By Phuntsok Yangchen
His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting the crowd during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Tibetan Homes Foundation School, Mussoorie on September 17, 2012. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
MUSSOORIE, September 17: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama today presided over the golden jubilee celebrations of Tibetan Homes Foundation School in Mussoorie.
Thousands of students and former alumni of the school attended the commemorations marked by the release of the golden jubilee souvenir book, presentation of the school report and traditional song and dance performances.
Other guests at the ceremony included Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, Helmut Kutin, Former President of SOS Kinderdorf International, Kasur Jetsun Pema, Ngawang Phelgyal, Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioner, and Ganesh Joshi, Member of Legislative Assembly.
The Dalai Lama in his address thanked all the contributors in the School’s 50th anniversary commemorations.
“The Homes Foundation has asked us all not to lose hope, but to keep our homeland in mind, which is very good advice,” His Holiness said.
Speaking on the growing relevance of Buddhism, the Tibetan spiritual leader noted, “today, while we learn from science, scientists are learning about the mind from us.”
“These days, it seems a lot of people seem to think Buddhism is only about prayer, when it is actually about study and maturing the mind. In order to practise you have to take account of reality, both of the external world and especially the inner world,” the Dalai Lama said.
“This is what makes our heritage so valuable and what we can be proud about.”
The 77-year-old Tibetan leader who arrived in Mussoorie soon after his escape from Tibet told the audience that the “trouble in Tibet is that uninvited guests arrived armed with guns and other weapons and set themselves up there.”
“Despite Tibet having its own system of administration and economic management, they dismissed everything we did as backward, to the extent that they would almost try to teach us how to eat tsampa,” the Dalai Lama said.
“They do not take a broad view, seeking really only to control Tibet. On the other hand, when they understand the situation, many Chinese intellectuals support our position, while the increasing numbers of Chinese Buddhists are taking a sympathetic interest in Tibetan Buddhism. In Tibet spirits are high and we in exile are free.”
The school band plays during the Tibetan Homes Foundation's Golden Jubilee celebrations in Mussoorie on September 17, 2012. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
His Holiness also recalled his memory of coming into exile and reaching Mussoorie, his first exile home in the third week of April 1959.
“I was suffering from dysentery when I reached the Indian border and after taking some rest in Bomdila, took the train from Tezpur,” the Dalai Lama said. “After I reached Birla House (His Holiness’ residence in Mussoorie), I could hear the sound of the train and felt like I was still in the train.”
“I can never forget Mussoorie because we reached here during our hardest time and stayed here for around one year,” His Holiness added.
The Tibetan spiritual leader also spoke on the initial years of the Tibetan Homes Foundation and how it was established.
After lunch, His Holiness viewed a photo exhibition covering the 50 years of the Tibetan Homes Foundation and visited the Wynberg Allen School in Mussoorie.