By invitation of Mongolian Buddhists and Gandantegchenlin Monastery, center of Buddhism in Mongolia, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama paid a religious visit to Mongolia on November 18-23. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso first visited Mongolia in 1979. His most recent and 9th visit began last Friday as he was welcomed at Chinggis Khaan International Airport by D.Choijamts, Khamba Lama of Gandantegchenlin Monastery.
On November 19, the following day, the Dalai Lama made an appearance in front of the Temple of Janraisig of the Gandantegchenlin to greet the public, and said, “Tibetans and Mongolians share a long-standing spiritual bond. It is great to see you all again. Though it is cold outside, may your spirit stay warm and kind”.
On the next day, His Holiness delivered a unique teaching at Buyant-Ukhaa Complex which was attended by about 12000 Mongolian Buddhists and monks and foreign followers. During the teaching, he noted, “I commend the loyalty and firmness of your faith. I have visited many western countries and even in these highly developed societies people are unhappy. Despite the material development we see in the world, people still lack peace of mind. Inner peace is beneficial to all”.
The Dalai Lama’s schedule included his participation at an international conference and dialogue which was held under the theme ‘Buddhist Science and Science’ on November 21. At the open dialogue, presentations were given under topics including ‘The value of Buddhist morals in contemporary Mongolian society’, ‘Buddhist Logic and Science’, ‘Quantum Physics and Buddhist Wisdom’ and ‘Recent Developments in Biological sciences and Buddhism’. More than 1000 participants made of scholars, international representatives, academics and students were present at the dialogue which was held for the first time in Mongolia. He also delivered a lecture specifically for youth under the theme ‘Universal Values and Buddhism in the 21st Century’ during the visit. He encouraged students to prioritize their education at the lecture.
Prior to the visit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman urged Mongolia to block the Dalai Lama’s arrival through a press briefing. As such, Foreign Minister Ts.Munkh-Orgil stated that Mongolian Government ‘has nothing to do with the visit’. He said, “The 9th visit of the Dalai Lama is purely a religious courtesy paid upon the invitation of Mongolian Gandantegchenlin Monastery”. Khamba Lama D.Choijamts also made a statement saying, “Gandantegchenlin Monastery didn’t just invite him on its own, the invitation was made based on the demand of the Mongolian faithful. Mongolian Buddhists usually travel a long way to see and attend the teaching of the Dalai Lama”.
To attend the Dalai Lama’s teaching, many people from remote provinces travelled to Ulaanbaatar last Sunday. The Khamba Lama also said, “His Holiness previously turned down several of our invitations due to circumstances in the international arena. The purpose of his visits to Mongolia are always clear. He delivers Buddhist teachings and graces Mongolian Buddhists with his presence. His Holiness doesn’t engage in politics when he visits Mongolia”. 60 percent of Mongolians identify as Buddhists, he conveyed. D.Choijamts added, “Buddhism teaches about peace and unity. In this time where morality is challenged in all ways, it’s important to have faith in peace and kindness”. The Dalai Lama’s 9th visit concluded on November 23, Wednesday.
The article is included in Mongol Messenger's issue No. 47 for November 25.