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Fanaticism bad, religions misunderstood and misinterpreted: Gyalwang Drukpa

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credit: www.pastoralmeanderings.com

Nangchen (China): Speaking out against fanaticism, the spiritual head of the Drukpa lineage of Buddhism said religions are “misunderstood” and “misinterpreted” in a sectarian kind of way.

credit: www.static.talkvietnam.com
Gyalwang Drukpa credit: www.static.talkvietnam.com

“Fanaticism is a bad thing. Fanaticism that connects with the religion, be it Hindu, be it Muslim, be it Buddhist, it doesn’t matter,” Gyalwang Drukpa told a group of visiting Indian mediapersons in this town in the southernmost part of Qinghai province, neighbouring Tibet’s Chamdo district. He is here for the inauguration of a restored Ashoka stupa and a new Buddhist temple in the same complex.

Saying that he was not authorised to speak on Hindus and Muslims, the Ladakh-based Drukpa advised Buddhists to focus on the spirituality and not the religiosity of the religion.

He said when religion is “misinterpreted” in a sectarian way, Buddhism would also one day face problems and asked members of the community not to be fanatic in their beliefs.

“Luckily Buddhism still represents non-violence. But one day, who knows, Buddhism will also not really be representing non-violence. Buddhist people should not be fanatic about the religiosity. The Buddhists should really keep the spirituality of Buddhism, not the religiosity. If they don’t do that well, then one day they will also be a violent kind of group,” said Drukpa, whose associates claim he has over 27 million followers across the world.

Asked about the developments in Tibet, Gyalwang Drukpa said he himself felt confused on the issue.

“Some say (the progress made) is not good, some say it’s good. I am not in a position to say good or bad right now,” he replied.

“Obviously, some part of Tibet has a little bit of difficulty and some parts have good life. I don’t really have any kind of opinion to share with you,” he said.

Last year, the spiritual leader had complained that eight of his monasteries were snatched by “some people who were “misusing” the name of the Karmapa. He has also posted an open letter on the issue on his website.

Questioned on the issue, the revered monk reiterated his position.

“We are going through the process of modalities to be done. It is a historical kind of disasters happening. It’s like something that we cannot really be patient or tolerant (about).”

Speaking about the restored Ashoka Stupa and the new Buddhist temple in the same complex, Drukpa said he was proud and happy at his “little bit of contribution” to the project.

“Ashoka was the biggest and the most well known Buddhist king not only in India, but all over the world. We are very proud about what we have done. I myself am also proud about my little bit of contribution to the Ashokan remains,” he said.

Drukpa hoped the restoration of the Stupa would help better Sino-Indian relations as Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoped would happen.

“Yes, this will be a very good contribution towards Modi’s wish and I hope that will also be beneficial (for bilateral ties between India and China).”

Answering a query, the senior monk said he had no immediate plans to restore any other Ashokan stupa in China or across Southeast Asia, but would give his assent if some symbolic remains were found in any corner of the world.

“I don’t really have a plan right now. But obviously, if there is a very significant kind of thing, symbolic kind of thing, that it is lying somewhere, in some corner of the world I will definitely go ahead and do something,” he added.

(Sirshendu Panth IANS)

(He is in China at the invitation of the Chinese government)

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Dalai Lama says that India and China have great potential

The spiritual leader feels that both the countries are doing compassionate works

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Dalai Lama talks about India and China
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai says that India and China can work together. VOA

New Delhi, Nov 19

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have “great potential” and they could work together at a “practical level”.

“I think, a great potential… India and China combined are doing more compassionate work… At a practical level also. Imagine two billion people working together,” he told reporters here after inaugurating Smile Foundation’s initiative, The World of Children.

The spiritual leader, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, said neither country had the “ability to destroy the other”.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to live side by side,” he said.

Underlining the ancient spiritual connection between the two countries, he said Chinese Buddhist Hsuan Tsang visited Nalanda (now in Bihar) and brought Nalanda Buddhist traditions to China.

“All thinkers of Nalanda are Indian. So Nalanda’s tradition is India’s tradition,” he said.

The Nalanda traditions had turned Tibetans, who were warriors, into more compassionate, peaceful and non-violent nation, he said.

“So sometimes in Delhi, teasing my Indian friend, (I say) if Tibet still remained in the previous way of life, like Mongols, Chinese invasion may not have taken place,” the Dalai Lama said in a lighter vein.

He said nobody in the world wanted violence but it was happening “because our minds are dominated by destructive emotions due to short-sightedness”.

“Nobody wants problems. Yet, many problems are our own creation.”

The Dalai Lama said the existing modern education was oriented to material values. India can take lead in improving the education system by combining modern education with ancient knowledge, he said. (IANS)

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Donald Trump Planning to meet Putin during his Asia tour

Donald Trump's first trip to Asia is the longest international tour.

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US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. wikimedia commns
  • US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he expected to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his Asia tour.

“I think it’s expected we’ll meet with Putin, yeah. We want Putin’s help on North Korea, and we’ll be meeting with a lot of different leaders,” Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One before landing at the Yokota Air Base in Japan, Efe reported.

Putin is scheduled to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, which Trump will also attend as part of his long Asia tour.

The North Korean nuclear threat is expected to dominate Donald Trump’s meetings in Japan and the next two stages of his tour, South Korea and China, where he will have a highly anticipated sit-down with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The remainder of the tour will be more focused on economic issues, with Trump scheduled to take part in the APEC meeting in Da Nang and then in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

Donald Trump’s first trip to Asia is the longest international tour by a US head of state since the one then-President George H.W. Bush embarked on in 1992.

Bush became ill at the end of that trip, famously vomiting on the Japanese prime minister’s lap at a formal dinner before fainting.(IANS)

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‘Dalai Lama is a Political Figure under the cloak of Religion, Meeting or Hosting the Dalai Lama is a major offence’ Warns China

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing.

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Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama, Wikimedia

Beijing, October 21, 2017 : As US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson prepares to visit India next week, China on Saturday warned that it will be deeply offended if any foreign leader meets with or any country invites the Dalai Lama.

On the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a Chinese Minister dubbed the Tibetan spiritual leader as a “political figure under the cloak of religion”.

“Any country or any organisation or anyone accepting to meet with the Dalai Lama in our view is a major offence to the sentiment of the Chinese people,” said Zhang Yijiong, Executive Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

“Also, since they have committed to recognising China as a sole legitimate government representing China, it contravenes their attempt, because it is a serious commitment,” Zhang added.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of stoking unrest and secessionist activities in Tibet from where the spiritual leader fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising.

The Dalai Lama has urged for more autonomy for Tibet.

Beijing opposes any country or leader keeping in touch with the Dalai Lama.

“I want to make it clear that the 14th Dalai Lama, the living Buddha handed down by history is a political figure under the cloak of religion,” said Zhang.

In February this year, Tillerson had told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing that he is committed to promoting dialogue on Tibet and receiving the Dalai Lama.

Top US Democrat Nancy Pelosi had visited the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, in May, and sought to draw the world’s attention to human rights in Tibet, triggering protests by China.

China resorts to different tactics if any country hosts the Dalai Lama. For instance, Beijing blocked a major highway leading to Mongolia, crippling the economy there after Ulan Bator hosted the leader late last year.

Mongolia later apologised and promised Beijing never to invite the Dalai Lama.

“Officials, in their capacity as officials, attending all foreign-related activities represent their governments. So I hope governments around the world speak and act with caution and give full consideration to their friendship with China and their respect for China’s sovereignty,” Zhang added.

The comments from the Chinese Minister also comes days after Tillersoon described India as a partner in a strategic relationship and said the US would “never have the same relationship with China, a non-democratic society”.

According to reports, last month China refused to fund travel for visiting scholars at University of California, San Diego, apparently in retaliation for inviting the Dalai Lama to be its 2017 commencement speaker.

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing. (IANS)