There’s a Tibetan festival happening in Ahmedabad and two days ago I had the good fortune to experience a talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the IIM auditorium. We reached there to find a loooong line at the door, naturally many people were keen to see him in person, and hear him speak. There was much pushing and shoving at the door, the security was very tight and it seemed we would not get in. I have been wanting to see Him for years. In the midst of that chaos, I said a silent prayer to him. I knew that if He wanted us to be in, then we would be able to get in. And sure enough we did gain entry in a few minutes. Then after a forty minute wait, He came, preceded by a few maroon-robed monks.
When the happy, smiling, peaceful person entered the room, everyone stood up. You could only feel love and respect for such a great, yet humble person.
The theme of the talk was ‘ethics and business’. He spoke spontaneously, and made us laugh at many points. He was as mischievous as a child, yet emanated wisdom and understanding. When asked about ‘money’ he said that money only has relative or designated value. The hundred rupee note as such has no value, but it the value in your mind that gives it its’ importance. He then joked that any business which he started would collapse in a day. He also stressed the importance of ethics in business. Without ethics business is self-destructive.
A wealthy family from Mumbai came to visit him in Dharamshala. While leaving they asked for his blessing. He said that he has no blessing to give them, he has no such power. He told them, there are so many poor people living in Mumbai on the streets, eating and sleeping on the streets. With your wealth, give them a better life, something to eat, a place to stay, and that will be your blessing. His simple philosophy of giving to others is the only way that is going to sustain our world in the long run. Each person should think what he can give to his family, and society.
Someone asked if he believed in life on other planets. He said yes, very likely there are life-forms which we cannot see, but it is better for us to live in peace together on this one planet!
The next day we went to see a movie. It was ‘Compassion in Exile’, His story. The movie showed his childhood, how he was chosen to be the fourteenth Lama, and the atrocities committed by the Chinese against the Tibetans. When asked if he hated the Chinese, he replied no, he has no feelings of hatred for them. Each day when he meditates, he prays for them, that they may have more compassion and understanding. They are acting like this because they are weak and lacking confidence. He sends positive energy to them, and he tries to take their negative energy into him.
His humour, love, and openess reach everyone, no matter where you are from. His belief in compassion and understanding is so simple, it seems to be the only real way to live.
Such a person is rare to see. I think, I am sure, that a thousand years from now, people will regard the Dalai Lama much as we today regard Christ, Krishna or Mohammed.
He is surely a living god.