by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
For me Mahatma Gandhi symbolizes Ahimsa, or non-violence, as well as Karuna, or compassion. One of my main commitments today is to promote these two principles, and I believe that India is the only country with the potential to combine its ancient knowledge with modern education. Gandhiji exemplified both Ahimsa and Karuna, and I think of him as my teacher.
On my first visit to India in 1956, I made a pilgrimage to Rajghat, on the banks of the Jamuna river, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. As I stood there in prayer, I experienced great sadness at not being able to meet him in person, but also great joy at the magnificent example of his life. To me, he remains the model politician, a man who put his belief in altruism above all personal considerations and consistently maintained respect for all great spiritual traditions.
Gandhi was perhaps the greatest of our time, the man who continued till his dying day to preserve the spirit of India and of all mankind: a true believer in peace and harmony. He inspired followers in Africa and America like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. Today, in a world where bullying and killing still take place, we need compassion and non-violence more than ever. I am firmly committed to combining these ideals with the best of modern education.
Published by India Today on August 21, 2021