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The Tibetan Connection

Whenever I set out to write on, or about, Tibet, it is inevitable to conclude that there never was a long walk to freedom for Tibet or for the holy chair of the successive Dalai Lamas. Their journeys were perennially those that forced them out of Tibet as they fled their homeland in the most pressing and arduous circumstances. Before eventually arriving back in Lhasa via Peking reportedly in December , the 13th Dalai Lama learnt that Chinese military administrator, Chao Erh-feng, infamous for leading brutal military campaigns throughout eastern Tibet, had moved along with his forces into central Tibet, with nearly 2, soldiers reaching Lhasa by February The jolt struck when Chinese troops arrived within striking distance of Lhasa.

However, plans to seize the Dalai Lama and his Ministers got trickled, as per the account of Charles Bell, Portrait of The Dalai Lama, which chronicles many personal conversations between the author and the 13th Dalai Lama himself—including those in which the Dalai Lama narrates numerous endeavours of the Chinese soldiers to capture him. It reduced their sanctifi ed commitment and social role to serving as unfl agging promoters of the Buddhist religion, a sacred engagement that aimed at.

What is new and innovative in this study is the comprehensive use of diplomatic and archival documents both original and in the form of copies , as well.

Tibet’s 17th Karmapa on Climate Change, the Dalai Lama, and China

These reliable sources allow the reader to gain a much more historically accurate understanding of the high incarnations, of their factual political role, and of historical infl uence in this process. Schwieger has over the years acquired fi ne skills in handling these particular types. This time after receiving the necessary clearances from the relevant Indian authorities, the Karmapa gave Buddhist teachings in new European countries while embarking on his third-ever visit to Europe.

As an influential global figure he has been constantly trying to highlight various world issues, especially focusing on the impact of climate change in the Himalayan region and world peace. His efforts are often regarded as a Buddhist response to global warming. The 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee gave a rare and exclusive interview to Saransh Sehgal in Paris, during the last leg of his recent Europe visit and spoke on a range of topics, including his strong interest in preserving the global environment, his future role especially when the Dalai Lama passes away , and issues related to Tibet.

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Excerpts from the interview follow; the interview has been edited for length and clarity. Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Now during this visit to Europe I actually had the chance to visit Switzerland and France, seeing other countries in Europe. So, it feels differently from before.

It feels like I have made progress. During your teachings you focused a lot on world peace and the environment.

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Now you are in Paris, where the UN Climate Change agreement has taken place recently and so have marches for world peace, especially after the city witnessed deadly terrorist attacks in As both the issues are close to your heart, what do you have to say? Generally, speaking about world peace is not special because whenever we teach Dharma this is the main focus.


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This is the main aim so that sentient beings who live in the world can be happy. But because of the change in the times in the world, we have reached a different critical situation. There are more and more conflicts in the world. There is more information, we have closer connection with each other, but on the other hand, there are still many conflicts in the world which we do not know about. This is the essence of the Dharma and is very beneficial right now, especially now because we are in an urgent situation.

Considering you as an environmental activist, what is urgently needed for us as humans to take meaningful action? I think the most important thing is that we need to learn how to control our human desires.

But, this is a time, when our culture and our information and all of the media increases our desires and this has a strong effect upon the environment. So, I think for that reason it is very important to control our desires, which is a very basic thing that we need to do. Climate Change is an increasingly hot topic, as Himalayan glaciers are melting at a very steady rate. The Tibetan plateau, which is often named as the Third Pole, has seen drastic changes with impacts strongly visible across the Indian sub-continent.

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Tibet's history | Free Tibet

You even have a Khoryug that mainly focuses on the environmental protection of the Himalayan region. In your view, how can we save further harm? Since I was born in Tibet, I have a direct and a strong connection with Tibet and in terms of living, Tibetans are part of the Himalayas. That is primarily the reason it important to focus on. So the idea is to introduce this [awareness] to them.

The Tibetans have had a sustainable lifestyle in their region for thousands of years, but now people are turning towards a modern lifestyle and they need to think about the effect this is going to have. They need to understand what it is that makes them have a sustainable lifestyle, what choices can be made. This is something they need to consider.