Saitama, Japan – His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited the Saitama Medical University, Japan on the 26th of November. He first went to offer condolences to the family of Maruki Kiyohiro, Chairman of the University, who recently passed away.
Maruki Kiyohiro's father, Maruki Kiyomi, was the founder of the Saitama Medical University & Hospital, who invited the first five Tibetans to study in Japan in 1965. Subsequently, a total of 21 Tibetans came to Japan under the scholarship program he set up.
After lunch with the senior officials of the University and hospital His Holiness drove to the new campus where he was warmly received by members of the university, some of the original Tibetan students and their families among them.
Beginning by paying tribute to the three generations of the Maruki family His Holiness said, "The senior Maruki-san and his son who has just passed away both gave great service to others, especially the Tibetan people. Soon after we came into exile, very few knew what had happened in Tibet. Back in the day, Maruki-san senior showed great kindness to the Tibetans, which we will always remember with gratitude.
"Maruki Kiyoyuki here represents the third generation of this family who has shown concern for the Tibetan people. I would like to thank you for your promise to continue to support us as your father and grandfather did before you."
Highlighting the importance of compassion, he continued,
Young children are naturally compassionate and kind to each other. But gradually as they grow up they focus on secondary differences such as color, nationality, economic and educational background. I feel this happens because our education system over-emphasis material development while paying insufficient attention to human values."
Addressing the medical students in particular, His Holiness said that when it comes to treating the sick, showing them kindness is as important as their medical training. Citing his own experience, he said that when he has to seek treatment, if the doctors or nurses are kind he feels at ease, but if, as sometimes happens, he is given an injection in a mechanical way, with no concern for him as a human being, he feels apprehensive.
"You Japanese should smile more," he teased. "As human beings we need to show each other simple human warmth."
A doctor told His Holiness that his problem was that he often felt unable to decide whether it would be better to do this or that. His Holiness advised him to rely on people he trusted and to discuss such questions with them. He recommended maintaining a positive outlook. He similarly advised a psychiatrist, to encourage his patients to remain optimistic. To do that it's important to view things from a wider perspective. He said that when you focus solely on the problem that confronts you it can be overwhelming. Taking a wider perspective often reveals solutions
A drive from Saitama brought His Holiness to Narita, near the international airport, where he spent the night before flying back to India the next day.