India Adventures (5): Compassion Will Prevail


People often asked me what i think about the plight of Tibet, I’m sympathetic but have not much to comment. The true is I did not know China and Tibet’s histories well enough to say much. Each seems to have their own side of the story and I lacked the true wisdom to judge. In an indirect way, my recent trip to India somewhat gave me a chance to get to know a bit more about Tibetan culture, its people, religion and history. Probably due to the fact that our Buddhist guide is a Tibetan, he sparked some interest in me to want to understand what’s really going on.

Back in Singapore, Shi’an passed me the ‘BioGraphic Novel: The 14th Dalai Lama’ by Tetsu Saiwai. I guess I’m probably one of only ones who shed tears over a ‘comic’ book. The light of the tragedy of how a peaceful loving country fell into the crutches of a deluded powerful country (or rather, its key politicians) dawned upon me.

Let’s set aside the argument that Tibet truly belongs to China. Even if so, it still does not justify violence to claim it back. What’s more, Tibet is not part of China at all, even though it may be so in the past. Both Tibet and China have very distinctive different cultures and languages. To say one belongs to other is like saying the oranges belong to the durian family. I don’t believe in violence and like most, am very much against war. Unless it’s for defense, war means extreme greed, hatred and ignorance at play. Only fools wage war – due to lack of understanding about suffering and karma. It perplexes me, for a terribly war torn country that just recovered from a world war, I would think starting another war would be the last thing on its mind?

It seems somewhat contradictory for me to say I hate to see suffering. If my empathy springs from aversion, how genuine could it be? Yet, how does one justify millions of helpless people being robbed off their rights in their own motherland? It is beyond comprehension. However, till this very day, HHDL (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama) still refuses to give an eye for an eye. He truly internalised and exemplifies the Buddha’s teaching on how hatred can NEVER be ceased by hatred. I have great admiration for his non-violent stance towards his country’s oppressors. It was not just the suffering of the Tibetans that brought tears to my eyes but that his pure uncorrupted compassion for both friends and ‘foes’ touched me deeply too. He knows very well that if he ever uses violence to retaliate, he would not only create more hatred for and from his oppressors, but let down his people as well.

It was a shocking awakening when I read about how the then young HHDL was forced to face one of the toughest decisions anyone in his twenties would ever need to. The entire country’s fate pivoted upon his one decision. Should he fight back with inadequate firearms and soldiers, the result will be devastating. Many more would have been killed and what’s left would be more grief, bitterness and hatred. Having said that, it’s sad to know at least a million Tibetans had died since the invasion. But HHDL has never loses hope. Like a true Bodhisattva, he goes around the world teaching compassion and peace, while raising awareness about Tibet. He never loses hope that one day, his genuine sincerity could melt the iron hearts of his people’s oppressors. Like a true warrior, his non-violent fight for peace will carry on.

I’m a simple Buddhist. I’m neither pro-China nor Tibet, but I’m certainly pro-peace and understanding! May all beings be well and happy. May they be free from aversion and suffering!

Next India Adventure:
Previous India Adventure: