My Main Purpose Is the Promotion of Human Values: Dalai Lama

July 24th 2007


The Dalai Lama spoke to a select group of journalists on Monday
The Dalai Lama spoke to a select group of journalists on Monday
Hamburg, Germany, 24 July 2007 (Duetsche Welle) - Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is visiting the Northern German city of Hamburg. On Monday, much to the ire of Beijing, he made critical remarks about China. DW took part in a group interview with him.

Deutsche Welle: Your Holiness, please tell us about the human rights situation in Tibet.
Dalai Lama: It's still very serious. About a month ago I met a Tibetan who spent eight years in a Chinese prison. His only crime, which took place in a village near Lhasa, was to express his own feelings.

China reacted harshly when you spoke about the issue of Tibet in Hamburg. Did that surprise you?
- Not at all. Even I live in silence. There's always some sort of condemnation. They just keep going on like that.

What do you think of the German government's stance toward Tibet? Do you think Berlin does enough for your cause?
- The German government is like other governments -- basically sympathetic. Certainly there's a sense of concern. The question is whether that's adequate. We appreciate expressions of concern from the outside world. That's necessary and helpful.

What are your goals when you visit other countries?
- My main purpose and motivation is not the issue of Tibet, but rather the promotion of human values in order to have happier individuals, families and communities -- and, in that way, a happier humanity. I consider that to be my contribution. I think every human being has a responsibility to better the world. That's my conviction, and I always try to promote that. My second goal is the promotion of religious harmony. When I teach in India, more and more Chinese come. Sometimes, the Chinese government puts up restrictions to prevent Chinese from coming to India. But despite that, some Chinese always come. Many of them say that, after seeing the Tibetan community, they found big difference s to what they had heard in China. Eventually there's some positive impact.

Tens of thousands of Buddhists have turned out to hear the Dalai Lama
Tens of thousands of Buddhists have turned out to hear the Dalai Lama
You have said that you could be the last Dalai Lama. Could you please explain?
- As early as 1969, I made clear in an official statement that it was up to the Tibetan people whether or not the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue. That means that if the majority of the Tibetan people decide that the old institution of the Dalai Lama is no longer relevant to the Tibetan nation, it will cease to exist. If I were to die soon, I think most of the Tibetan people would want to keep the institution. If I live on 20 or 30 years, it might be different. That's okay. That would be an end with dignity.

Do you ever hope to return to Tibet?
- Oh yes. All Tibetans get homesick and hope to see their own country. Me, too. But at the same time, I'm a Buddhist monk. So mentally and personally one's own birthplace isn't all that important. There's a Tibetan saying: 'Home is where you feel good, and your parents are anyone who does good things for you.' [Editors Note: The Dalai Lama said this in Tibetan, English translation from news reports.] I really enjoy the very positive atmosphere of Hamburg. In the past nine days, I really feel it's my home. Many people, including those from the media, were full of smiles. Like friends.
 
 

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Upcoming Schedule


Teaching in Dharamsala, HP, India from September 24 to 26: His Holiness will continue to give teachings from Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (chodjug) at the request of a group of Southeast Asians at the Main Tibetan Temple. Contact Website: www.tibetanbc.org

Teaching in Dharamsala, HP, India from October 6 to 9: His Holiness will give teachings on Nagarjuna's Fundamental Wisdom Treatise of the Middle Way (uma tsawa sherab) at the request of a group of Taiwanese at the Main Tibetan Temple.  

Discussion in Vancouver, BC, Canada on October 21: His Holiness will participate in a forum with leading scientists in economics, neuroscience, psychology and public policy on the theme Science of Education of the Heart in the afternoon at the Vancouver Convention Center. Contact Website: www.dalailamacenter.org

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