Source: Radio Free Europe
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, spiritual leader of Tibet and the man millions call "His Holiness," spoke in Prague this week at the Forum 2000 session on "The Risks of Globalization: Do Religions Offer a Solution or Are they Part of the Problem?"
The "simple Buddhist monk," as he calls himself, was clearly the darling of the public session on interfaith dialogue. Behind the scenes, the Dalai Lama was intensely curious about his surroundings and those around him. In private discussions, he eagerly engaged some of the world's leading religious thinkers on questions of extremism, tolerance, and faith. "All religions have both negative and positive."
Displaying an almost childlike interest and wonder, he listened attentively to Rabbi Michael Melchior, a member of the Israeli Knesset, talk about his efforts to bring together Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem; and to Zaid Ibrahim, a Muslim leader from Malaysia, who lamented the misuse of Islam by terrorists. But he never got the chance to speak of his own personal mission to see Tibet independent from China.
Last Dalai Lama?
Revered by many of the world's estimated 230 million-500 million Buddhists, the Dalai Lama considers himself the rightful ruler of Tibet, now under Chinese control. His followers believe he is the reincarnation of previous men who have held the position, and who represent Avalokitesvara, a being who embodies compassion.