The Dalai Lama’s many travels through China “irile” Ladakh

LEH: For India, the Tibetan spiritual leader, the 87-year-old Dalai Lama, is a symbol of Buddhism, also a revered guest not only of India but of its citizens. He is currently traveling through the remote mountainous region of Ladakh, bordering Tibet, to give an audience to people of all faiths, “angrying” China.

The visit to the cold desert of Ladakh, his first tour outside of Dharamsala since the start of the pandemic and his first visit since the military clash between India and China in 2020, more than a month now and extended until ‘September is no different this time, says one of his aides, adding jokingly, ‘we avoid the monsoon on the plains’.

He says the spiritual leader has been coming to Ladakh for over 50 years because people have a special connection with him based on their faith and benevolence. His last visit dates back to July 2018.

From meeting senior Indian dignitaries to teasing old friends in the crowd to praying with members of the Muslim community at Masjid Sharif, founded in 1382, in Shey, Ladakh last week, His Holiness in the current stay has undertook pilgrimages to Jokhang, the main Buddhist temple in central Leh, the Jama Masjid and Anjuman-e-Imamia mosques, and the Moravian Church in Leh.

China expressed ‘fury’ when India‘s top government official, Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur, paid tribute to the 14th Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India since staging a failed uprising against rule China in 1959, in Leh on August 16.

Another occasion of China’s exasperation was also when India deployed a military helicopter to fly the Dalai Lama, whom Tibetan Buddhists consider their spiritual leader, from Leh to a remote village amid his ongoing clash. along the Line of Actual Control with China, which views the Dalai Lama as a separatist.

“Many conflicts that arise from anger, fear and jealousy can be resolved if we cultivate compassion for others,” the Dalai Lama remarked during his visit to Masjid Sharif in Shey where he donned a cap.

He also blessed Sayeed Bano, the first specially disabled student from Ladakh to earn a doctorate during her program at Masjid Sharif, where the Dalai Lama enjoyed the lunch prepared by the organizers of his meeting with members of the Muslim community.

One of the most striking photos released by the Dalai Lama’s office was His Holiness gazing at the early morning view of the Himalayas from his residence in the remote village of Lingshed in Ladakh on August 11.

Nobel laureate and promoter of peace and religious harmony in the world, the Dalai Lama is one of the respected religious leaders.

Responding to the Dalai Lama’s photo of gazing the long gaze home, one of his admirers remarked that just beyond the mountain range is Tibet. “Let’s hope that one day Tibet will be free again and return to their homeland.”

Officials from his private office told IANS that the Tibetan spiritual leader often enjoys the snow-capped Dhauladhar range on a bright sunny day from the balcony of his official residence in McLeodganj – a small, picturesque hill station on the outskirts of Dharamshala overlooking the Himalayas.

The Dalai Lama, who along with many of his followers fled the Himalayan homeland and took refuge in India when Chinese troops arrived and took control of Lhasa in 1959, is optimistic about his ability to return a day in Tibet.

He thinks China is changing. “If you compare China today to that of 10 or 20 years ago, there are huge changes. China is no longer isolated… separate from China People’s Republic of China enjoying a high degree of autonomy or autonomy.

“By amicably resolving the Tibetan issue, China can contribute to its own unity and stability,” the Dalai Lama wrote on his website.

Responding to the huge response the Dalai Lama is receiving in Ladakh, a union territory bordering Tibet, a former Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) official, Tashi Wangdi, who was born in Tibet when he was independent and served in exile, said, “Imagine what will happen if His Holiness returns to Tibet.”

On his Twitter account, Wangdi posted a video showing a great welcome the spiritual leader received from tens of thousands of devotees lined up on both sides en route in traditional dress, waving religious and Tibetan flags and paying him a floral tribute.

Arriving in Leh on July 15, a close associate of the Dalai Lama told IANS that His Holiness had specifically instructed the driver to slow down so he could see his people and they in turn could see him.

After arriving in Ladakh on July 15, the Dalai Lama undertook his first public engagements on July 24, making pilgrimages to the Jokhang, the main Buddhist temple, to the Jama Masjid and Anjuman-e-Imamia mosques, as well as to the Moravian Church in Leh. .

From Jokhang, His Holiness proceeded to the Sunni mosque, the Jama Masjid. He told the audience gathered on the spot what a pleasure it was for him to make a pilgrimage to this place of worship, which is in line with his commitments in favor of inter-religious harmony.

“It is my practice to offer prayers in other people’s places of worship whenever I can. Since all religions convey a message of compassion (karuna), even though their philosophical views may differ, they are worthy of respect.

“I have been on good terms with Muslims since I was a child in Amdo. Later in Lhasa too, I was friends with the small community of Muslim traders who regularly attended official Tibetan government functions. Muslim brothers and sisters.”

Next, His Holiness visited the Shia Mosque known as Anjuman-e-Imamia. While welcoming His Holiness to Imam Bargarh, his host recalled that it was His Holiness who inaugurated this mosque in 2006, since then the congregation has hosted him several times.

Different speakers praised His Holiness as a messiah of peace and a harbinger of brotherhood. “Your presence here today,” said one speaker, “sends to the rest of the world a strong and much needed message of unity, peace and brotherhood among the different religious groups in Ladakh.”

Speaking at a reception held at Masjid Sharif in Shey last week, the Dalai Lama said Tibetans have been facing significant hardship for more than six decades. “And yet, we have managed to keep our culture alive, while the spirit of Tibetans has remained unwavering.”

China has slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for greeting the Dalai Lama on his 87th birthday on July 6, saying New Delhi should stop using Tibet-related issues to interfere in “internal affairs ” from China.

India retaliated by saying, “It has always been our government’s policy to treat him as a guest in India and as a respected religious leader who enjoys a large following in India.