Buddhists around the world must raise voice for Tibet liberation

ChennaiWritten By: N S VenkataramanUpdated: Jun 24, 2020, 03:34 PM IST

Representative Image. Tibetan Buddhist monks Photograph:(Getty)

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The present time is ripe for achieving the liberation of Tibet and restore the glory of Buddhist philosophy.

While Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya on Indian soil, the principles and philosophy of Buddhism was practised from historical times in full measure in Tibet, amongst other countries. Tibet emerged as one of the principal countries in the world, where Buddhism is the sole religion. This was so until the Chinese aggressors occupied Tibet and systematically tried to undo Buddhist culture and traditions in Tibet.

The greatest loss for Buddhists around the world was the loss of independence for Tibet when China entered the country and massacred innocent Tibetan protestors several decades back.

While the Tibetans who had to leave Tibet after Chinese aggression have been fighting for the liberation of Tibet, the world conscience has still not heard the cry of Tibetans for freedom and to protect Buddhist culture and traditions.

While it is said that Tibet has lost its freedom which is absolutely true, what has not been adequately said is that Buddhists around the world have lost the citadel of Buddhism.

There are reported to be around 535 million Buddhists in the world, spread in several countries including China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, India and others. 

Just as Muslims think that their life would not be complete without visiting Mecca and Hindus think that their life would not be complete without visiting Varanasi, Buddhists are conscious of the fact that visit to Tibet and praying at the Buddhist monastery in Tibet is a compelling necessity for them. They are now denied this opportunity.

When the government of Sri Lanka, a predominantly Buddhist country, denied a visa to His Holiness the Dalai Lama,  obeying the dictates of the Chinese government, the Buddhists in Sri Lanka did not launch any significant or meaningful protest.

While the political leaders and Buddhists in Sri Lanka utilize every opportunity to visit  Bodh Gaya in India to pay respects to Lord Buddha and pray in the sanctified place, they do not seem to be adequately concerned about the harm done to the Buddhist religion by the Chinese government occupying Tibet and destroying the Buddhist culture and tradition.

The central theme of Buddhist philosophy is adherence to non-violence, maintaining a spirit of love towards everyone and compassion for the less privileged people. Certainly, Buddhists cannot take arms to defend Tibet, even when the occupier of Tibet is an unscrupulous and dictatorial regime. But, certainly, they can use the moral force that is gained by them due to their adherence to the Buddhist philosophy, to convince the world about the need to liberate Tibet and restore the glory of the country, for the benefit of not only Buddhism but also the entire world community.

The two countries that can decisively help Tibet in getting its freedom are India and the USA, where a considerable section of citizens sympathise with the Tibetan cause and want to see a liberated Tibet soon.

The present time is ripe as the world community is now increasingly realising the ruthlessness of the Chinese government, the response of the world community and several governments to the appeal of the Buddhists around the world for doing justice to Tibet would be overwhelming.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)