Dalai Lama recalls his links to Brahmaputra

Prabin Kalita - 20.4 2017

Dalai recalls his links to Brahmaputra that originates in his homeland

GUWAHATI: Offering his tribute to the Brahmaputra at the Namami Brahmaputra festival here, the Dalai Lama on Sunday said he feels a deep connection with the river ever since he crossed the river in Tibet last time 58 years ago when he made his escape to India.

"My personal experience on the night of May 17, 1959, after escaping from the Summer Palace, makes me feel connected to the Brahmaputra. I crossed the river in Tibet. I feel the same every time I come close to the river. I have told the chief minister that the river festival reminds me of the sacredness of the river," the Tibetan spiritual leader said.

The Dalai Lama said all major rivers in northern India originate from his homeland, Tibet, which is now part of the People's Republic of China. The Brahmaputra also originates in the Mansarovar in Tibet, where the river is called Tsangpo.

"The lives of crores of people depend on these rivers. So, you have the right to express your concern about the environment in Tibet as well," he said.

Underlining the need to keep all rivers clean, the Tibetan leader said, "In Tibet, whenever we are thirsty we can drink water from any river. But outside, people say one cannot drink water from certain rivers because of pollution. I realize that the environmental issue is very serious. Water is the basis of our lives - not just for human beings but also for animals, birds, plants and fishes.

The Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, including Tawang, from April 4 to 12 has been strongly opposed by China which has said the visit would put the bilateral relation in danger. Anti-talks Ulfa (I) has also appealed to the spiritual leader not to say anything against China, in public or in private.

I am a messenger of Indian culture: Dalai Lama

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lamatoday said he was the "longest guest" of the government of India and has now become a messenger of Indian culture.

"I am the longest guest of government of India for the last 58 years and am now paying back for that gesture by becoming the messenger of Indian culture," he said while delivering a lecture on 'Ancient Indian Knowledge in Modern Times' here.

He said "for the last few years, I have started describing myself as the son of India. A few years ago, some Chinese media came and asked why I say so. I told them that each part of my brain is filled with Nalanda thoughts.

"Physically, for the last over 50 years, my body is surviving on Indian 'dal' and 'chapati'. So, physically and mentally I am an Indian".

Referring to secularism, he said "I am fully committed to promote communal harmony. It is understandable that there are some mischievous people who cause trouble."

He said that the only way to reduce differences and problems was to consider (that) "we are all human beings."

Releasing the Assamese version of his autobiography 'My Land and My People' in the same function, he said he was optimistic about a non-violent and peaceful world.

"I don't know whether in my lifetime I will see any big change, but I am optimistic. Through education, the next generation will realise and bring compassion and love. The future of humanity depends on humanity itself, not on God," he added.

"If Mohammad, Buddha, Mahavir reappear today, then they will ask who created violence? Not God, you created. So it is your responsibility to end violence," he said.

Criticising the caste system, he said "in Indian caste system, people from lower caste are always less privileged. Emotionally they always feel inferior. It is very bad. We have to change this".