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Dalai Lama Journeys to Ladakh to Spread Buddhist Teachings and Interfaith Solidarity

The Dalai Lama took part in consecrating Thiksey Library and Learning Centre in Leh. From twitter.com

His Holiness the Dalai Lama traveled this month to the remote and mountainous region of Ladakh in northern India for a number of engagements, both public and private. The Dalai Lama arrived in Ladakh on 15 July and held his first public appearance on 23 July, when he embarked on a pilgrimage to Jokhang Buddhist Temple, along with the Jama Masjid and Anjuman-e-Imamia moques and the Moravian Church, all in Ladakh’s capital, Leh.

A spokesman for the Dalai Lama said that he had visited the four places of worship as part “of an interfaith pilgrimage in Leh, Ladakh.” (The Hindu)

At the Jokhang, the Dalai Lama was greeted by Thupten Chhewang, president of the Ladakh Buddhist Association, and other dignitaries and guests. The Dalai Lama was seated inside the temple and offered remarks to those gathered inside and outside, saying: “Tashi Delek. We are all very old friends and the bonds between us are rock-solid. I’d like to thank you for your faith and devotion, which I take as a source of encouragement.” (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)

He then offered encouragement to all those gathered there to follow in his example of devotion to the Dharma: “I want to tell you how determined I am to continue contributing as much as I can to the flourishing of the Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings. It is very important that we study the Dharma, reflect on what we’ve learned and then put into practice what we’ve understood. We should study the Three Baskets, which comprise the words of the Buddha, and engage in the practice of the Three Trainings.” (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)

From twitter.com
From twitter.com

After visiting the temple, the Dalai Lama continued on to Jama Masjid, a Sunni mosque. Speaking with the worshippers there, he offered his gratitude and expressed his devotion to inter-religious harmony and dialogue: “It is my practice to offer prayers at other people’s places of worship whenever I can. Since all religions convey a message of compassion, even though their philosophical views may differ, they are worthy of respect.” He continued: “I’ve been on friendly terms with Muslims since I was a child in Amdo. Later in Lhasa too I was friendly with the small community of Muslim traders who used to regularly attend official functions of the Tibetan government. So here today I’m pleased to be meeting with Muslim brothers and sisters once again.” (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)

On the current state of affairs in the world and the need for continued efforts for harmony and peace, the Dalai Lama expressed sadness: “One of my commitments is the promotion of religious harmony. All religions, whether theistic or non-theistic, have a message of compassion. These days and even in the past, sometimes because of different faiths, there are killings, which is sad and unbelievable. In our neighborhood in Afghanistan, Sunnis and Shias are killing each other. It’s sad.” (The Hindu)

The Dalai Lama’s final stop was at the Moravian Church, where he spoke of his appreciation for the Christian virtue of charity. He also recalled the Christian friends he has made over his life, telling the Christians gathered: “I deeply appreciate the warm welcome you’ve given me today. It reminds me of the many Christian brothers and sisters, scientists and religious leaders, such as the Polish Pope, John Paul II, among them, with whom I have made friends.” (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)

The Dalai Lama also spoke specifically on the issue of global warming: “We have to live together, work together, and help each other. Global warming is a real danger to human life. We can’t avoid it but need to remain with a genuine sense of brotherhood. There is no longer emphasis on my nation, my country, or my political party. The entire humanity is facing the problem. We have to live with a sense of brotherhood and with universal responsibility.” (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)

His Holiness will give three days of teachings from 28–30 July in Leh at the request of the Ladakh Buddhist Association and the Ladakh Gonpa Association. The teachings will include expositions on Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life and an Avalokiteshvara initiation. His next scheduled public teachings will be in Dharamsala in mid-September.

See more

Killing people for their faith bad, Sunni-Shia killings in Afghanistan sad: Dalai Lama (The Hindu)
Pilgrimage to Jokhang, Mosques and a Church in Leh, Ladakh (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
Schedule (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)

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