Dharamsala: - His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje visited the Tibetan Transit School (TTS) in Dharamsala, northern India, on April 16. He inaugurated a giant mani prayer wheel and addressed staff and students.
His Holiness told the audience that all Tibetans who flee Tibet for India are equal, face the same problems and perhaps hold the same hopes and dreams.
"I have visited TTS twice before," he said, "and the students' conditions have improved.
"I hear that student numbers have gone down from around 700 to 400, due to the reduction in new arrivals from Tibet. The number of students isn't important. What should be remembered are the various reasons Tibetans leave Tibet. I hear that some come to India as a means of then moving on to other countries, many come to study Tibetan language, and many come hoping for an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama."
His Holiness continued, "Every single Tibetan life is important and should not be wasted, because Tibetans are in the minority. We are facing the biggest ever difficulties in our history, so to be selfish and focus on the trivialities of life is not enough. We must avoid being narrow-minded, but rather take a broad perspective. You should use your lives to affect the future of Tibet."
He added that, since 2008, protests in Tibet have been continuous and many people have sacrificed their lives.
"When these sacrifices occur, we all feel pain and sadness, and wonder what we can do. We must think not only in the short term about demonstrations and protests, but also in the longer term. Therefore study is important."
TTS school captain, Phurbu Nyima, explained to the audience that the giant prayer wheel was constructed voluntarily by students, and financed with the surplus of funds raised last year for the students to attend Kalachakra in Bodhgaya. Around 1.6 million rupees were donated, with over 110,000 rupees remaining after Kalachakra.
Nyima said the prayer wheel is dedicated to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's long life, to those Tibetans who have died in the struggle for Tibet, and to those Tibetans who are buried in the old cemetery on which the TTS building was constructed.