New Delhi: Tibetan spiritual leader the
Dalai Lama on Wednesday attended the four-day congregation of
Buddhist monks and scholars that triggered a diplomatic row
between India and China and led to the postponement of border
Joining the conference organised by Asoka Mission on the
last day, the Dalai Lama refused to comment on Chinese
objections to his presence at the religious event.
He restricted his discourse to issues pertaining to
Buddhism and peace in line with assertions from his office
that the meet was a purely religious event with no political
"It is a political question. No comments," he told
journalists on the sidelines of the event after a press
conference scheduled to be held by him was called off at the
last minute without any reasons being given.
He was responding to a question on Chinese accusations
that India provided him the platform for participating in this
conference of Buddhist monks.
Sources suggested that the Dalai Lama did not answer the
"political question" since he feels political issues related
to Tibet can now be answered only by the elected leader of the
The Buddhist congregation, the first-of-its-kind to take
place in the country, which began on Sunday was a source of
latest friction between India and China as New Delhi`s
reluctance to call off the meet led Beijing to postpone the
border talks which were to be held last Monday.
While China treats the Tibetan spiritual leader as
persona non grata, New Delhi has maintained that he is
respectable religious leader and in a democratic country there
is no restriction on freedom of speech.
Addressing the valedictory session, the Dalai Lama ruled
that the "quality" of Buddhist monks is deteriorating as they
don`t themselves don`t follow what they preach to others.
"I must say that the quality is deteriorating among
Buddhist monks. How will you teach others when you don`t
follow what the Buddha stood for. If you are right, Buddha
will be with you, otherwise not," he said.
Beginning the day by leading an all-faith prayer meet at
Gandhi Smriti, the Dalai Lama also planted "Bodhi tree"
saplings from Sri Lanka, from Saraswati in Uttar Pradesh`s
Gonda district and Bodhgaya.
He met representatives of different Buddhist traditions
gathered from several countries and advocated increased
interactions and discussions among them to fill existing
"There are some gaps that exist between Pali and Sanskrit
traditions of Buddhism. There is a big wall that is not too
good. We must come together as we have a lot of things to
learn from each other. More regular meetings and serious
discussions are very very essential," he told monks from as
many as 46 countries, including US, Australia and the UK.
Calling 20th century an era of "bloodshed and violence",
he said efforts should be made by every country to make 21st
century a "peaceful" one and that all should contribute in
building a "better world" where all sections and races can
Contending that peace can never be achieved by
"declaration and resolution", the Dalai Lama said peace should
be achieved in one`s self first which is the right way.
"Just praying to god is not enough. We should follow the
principles taught by the god. No lip service can be accepted.
People don`t bother about other`s rights. Indian people are
very religious, they pray to god all the time," he said.
The Dalai Lama said there is a lot of corruption inside
"people`s mind" which should be removed.