In a message given in Tibetan at the end of VOA China Branch’s interview with the Dalai Lama, on Wednesday, the Tibetan leader urged Tibetans inside Tibet and also in exile to preserve and promote the unique Tibetan religion and culture. He said, “Although I am physically separated from Tibet for the past forty-four years, in my mind I am never separated from Tibet; I always pray for Tibet, and I always try to do things that are beneficial for Tibet.”
In today’s world, he said, many changes are taking place and Tibetans must keep up with them. In particular, he urged Tibetans to get a good modern education because one of the factors of Tibet’s backwardness was that the previous generation did not take an interest in modern education and that was a huge mistake. Now in addition to getting a modern education, Tibetans must study their own “unique and invaluable religion and cultural heritage.”
“Unlike many years ago,” he said, “today Tibet and Tibetans are quite well known in the world and other people are taking an interest in Tibetan religion and culture. It is extremely important for Tibetans to study and get proper training in Buddhism instead of just having a faith—having faith alone is not sufficient, understanding the essence and deeper meaning of Buddhism is extremely important.”
The preservation of Tibetan culture not only benefits Tibetans, the Dalai Lama said, but also the People’s Republic of China and the world at large. Today many problems arise from the lack of peace of mind. Tibetan religion and culture can contribute to a healthy mind and body and lead to a meaningful life, the Dalai Lama added.