Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Russell Brand and the Dalai Lama at the Manchester Arena last weekend:

The Dalai Lama, on a ten-day tour of Britain to share his Buddhist message of peace and understanding, told the audience of under-25s "The 21st century belongs to you... You are the main people who really create the better shape of the world so therefore I think quite certain this century can be more pleasant, more peaceful and more equal."


  1. During Tibet’s wars against the Chinese Nationalists, the Dalai Lama was Thupten Gyatso, who died in 1933. In 1935, Gyatso’s soul was reincarnated, according to Tibetan Buddhist belief, in the baby who grew up to be the current Dalai Lama. In 1932 Gyatso left a “Political Last Testament,” predicting:

    “In the future, this system [Communism] will certainly be forced either from within or without on this land…If, in such an event, we fail to defend our land, the holy lamas…will be eliminated without a trace of their names remaining;…our political system…will be reduced to an empty name; my officials…will be subjugated like slaves to the enemy; and my people, subjected to fear and miseries, will be unable to endure day or night.”

    “.…we should make every effort to safeguard ourselves against this impending disaster. Use peaceful means where they are appropriate; but where they are not appropriate, do not hesitate to resort to more forceful means” (emphasis added).

    As the current Dalai Lama explains, Gyatso knew that independent Tibet could never overcome a huge nation like China. So he turned to Nepal and Bhutan and proposed, “A sort of common defense: raise an army, train it as best as possible. Just between us, this isn’t strictly practicing non-violence.” Gyatso proposed bringing young men from Kham to the capital of Lhasa. In Lhasa, they would receive “a complete military education. Politically, that was very farsighted. He was already advancing the idea that defense of a land has to be assured by the people who occupy it” (Dalai Lama with Jean-Claude Carrière, Violence and Compassion: Dialogues on Life Today).

    Gyatso’s program was never implemented. Nepal and Bhutan ignored the proposal for mutual defense. Tibetan dignitaries refused to build up the army, because they were sure that the gods would protect Tibet.

    Would Gyatso’s defense system have saved Tibet? “I’m convinced it would have,” said the current Lama.

  2. “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” (Dalai Lama-Seattle Times, May 15, 2001).