Sendai, Japan, 4 November 2011 - "When I heard about the earthquake and tsunami--and then also the serious danger due to nuclear reactivity--in this area last March, I really felt very, very sad," His Holiness said, on his first stop after arriving in Sendai, the large town north of Tokyo near which the earthquake of March 11th had its epicenter. "Such suffering, beyond our control! Also, as a Buddhist, I felt sadness for Japan, a Buddhist country. Thirdly, because I have visited Japan many times, I have many Japanese friends. So therefore I felt it was my duty to pay a visit to share in your suffering.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama greets
well-wishers as he departs Koyasan for Sendai, Japan, on November 4,
2011. Photo/Kimimasa Mayama|
Thus, His Holiness, on the sixth full day of his Japanese tour, set
the tone for his journey to the areas of Sendai and Fukushima-ken, which
suffered so terribly earlier in the year.
He had begun his day in the radiant, red-mapled quiet of Koyasan, the mountain center of Shingon Buddhism, and, after taking leave of his hosts there, had drive to Osaka for lunch, and to fly to Sendai. When he arrived at the airport in Sendai, he was greeted by representatives of the Sendai Buddhist Association, clapping as they saw him and saying, in some cases, that they had been praying for him to come.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets with members of the press on his arrival in Sendai, Japan, on November 4, 2011. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL|
"The tragedy has already happened," he stressed. "Now, instead of too much sadness, we should try to translate that sadness into enthusiasm. And find the strength to rebuild your town."
As members of the press asked him about the recent self-immolations in Tibet, about the future of the Dalai Lama incarnation, about what the earthquake means in terms of Buddhism, he spoke briefly of the law of causality, and reminded the gathering that he had completely handed over political responsibility to Tibet's elected political leadership in March. It was now up to the Kalon Tripa to answer some of these questions.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama waves to members of the media as he leaves the press meeting held in Sendai, Japan, on November 4, 2011. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL|
"I can't take the sorrow of the people here away," he concluded, asked about what he could truly "share" with the people of Sendai. "But simply mixing with them, exchanging my own deep feelings, that's what I can share. When you're going through some difficulty, if your friend goes out of his way to come and see you and express some kind of condolence, that kind of sharing can mean a lot."