I describe Indians as guru, we chelas learn from you: Dalai Lama

February 19th 2011

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 19 February 2011 (By Hemali Chhapia, TNN) - For a snow-shrouded Tibet, here's something that will thaw its heart.

"Yes, I will see a free Tibet in my lifetime. I am confident about that. More and more Chinese are supporting the Tibetan cause than ever before," the 14th  Dalai Lama, who was in the city on Friday, told TOI.

The Nobel laureate spoke at the Gothic Cowasjee Jehangir Convocation Hall of the University of Mumbai as sun rays streamed in through the stained glass panel above. Before he started his talks, the university vice-chancellor, Rajan Welukar, honoured him with a garland that came all the way from Gujarat. More importantly, the environmentally friendly garland of cotton fibre was used by Mahatma Gandhi.

The University wanted to have the Dalai Lama here on October 2 to inaugurate a student-driven initiative to work for social causes.


After a lecture on "Ancient Wisdom and Modern Thoughts" and a discourse with students, the DalaiLama had a conversation with TOI about the land that is long awaiting freedom. With more and more Chinese championing the cause of Tibetans, the movement will usher in the final chapter of the land's long struggle that will end soon, he said. "And so, it is my belief that it will not be a loss for one and triumph for another. It will be a victory for all." He also had a joke about a changed China: "I told the Chinese authorities that I want to join Chinese Communist Party."

"Now in China, genuine socialism is no longer there; a communist party without communist ideology. Capitalist communism: this is new. I heard that the life of some Indian communists and a few leaders of the Indian communist party is more bourgeois than socialist."

Praising India, he said it didn't need to look out for answers. "Indian civilization, when compared to the western and Chinese civilizations, is much more sophisticated. It is the world's treasure." He repeatedly described himself as a chela of Indian tradition. "I describe Indians as the guru, we (Tibetans) are chelas of Indian guru," he said. "Essentially we learn from you."

But as an honest friend, he said it was essential to rid all the systems of some evils: "Caste, dowry, discrimination, these may be a part of your tradition but they are outdated, and must change. The youth must change some of these…. From your chela, this is constructive criticism. Sometimes, you are a little bit lazy. You must be more hard-working; work with full self-confidence."


Modern education system does not pay attention to wholeheartedness. Teaching ethics without touching the religious space is important

Life based on material wealth with no roots in affection is a delusion

Secularism does not mean disrespect of religion, but equal respect for all religions

Business people also come from society, we need a change at the fundamental level, and now in the west, some educationists are really questioning the educational system

Technology provides physical comfort and spiritual development mental comfort

The real change in India needs to happen in its rural areas, in its old villages

The desire for peace is very strong. People proudly joined when the World Wars broke out. That situation has changed. Before the Iraq crisis, think of how many people came out against using force. It's a sign of change: non-violence.


Latest News

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Cancels October U.S. Visit
September 25th 2015
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is in the United States for a medical check-up. The doctors have advised His Holiness to rest for the next several weeks. As a result, His Holiness’ planned October U.S. visit has been cancelled. We deeply regret the inconvenience caused by this decision and apologize to all the people who have worked so hard in organizing the visit as well as to the public. We thank you for your support and understanding.

Interfaith Meeting and Action for Happiness Event
September 22nd 2015

Talks on Ethics and Ahimsa
September 21st 2015

Greeting Tibetans, Tibet Supporters and Addressing the Public at the O2 Arena
September 20th 2015

Interviews in Cambridge, Meeting Children in London
September 19th 2015