Tuesday 15 June 2021

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I am a Marxist: Dalai Lama

 

Dalai Lama at Festival of Ideas

"As far as socio-economic theory is concerned, I am a Marxist," said Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader.

While delivering a lecture at the D D Kosambi Festival of Ideas in Panaji today, he however termed the present day Communism in China as "Capitalist Communism".

Maintaining that there was a time when Chinese Communists really worked for the needy, Dalai Lama said: "the spirit of Marxism died in China, after the Chinese Communist Party started silencing both criticism and critics of people in power."

The Dalai Lama said he was once "very much" attracted to Marxism and even wanted to join the Chinese Communist Party, which he now feels is bereft of Communist ideology.

"I was very much attracted to the internationalism of Marxism. I wanted to join the Chinese Communist party, (but) today the Chinese Communist Party is without Communist ideology," he said in an interaction after delivering a lecture.

The spiritual and temporal leader of Tibetan Buddhists, living in exile in India for decades, still does not find anything wrong about Marxism as an ideology.

He said although former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu was a Marxist, he enjoyed a "bourgeois" lifestyle.

"Jyoti Basu, I knew him. His own lifestyle was more bourgeois," he said.

The Karmapa, in the eye of a controversy over huge haul of foreign currency from his transit home, today got the backing of the Dalai Lama.

He said the issue cropped up due to the carelessness of some of his aides.

"It was (because of) carelessness of some of his attendants. Actually, the purpose of money was charity," the spiritual and temporal head of Tibetan Buddhists clarified.

Addressing a lecture in the memory of Buddhist scholar DD Kosambi, the Dalai Lama likened the relations between India and Tibet to that of a teacher and disciple.

While speaking about their relation with India, Lama said: "India is like the Guru and Tibet its disciple," he said.

"Our relation with India is not just few decades (old) but it has existed for few thousand years," he said, describing the Indian and Tibetan civilisations as two branches of the sacred Bodhi tree.

"Six million Tibetans are physically controlled by China but 99% of their minds look at India," he said.

The spiritual leader said India should focus on printing books that enable to spread the wealth of knowledge present in the country.

"There should be libraries in temples instead of statues," the Nobel Laureate said while responding to questions asked during an interactive session after the lecture.

India has been a store house of information for the last 3000 years and libraries in temple would motivate people towards education, he said.

"For thousands of years India has been a messenger of ''ahimsa'' and religious harmony. This itself  is a message to the world," he said.

Dalai Lama recalled an incident when a person told him about plans to build a Buddha statue.

"I told him, a Buddha statue does not speak. Instead of it, print more books. That is more important," he said.

Incidentally, the organizers presented him a small Buddha statue. But in return, he presented few books to chief minister Digambar Kamat.


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Original Marxism and Dalai Lama’s views on that are unimportant in today’s India. Marxism probably died with Karl Marx. But Dalai Lama also said that he does not believe in destiny and rebirth. He believes in action and that too in this birth itself. Indians are preoccupied with destiny and Karma of past or future births and waste their present birth by thinking about Maya and mrugajal. Dalai Lama talked of ‘action in this birth’, a point sorely missed by PTI.

 
Kalidas Sawkar , Panaji Goa

Sometimes, we like facts and stories about our Nation, told by visitors, rather than ourselves going through our culture and rich heritage.

 
Ludovico , Olg-Goa

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