by Robert Wilkinson
Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the most remarkable men in the world, the venerable Dalai Lama, with quotes and other interesting facts.
As I wrote a couple of birthdays back, I believe we can celebrate this 618th birthday, since he does "remember" all the way back to his first incarnation as Dalai Lama, born 1391. It's a miraculous thing when a person can with unimpeachable authority KNOW not just who they were in a prior life (with no prompting) but can also identify their previous life possessions, such as glasses, bowls, and malas, or prayer beads.
This Being is truly one of the most benign and enlightened consciousnesses to ever walk this Earth, and having had the privilege of being able to attend numerous talks and extended instruction with Him in many venues, I am always in awe of his gentle sense of humor, his generosity of Spirit, and his profound wisdom. He is truly a kind and playful gentle man and all around good guy. If anyone ever deserved a Nobel Peace Prize, it's this Arhat demonstrating Eternal Consciousness.
A brief history. His current incarnation began July 6, 1935. This most remarkable man for the Ages was enthroned on February 22, 1940 in Lhasa, and he was forced to deal with Communist Chinese brutality from a very young age. By the late 40s Chairman Mao made his move, and by 1959 His Holiness was forced into exile in India along with many thousands of monks. Since then Tibet and practitioners of the Way have been brutalized by Bejing governments without mercy.
By all means check out the movie "Kundun," an excellent piece of work showing just some of his tests of compassion this lifetime, and the documentary "10 Questions for the Dalai Lama," is another major piece of work.
According to the review of "10 Questions" in the Boston Herald, the film maker was "granted a one hour meeting in which he could ask 10 questions."
The filmmaker picks his selections carefully; we learn about the Dalai Lama’s views on his religion, China’s occupation and how to resolve the conflict in the Middle East (“more festivals and picnics!,” he says with a coy smile). He speaks candidly and yet at times can’t stop giggling.
The Dalai Lama’s blend of humor and intellect make him irresistible. The movie - much of it shot with one camera - doesn’t have too many tricks up its sleeve. But you’ll find yourself drawn in, all the same.
(“10 Questions for the Dalai Lama” contains no objectionable material.)
"No objectionable material" indeed! "More festivals and picnics" for the Middle East? What an enlightened Being!
Happy Birthday, Your Holiness. May you have enough birthdays to see an end to suffering, may you outlive the rule of China over Tibet, may you ultimately see the Tibetan culture restored, and may you return to your beloved Tibet, "the land of snows." If there is one call the entire world should resonate to, it's FREE TIBET!
A few good quotes:
"War is legalized murder."
"If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them."
"It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come."
"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. "
"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day."
"Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life."
"As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery… we have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness."
Aum Mani Padme Hum!
© Copyright 2009 Robert Wilkinson