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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Up close and personal-The Dalai Lama leaves a lasting impression at the Delhi Gymkhana Club, 23/3

Beautifully decorated - the Centenary Lawns, Delhi Gymkhana Club  

There is a very old saying, "All roads lead to Rome." On the 23rd of March that saying could very aptly be changed to" All roads lead to the Delhi Gymkhana Club as there was an unprecedented crowd to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama address the members of the club.

Organised by the Knowledge Club of the DGC, this was a one of a  kind opportunity to hear the Dalai Lama and I really can't  recall seeing such a large and well attended function at the Delhi Gymkhana till date!The decor was fantastic and the buzz in the audience was palpable.While the event was scheduled for 2 pm, the crowd had started assembling from 1230 and by the time we managed to get in by 120 pm, the seats were almost all taken.

His  Holiness, the Dalai Lama  is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people who frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments- the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of inter-religious harmony and the preservation of Tibet's Buddhist culture, a culture of peace and non-violence.

Despite the fact that it was a hot afternoon the Dalai Lama received an enthusiastic welcome at the Gymkhana Club where he spoke about the need to foster both warm-heartedness and intelligence. He told the audience-“All our knowledge came from India. One great Tibetan master in the early 15th century remarked that although Tibet is nominally bright with snow, until the light of knowledge came from India, Tibet had remained in the dark."

The Dalai Lama

“You Indians are our gurus and we are the disciples, but I think we have proved to be reliable disciples because we have well preserved the knowledge we gained from you.”

He spoke of the need to promote ethics in a secular way, clearly indicating that all human beings.are the same.If we are honest, truthful and transparent it will lead to trust and trust yields friendship. For social animals like us, friendship is very important. Taking a more ethical approach in this very life will bring self-confidence and inner peace.”

Animated and extremely interesting
The animated talk was followed by a Question answer session where the Dalai Lama talked about the  Buddha giving his followers the liberty to question his teachings and examine them with reason. He pointed out that the Buddha had given different explanations on different occasions according to the dispositions of those listening to him. With regard to emptiness of intrinsic existence, it doesn’t mean that things don’t exist at all. He cited an 11th century master who said, "The hand is empty, fire is empty and burning is empty, but if you put your hand in the fire there will be pain.”

When questioned about 'karma' the Dalai Lama said that the word 'karma' meant action. While some people blame what happens to them on ‘their karma’, they really don’t stop to ask who created this karma?Was it thenmselves? In response to doubts about the presence of ancient values in contemporary society, he was clear - there was a distinct need to make an effort to preserve positive traditional values in the community. 

Screens were set up all around and we could see and hear him up close
 To close the event, the Club managing committee thanked His Holiness for coming, praising him as a man of peace and a rare human being and the members who thronged the path to catch a closer glimpse of him as he left couldn't agree more!.

I looked back and saw this- loved it
My Take on the Dalai Lama-Highly articulate with a wealth of knowledge, witty, a firm believer in secularism, a great respect for all religions. 

As for that afternoon, in a word, unforgettable! 

NB- Ref- Dalai Lama Official website


Ravish Mani said...

A good post. :)
Btw, have you shifted to Delhi?

Sunaina Serna Ahluwalia said...

Many thanks Ravish, and we have. Loving it!