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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Dalai Lama’

Enemies of the Tibetan Cause

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

I wonder why some international human rights and pro-Tibetan groups are so directionless in criticizing Beijing’s policies and programmes in Tibet and campaigning for Tibetan independence . Their main argument for independence goes that ever since the Chinese forces entered into Tibet, Beijing has been practicing a kind of cultural genocide in the plateau– obliterating its ideas, traditions and habits . During the Communist Cultural Revolution in the 1960s the gangs of the Red Guards destroyed almost all Buddhist monasteries in Tibet and killed or dispersed its 90 per cent of the monks . Afterwards, Beijing has been flooding the plateau with Chinese immigrants. This has changed the demography of Lhasa to almost 60 per cent Chinese ethnicity . The pro-independence lobbies allege there is severe discrimination against the Tibetans in education and employment . In schools Chinese is taught as the “mother tongue. ” Tibetan is relegated to the background. The Chinese get high salary jobs in the region . Tibetans get just some crumbs .

After having visited Tibet as part of a mixed media delegation from India, Nepal and Bhutan the other day, I would say there is little wisdom in harping on the past mistakes of a nation or an individual. We have to plan for future on the basis of our present realities . Viewed from this angle , I find few states in the world today could be said to have done as much for their minorities as China has for its own, Tibetans in the present case . During my sojourn in the Tibet Autonomous Region I happen to visit many important places , including a few farm families of the Konka county, a handicraft workshop and famous Shannan Hospital in Naidong county, the construction venue of Lhasa-Nyingchi highway , the Potala Palace and Museum, and the Dadan Minguir Palace ( His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Summer Palace).

I find that like in India and Israel , there is no denial of freedom to practise one’s religion anywhere in the TAR too . Tibetan Buddhism is flourishing. The popular Shoton festival is attended by , according to an estimate, as many as 30,000 visitors . The Potala Palace, the Summer Palace and Jokhang Temple are all well maintained . Thousands of Tibetans stream in the Summer Palace everyday. Their devotion is to be seen in its prayer hall where they come to pay their obeisance to him offering scarves, currency notes and pray for his return to Tibet. I ( and other members of the delegation) chance to meet in the prayer hall a Tibetan lady . She can barely utter a few words in Hindi. But she says well enough . Asked about the current Dalai Lama, she just smiles and wishes, “ May he remain safe and sound wherever he is !” I see inside the summer palace the objects dating back to 1959 . In its study room there are the Dalai Lama’s sofa, a reading table and his books . In the Dalai’s once favourite room there is a small bed with a large radio gifted to him by then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Knowledgeable sources say Beijing has moved far beyond those dark days of its Cultural Revolution. For decades the Chinese government did keep the Tibetan Autonomous Region off limits to outsiders. But no more so . The authorities in Beijing have long withdrawn their totalitarian commandments from the temples and monasteries. Most of the temples and monasteries destroyed during the Revolution have already been rebuilt in their original places only . China is an ancient civilization . It believes in respecting the age-old traditions of all its ethnicities .

Jagdish N. Singh

Here’s My Problem with the Dalai Lama

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

That’s right.  I’m calling out the Dalai Lama.

I have worked with the Tibetan diaspora, met privately with the Dalai Lama (see the picture, above), he grasped my hands and sent energy racing up my arms (no lie), and His Holiness even put a Tibetan prayer scarf (Kata) around my neck, which I still have to this day.  I get it.  He’s the Dalai Freaking Lama.  And everyone loves Mr. Lama.

But here’s my problem with His Holiness in particular, with Buddhists in general – and it also happens to be one of the first things that drew me to Judaism:

Jews understand evil.  Buddhists do not.

As Sara Yoheved Rigler wrote, “Judaism does not just resign itself to a world of darkness.  Judaism advocates jumping into the fray, facing evil head-on.”

“Facing evil head-on” is the defining characteristic of my life.

Wherever and whenever I see evil, my first reaction is to run at it and punch it in the face.  I do this for a living: on behalf of Tibetans, Falun Gong, Israeli Jews, and against anyone who threatens America.

What did the Dalai Lama do when Tibet was threatened by the evil of Communist China?  He retreated into exile.  Since then, Tibet has been virtually destroyed and consumed by its invaders.  That does not mean there were no courageous monks.  A number of them fought valiantly against the Chinese.  But the Dalai Lama was not among them.  He followed the example of Buddha and retreated.  As Maurice Lamm wrote, “buddha, upon seeing death, sickness and poverty, retreated from the world into a life of contemplation.”  In that way, Buddhism is more attuned to peaceful retreat than to facing evil head-on.

When Israel was threatened by its neighbors with destruction, Israel did not retreat.  It faced evil head-on.

That is not to say that all Jews, or even all Israelis, are 100% badasses who fully understand how to deal with evil.  Many Jews today still believe that they can get along peacefully with those whose only aim is to wipe all Jews from the map.

But Judaism, as I have come to understand it, is profoundly “of this world.”  It demands that we take action in this world.  And sometimes that means facing evil head-on.

By contrast, Buddhists believe that “enlightenment” means elevating one’s self out of this world.  Buddhist monks retreat from the world into monasteries, and this particular monk – the Dalai Lama – retreated from his country in 1959 and has lived in exile ever since.  Perhaps the Buddhist lack of understanding of evil is what led the Dalai Lama in May 2010 to declare “I’m a Marxist,” or to say in January 2012 that he was still seeking a “middle-way” policy with the Chinese communist thugs who took over his homeland and butchered his brothers.

That’s my problem with the Dalai Lama.  When evil crawls up your leg with a knife in its teeth you don’t retreat, you don’t meditate on it, and you don’t try to find a “middle-way.”  You kill it.

Jews love life.  But the world’s most evil people (who just happen to be the world’s biggest Jew-haters) proudly declare “we love death more than you love life.”

How do you deal with bad people who love death?

You give them what they love.

http://notajew-jew.com/?p=92

Not a Jew -> Jew

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/not-a-jew-jew/my-problem-with-the-dalai-lama/2012/05/01/

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