Dalai Lama: Do not politicize my visit to Zenkoji

Orrisa Diary, June 19, 2010

Nagano, Japan -- Amid speculations on the nature of his first visit to Zenkoji Temple, His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked a group of about 40 journalists who attended a press conference today at Zenkoji not to read too much into a visit that is purely religious.

His Holiness said except for his two visits to Washington and Brussels in the past, the rest of his foreign visits including the current one have always been religious. “Many journalists tend to ask me political questions but my answer is don’t politicize my visit,” he said.

Zenkoji attracted intense media attention in 2008 when the temple authorities refused to host the Japan leg of Olympic torch relay. The temple officials had cited brutal crackdown on Tibetan Buddhists as a major reason for snubbing the event. ‘‘Indiscriminate killings were undertaken in Tibet. We were concerned about Buddhists in Tibet who rose up and a subsequent crackdown against them,’’ Shinsho Wakaomi, a Zenkoji official was then quoted as saying in many media reports.

Long before the preliminary events of 2008 Beijing Olympics including the torch relays began, His Holiness said he had time and again appealed to both Tibetans and Chinese people to welcome the global sporting event because “over a billion Chinese took great pride in hosting it.”

He reiterated that Tibetans are not anti-Chinese and that he has deep respect and admiration for the “hardworking and practical” Chinese people who put great efforts in preserving their cultural traditions even when they are scattered all over the world. However, he said the current regime in China that practice censorship and other authoritarian means to conceal the reality create unnecessary misunderstandings between Tibetan and Chinese people.

In this light, he appealed to the Chinese people to use both their ears and eyes to look for unbiased information and to investigate the veracity of government propagandas so they could see the reality. Because many Tibetans and Chinese share the same Mahayana or Nalanda Buddhist tradition that focusses on the essence of reasoning and logic in practicing Buddha’s teachings, His Holiness said investigating the truth behind official propaganda should not be a problem for both the Chinese and the Tibetans.

His Holiness said he has always felt a deep connection and happiness every time he visits religious places in Japan as Tibet share the same Mahayana Buddhist traditions with Japan as well as other Buddhist countries such as Korea, China and Vietnam.

Referring to Chinese president Hu Jintao’s professed aim of creating a harmonious society, His Holiness said harmony cannot come from guns but from the heart because guns instill fear and destroy the trust that is essential to establishing real harmony. He said it is erroneous to call “pro-justice” people such as NGO activists and other Tibet supporters who point out the glaring drawbacks in Chinese government policies as “pro-Tibet” people.

At the press conference, a correspondent from Shinano Mainichi Shimbun newspaper remarked that interest in Tibet among Nagano people has increased tremendously since 2008 and asked if His Holiness had any message for Nagano. His Holiness said his message has always been the same wherever he goes: that of developing universal values of compassion, love and peace. But as Nagano is predominantly Buddhist, he said the local community should work towards promoting religious harmony and developing inner values to help stem the rising cases of depression and suicides common especially among young Japanese. But as a Tibetan, he said it was his duty to express his appreciation to the people of Nagano for their solidarity with the Tibetan cause.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv