“So much has changed in the last 50 years” said His Holiness, the political and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, “ China is no longer run by genuine communists, but by capitalist communists, and this is bringing more big change to the region.” His Holiness expressed hope that these changes would lead to his being allowed to return to his birthplace.
Despite wanting to return to Lhasa, and feeling occasional homesickness for Potala Palace, His Holiness said he felt happy with the freedom he felt in India. He remarked that “as a Buddhist monk, this (India) is actually my original home… and I describe myself as a son of India.”
When asked his opinion about the spread of Buddhism among young people around the world, His Holiness remarked that he “does not intend to propagate the Buddhist religion” citing a “strong conviction that different people with different beliefs should keep their own religions.” Buddhist concepts, however, can help people worldwide appreciate the value of different religions. By hearing the message of interdependence, we understand that “one’s happy life depends on other’s well-being and humanity’s well-being depends on the environment and this leads us to respect all forms of life to develop a broader more holistic view of the world.”
When asked about the Chinese response to his meeting with President Barack Obama, his Holiness joked that it made sense for the Chinese to discourage world leaders from meeting with the man they view as “not only a separatist, but also a demon.” Despite this unfavorable labeling, His Holiness concluded the interview by encouraging Tibetans to maintain their “determination and their optimism”. He said that if India, China and Tibetans continue to communicate, they will certainly “find a good solution.”