His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visits Seattle

His Holiness was on a five day visit to Seattle on the subject of compassion.

I remember in 198s when I was visiting some villages in the Himalayas close to Oachghat when I had spotted some Tibetan flags at a distance. This is the same side road that you take to go to Baru Sahib.  As coincidence my friend, Kailash Chander invited me to visit the Bon Monastic Center for a Tibetan New Year Celebration.  From then on visiting Tibetans became a routine.   We would drive my motor bike till Oachghat and then walk some five miles on the dirt road to reach the Bon Monastic Center. Talking to the Abbot of the Monastery, His Holiness Jong Dong was wonderful.  His advice on compassion and love, and religious discussion was really good.  It was wonderful and refreshing to visit the Tibetans. Drinking Tibetan tea (with butter and salt) would energize us after a long walk. Joining in Tibetan prayers, watching them debate and other activity was a beautiful experience.  I made some Tibetan friends.  I learnt a few words. "Tashi Dile" which is a Tibetan "hello" and "Thuji Che" which means "Thank you."  These two words were enough to get me in communication with the Tibetan friends.  Although Guru ji told me that he knew of a few Sikhs who could speak Tibetan in Dharamsala.  

My friend bought some land close to the settlement.  Tibetans are very friendly, welcoming and loving community.  The welcome that we received and the time that I spent there is a beautiful remembrance that I will cherish all my life. 

I must confess I miss that atmosphere within my own Sikh community.  It is this welcome that I felt when I went to see the Dalai Lama on his five day visit to Seattle at WaMu Theater.  Even outside, the Tibetans came to us to wish "Sat Sri Akal" and talk to us.  I replied as "Tashi Dile" (recalling from the old days).  I started remembering the beautiful times that I spent in the village of Dolanji.  



Raj Manhas,
former Seattle Public Schools Superintendent, who works with “Seeds of Compassion” that organized Dalai Lama visit, visited the Renton Gurudwara Sahib to invite Sikhs.  He said that the Dalai Lama had asked to meet with the Indian community during his visit to Seattle.  Although most of the Sikhs had gone to Vancouver, Canada to participate in the Nagar Kirtan yet a lot were able to attend.

His Holiness was on a five day visit to Seattle on the subject of compassion.  .  He was given an honorary degree by UW President Mark Emmert and UW Board of Regents Chair Stanley Barer.  On his final day he accompanied Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rabbi David Rosen discuss youth and spiritual connection at the University of Washington.  He met with the press to discuss about the situation in China.

Aasra Magazine had requested to be allowed during the Press Conference and interview, and to cover Dalai Lama visit but the request was not accepted.  We bring to you the limited coverage that we were allowed permission.



Story courtesy of Sarab Singh
Aasra Punjabi English Magazine
PO Box 5716 Kent, WA 98064
Phone : 206-550-3154

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