every Tibetanality of language and culture, while mingling with the Indian students in our post school life. I felt strongly indebted to the Foundation For Univer sal Responsibility Of His Holiness The Dalai Lama for staging us the platform through which we can open our eyes to visualize and experience the rich traditional values of Tibetans and cultures in India. The incorporative group of students of different educational and cultural backgrounds triggered me more excitement for not only reviving our cultures but also waxing the mind with newer kind of education and awareness through interaction and association with them. The first two days of visit to the different centre and their introductory sessions had been the most resourceful for us to have a glimpse on the all round image of the Tibetan community. Through the information regarding the Tibetan Nunsʹ Project, I felt that our society is advanced in the empowerment of womenʹs traditional spiritual enlightenment and modern education in order to medicate and better the mainstream of the societal life in the future through their services. A sense of solidarity triggered through my nerves to perceive the unvarnished first hand memories of the traumatic circumstances that the Tibetan people underwent from the commencement of their life in the asylum state in India after the eruption of Chinese manipulative subjugation in 1959. As a Tibetan, I felt proud among my Indian friends to inform the gradual development of the Tibetan exile community from the very grass root of rehabilitation and childrenʹs educational scheme to the present transparent holistic image of the democratic institution of Central Tibetan Administration, under the impeccable leadership of His Holiness The Dalai Lama. 14
Tibetan peopleʹs persistent approach of endurance and management of the social catastrophe resulted to such complete reestablishment of the whole dimension of the left behind Tibet in exile. Norling institution of Tibetan Research centre as the storehouse of Tibetan cultural heritages filled our minds with the mosaic values of Tibet from the early civilization. One of the most memorable events was our visit to Tibetan Childrenʹs Village. My emotional bank was disclosed to feel the touch of the warm atmosphere of our Home Away Home in which I was nurtured intellectually and physically. It has been a kind of coming back to home with complete realization of the special environment and bestowment after a couple of years of my association with Indian students. Our audiences with His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche and Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche have been a lifelong gift of blessing for us. Many times tears welled through my eyelids to see the restlessness of His Holiness for the sake whole sentient being in general and Tibetan peopleʹs wellbeing in particular. His simple and intimate guidance to all the people irrespective of their background cultures and his complete sense of humor illuminated our obscured minds. Especially he stressed on the Indo Tibetan linkage as historical facts of Guru Chella connectivity and reliability for the flourishment of Buddhist philosophy in the land of snow through Indian pundits. I believed that his emphasis on the peace of mind as the real happiness and not material gains has rendered an illuminating path for all the students while walking on the modern life. Through the face to face interaction with ministers and freedom activists educated me the clear understanding of the Tibet crisis being a global issue and the middle path approach of integration with the Peopleʹs Republic Of China with total internal freedom for the whole traditional provinces of Tibet. Accordingly, knowledge is power only when it is applied in a proper purpose. After a couple of nights pondering for an appropriate way to channelize the gems of the educational journey, my mind bloomed with the idea to deliver the messages to our fellow students after my workshop. The onset of my social life in the mainstream of diverse community made me to realize the value of each click of time and better understanding of the deplorable condition of the Tibetan people in India. Today I feel motherly intimacy with every Tibetan in any walk of my life. I m happier to spend even ten Rupees of my maintenance pocket money in the purse of a Tibetan restaurant and a Lyphin seller, in the struggle of livelihood in the corner of Dharamsala area. I truly feel the trials and tribulations that these people bear for upbringing their children and future establishment. As a student, while looking from the lens of the positive angle, I also realized the realistic good impact of our national catastrophe and its repercussion of exile life. This 15
storm of obstinacy charted out us the territory for reformation in the field of political as well as religious set up of the then orthodox Tibetan feudalism and liberated for an opened window to see the outside world and disseminate the message of Buddhist cultures in the world. One month of quest for Tibetan culture and society has elapsed by, notwithstanding, I am enthralled with its flashback, I had the most meaningful holiday in my life hitherto with something valuable in my store, which weighed me a self responsibility to distribute them to others. I cherish the precious moment which opened many gates in front of me and polished my stained mindset to keep abreast with the opportunities and bestowments in life for better texture of life after all!!! Sonam Dolkar, LSR college University Of Delhi www.soldon56.blogspot.com
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Published on Jan 22, 2012