Thupten Paljor, a senior Tibetan living in Dharamshala, India for nearly two and a half decades. Photo: TPI/Dawa Tsering

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Dharamshala, India — TPI Reporter Dawa Tsering interviewed Thuptan Paljor, about his expriences of attending the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama over 24 years. Paljor who is a senior Tibetan living in Dharamshala, India for nearly two and a half decades, talks about how he practices buddhism as a beginner and the importance of Buddhism in his life.

He also explains how it is difficult for those without the necessary experience or basic knowledge of Buddhism.

Q1) How many years you have been attending teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama?

A1) Over past 24 years, since I settled in Dharamshala and actually I have been attending His Holiness' teaching for numerous times that the exact number I couldn't count but for me, I think the number doesn't matter until you possess a genuine heart and mind.

Q2) Do you feel it really helps in your daily life like by attending His Holiness' teaching, or are you simply attending out of faith?

A2) As I am illiterate and I know not much about the Buddhist scriptures and philosophy, but I always feel like the teachings of Buddha are very helpful. It's not only about a feeling but it also a reality. That's the reason why so many foreigners came here to seek His Holiness Dalai Lama's blessing. Even I don't simply follow his messages because of faith, but I follow sermons since it was about truth and reality, a strategy to live more happier and humble life.

Q3) Can you describe us gist about the scenario of today's teaching at the main Temple in Dharamshala, India?

A3) I was explained by my friends that today's teaching is specially for the Mongolian Buddhists from Russia but His Holiness the Dalai Lama's every teaching is important to us. There are devotees of both Tibetan and foreigners, mostly Mongolians, but unfortunately His Holiness left early because of his recent health issue.

Q4) What is your feeling at that moment when His Holiness stood up from the seat to leave the preaching courtyard which is not the normal schedule to leave at such time?

A4) Everybody knows the reason to leave early and more over we don't feel bad about his departure but I think everyone is anxious about his health. We all hope and prayed for his full recovery. As long as His Holiness the Dalai Lama is healthy and fine, we can enjoy more teachings from His Holiness. So, I only wished him soon be back in healthy state and nothing more.

Q5) What changes did you feel or see within yourself, both mentally and physically, from today's short teaching of His Holiness the Dalai Lama?

A5) For me, as I already told you that I am illiterate, I don't exactly understood his messages completely but what I always knew is, his every teaching informs about being a good person and living a meaningful life. He talks about compassion, love, harmony, generiosity and so on. These are not just philosophical views to learn but are also necessary and must in one's life to live happily in this strange world, and me too feel the same. I always put maximum effort in following his teachings which actually help me to become a better human being but as a common devotee, I can't truly always follow the exact messages of His Holiness and I feel bad too about that.

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