Leh, Sep 21 (IANS) Buddhist spiritual leader and active globetrotting environmentalist the Gyalwang Drukpa wants militants to get a fair share of hearing to present their side of the picture.
Even as terrorism has attained alarming proportions globally, the Gyalwang Drukpa told IANS on the International Day of Peace (Sep 21): “We are not giving a fair opportunity to listen to and understand them.”
Sitting in the Naro palace, close to the 17th century Hemis Monastery, the largest such in the Himalayas and some 45 km from Leh, the Gyalwang Drukpa, whose associates claim he has over 27 million followers across the world, said of the raging violence across the globe: “First of all, you should know what his/her problem is. There might be some problem that is irritating him or her.”
“Because they have something to talk about, let them talk and listen to them,” said the Buddhist monk, who believes the progress in life has to be made on both the spiritual and mundane fronts. He is the head of one of the oldest among Ladakh’s four major Buddhist sects.
“You know, instead of fighting and using weapons, we should talk and cooperate with them first,” he said.
Holding that fanaticism is bad and that religions are misunderstood and misinterpreted, the Gyalwang Drukpa said: “We should be looking into the origin of the religion and then practice it.”
According to him, Buddhism still represents non-violence.
“The Buddhists should not be fanatical about religiosity. They should really keep the spirituality of Buddhism, not the religiosity.”
His book, “My Crazy Tale”, released by Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra on September 16, the first day of the beginning of a once-in-12-year week-long Naropa festival near the Hemis Monastery, says violence has become a trend today.
“Perhaps, today, people either do not know the difference between a good or a bad human being, or do not care much about it,” he writes in the book, translated into English by Lobsang Thargay.
It says being a good human being is not a key theme of discussion in the world today, so people have no interest in it.
Rather, the key theme of discussions and the main news topic is killing, robbing and violence, he says in the 395-page book, published by Roli Books.
Narrating an instance of street violence thast he had witnessed, the Gyalwang Drukpa writes: “Forgetting their shopping and without really knowing what they were arguing about, the crowd started to encourage the (two) youths to fight.”
Both of them got injured and were later taken away by the police.
“I looked at the faces of the people (crowd) and they looked happy — smiling with satisfaction and speaking loudly. No one seemed unhappy that such an unnecessary incident had taken place,” he writes.
The Gyalwang Drukpa ends by saying, “So you should never let your mind indulge in bad habits because such indulgence becomes a cause of social disturbance.”
(Vishal Gulati is in Leh at the invitation of Gyalwang Drukpa for the Naropa festival that will conclude on September 22. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)