BENGALURU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday morning called the Dalai Lama and wished him on his 86th birthday. “It is the first time that an Indian Prime Minister phoned the Dalai Lama on his birthday. It’s a great message for China at a time of renewed tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). It is a message for the Tibetans that India cares for the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people,” said the well-known Tibetologist Claude Arpi.
The Dalai Lama, in a video message posted on Facebook, thanked all his well-wishers. “I want to express my deep appreciation to all my friends, who showed me love, respect and trust. For myself, for the rest of my life, I am committed to serving humanity and protection of climate condition,” said the Dalai Lama.
He added that since he became a “refugee and settled in India, I have fully utilized India’s freedom and religious harmony. I really appreciate India’s concept of secular values with honesty, karuna (compassion) and ahimsa (non-violence). I am committed to non-violence and compassion until my death. I hope all my human brothers and sisters will also keep non-violence and compassion till their death,” said the Nobel laureate and the highest spiritual leader of Tibet.
Meanwhile, the Tibetans living in exile in Bengaluru and the five settlements in Karnataka on Tuesday celebrated the 86th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Karnataka has the biggest Tibetan settlements in the world - at Bylakuppe and Hunsur in Mysuru district, Kollegal in Chamarajanagar district and Mundgod in Karwar district.
“Every year we celebrate His Holiness’ birthday with group prayers, chanting of ‘Om Mani Padmi Hum’ - one of the most revered Buddhist mantras - a thousand times, cutting of cake, singing and dancing among other festivities. This year, because of the Covid restrictions, we had limited the festivities to smaller groups,” said the Chief Representative, South India, Central Tibetan Administration (in exile) Thupten Tsering.