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Dalai Lama asks followers to be compassionate “despite what China did”

Last Updated on July 29, 2022 at 9:24 am

While visiting India’s remote Ladakh region on Thursday, the Dalai Lama urged his supporters to practise compassion “despite what China has done to Tibetans”.  The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader is making his first trip outside of the northern Indian city of Dharamshala since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Dalai Lama has taken refugee in India since 1951 when a Tibetan rebellion against Chinese rule was put down. Beijing does not recognise the exiled Tibetan administration there, and Tibet is considered as a part of China by India. At the conclusion of a two-hour talk in the town of Leh, the Dalai Lama declared that despite what China has done to Tibetans, we should not abandon compassion.  At the Shewatsel Teaching Ground, tens of thousands of his Buddhist devotees came from all across the sparsely populated areas to hear him.

The 87-year-old monk is making his first trip to Ladakh since New Delhi bifurcated the J&K in 2019, creating a separate province under the direct control of New Delhi. Before the modifications, he frequently travelled to the high-altitude Buddhist area, which is also home to thousands of Tibetan exiles, for religious lectures and meditation. The sermon was attended by around 40,000 people, according to officials, many of whom were flying religious flags despite the rain.

Buddhist monks wearing traditional maroon and mustard robes listened to their spiritual master with rapt attention while hundreds of police and paramilitary personnel monitored the location and all routes going there. Mobile internet service was also cut in the vicinity. The Dalai Lama explains the fundamentals of Buddhist afterlife, according to an attendee, who was there for the discourse. If our hearts are not pure, praying is useless. We should support one other without hurting, and our hearts should be pure, he remarked.

After a bloody hand-to-hand combat in June 2020 that claimed lives of 20 Indian and unknown number of Chinese soldiers, the two most populous countries in the world sent tens of thousands of troops into the high-altitude Himalayan area. Both sides have accused one another of attempting to annex land along their unrecognised boundary, known as the Line of Actual Control, since engaging in a full-scale border conflict in 1962.