Siliguri: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on December 14, shared poignant insights into Tibet’s exile and the warmth of reception in India. “We Tibetans became refugees in our own country, but here in India, we have freedom,” expressed the spiritual leader in Siliguri, West Bengal. His remarks shed light on the challenges faced in Tibet, contrasting with the embrace of affection, respect, and freedom experienced in India. The Dalai Lama reached Siliguri from Sikkim, where he will attend an auspicious Buddhist religious ceremony.
During his three-day visit to Sikkim, His Holiness Dalai Lama captivated a crowd of around 30,000 individuals with profound teachings. The event marked his return after 13 years, sparking excitement and reverence among a diverse audience. State dignitaries, Government officials, monks, and people from various walks of life flocked to Paljor Stadium, where the spiritual leader delivered his teachings.
The pilgrimage to the stadium was a spectacle, with some enthusiasts making the journey on foot and others utilising the shuttle bus service provided by the State Government. To accommodate the historic occasion, the streets leading to Paljor Stadium were transformed into a traffic-free zone, symbolising the collective respect and anticipation surrounding His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings. Paljor Stadium witnessed a remarkable congregation on December 12 as His Holiness the Dalai Lama graced the venue, imparting profound teachings to a captivated audience of around 30,000 people. The spiritual leader’s return after 13 years sparked excitement and reverence, creating an extraordinary atmosphere in Gangtok.
His Holiness shared the pavilion stage with esteemed religious figures, including His Holiness Shabdrung Rimpoche and His Eminence Tinkey Gonjang Rinpoche. The event was graced by Governor Mr Lakshman Prasad Acharya, Chief Minister Mr Prem Singh Tamang, and various state dignitaries.
The event marked the virtual inauguration of two significant projects by the State Government. The Karmapa Park project at Rumtek, Gangtok Constituency, aims to build a 52-foot-high copper statue of the 16th Karmapa. The Fambong Lho Nature Park project, with an estimated cost of 69 crores, 99 lakhs rupees, is set to be completed by March 2026.
Another initiative, the Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo Statue Project at Simik-Singtam Khamdong Constituency, East Sikkim, is led by the State Culture Department. The 50-foot statue of Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo, a revered scholar of ‘Nyingmapa’ Buddhism, will be part of the Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo Centre of Excellence, promoting mindfulness and meditation practices.