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His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Extols India’s Religious Harmony

Honourable Lakshman Prasad Acharya, Governor of Sikikim, and Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang receiving His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at the venue. Photo: OHHDL

Gangtok: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama conferred a teaching on Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo’s “37 Practices of a Bodhisattva” at the Paljor Stadium in Gangtok, Sikkim earlier this morning. On the same day, His Holiness also virtually laid the foundation stone for the State Government’s Karmapa Park and Gyalwa Lhatsunpa statue project.

His Holiness extended appreciation to his followers and devotees in the gathering for displaying their interest in Buddhism while emphasising religious harmony as he conveyed his admiration for all faiths and denounced religion-based communalism.

“Regardless of contrary religious philosophies, every religion preaches compassion and truthfulness and hence, it is of utmost importance to respect each other’s religion to forge peace and harmony,” His Holiness asserted. Moreover, he commended India’s ability to uphold religious harmony despite its enormous population of different faiths. He said India’s religious harmony serves as exemplary to the contemporary world in the promotion of secular ethics, adding that, ” humanitarianism is eventually the ultimate life objective for both theists and atheists”. Before beginning his teaching, the Tibetan spiritual leader recalled the recent heartbreaking tragedy caused by the flash flood in some parts of Sikkim as he expressed his sorrow for the immense loss of lives.

Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang of Sikkim delivered the welcome speech in which he expressed gratitude to His Holiness for graciously accepting the request to conduct this teaching. He said the government of Sikkim was honoured to have the presence of one of the world’s most respected and much-loved spiritual leaders.

“His Holiness is the epitome of philanthropy, charity, love, compassion, kindness and peace.” He said and further added that the cultural heritage of Sikkim draws inspiration from the teachings of His Holiness. The Chief Minister made an offering of mandala to His Holiness following his introductory remark.

The Sikkim government along with the Tibetan community of Sikkim offered Long-life prayers to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The teaching was attended by honourable Lakshman Prasad Acharya, Governor of Sikkim; honourable Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang; Shri Biswanath Somadder, Chief Justice of Sikkim; Shri VB Pathak, IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim; and other dignitaries including legislators, officials, reverent lamas and a throng of devotees and followers.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama conferring teaching on Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo’s “37 Practices of a Bodhisattva” at the Paljor stadium in Gangtok. Photo: OHHDL

A glimpse of the devotees and followers attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching at Paljor stadium in Gangtok. Photo: OHHDL

A group of local Sikkimese troupe presenting cultural performance. Photo: OHHDL

Members of Tibetan community presenting Tibetan traditional performance. Photo: OHHDL