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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

The monk who inspired a hundred books

August 4, 2009

The monk who inspired a hundred books
By Vishal Gulati
Indo-Asian News Service
August 3, 2009

Dharamshala, August 3 -- It is perhaps natural
that the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader
who is revered as a spiritual guru, should
inspire writers from the Orient and the West.
Despite there being over 100 biographies and
other books on the monk, writers continue to queue for an audience with him.

Officials of the Tibetan government-in-exile,
which is based in this northern Indian hill
station, say that more biographies have been
written on their spiritual guru than on any other
spiritual leader in the world.

"I feel that there are more than 100 biographies
written on His Holiness (the Dalai Lama). Of
course, he is an idol of writers both in the
Orient and the West. His writings and ideas have
had a powerful impact on millions of people
worldwide," Thubten Samphel, secretary of the
department of information and international
relations of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), told IANS.

"Tibetan writers have also written a lot of books on the Dalai Lama," he said.

The Nobel Peace laureate himself has written two
autobiographies -- "My Land and My People" and "Freedom in Exile".

"The Dalai Lama's autobiography 'My Land and My
People' and his spiritual teachings are quite
popular among the Buddhist scholars, foreign
travellers, historians, philosophers, teachers
and social reformers," Samphel said.

Written by the Dalai Lama as a young man in
exile, "My Land and My People" is a dignified
testament that recreates the miraculous search
that identified him as the reincarnated leader of
his country. And it reveals the evolution of a
man from a gentle monk to a world leader, one
struggling to this day to free his country.

"Besides biographies, books on Buddhist
inspirational teachings, religion, culture and
world peace are much sought after. Every day we
are selling eight to 10 such books. The buyers
are mostly foreigners," Lhasang Tsering of The
Bookworm, a bookstore at McLeodganj near here
which deals with books only on Buddhism and the Dalai Lama, said.

The books that are much in demand include "Man,
Monk, Mystic", written by Chicago-based Indian
origin journalist Mayank Chhaya; "In My Own
Words: An Introduction to My Teachings and
Philosophy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama" edited
by Rajiv Mehrotra; "365 Dalai Lama: Daily Advice
from the Heart", published by HarperCollins
India; "Great Ocean", written by Roger Hicks and
Ngakpa Chogyam and "Portrait of a Dalai Lama", written by Sir Charles Bell.

James Pulitzer, a tourist from the US who was
here to have audience with the Buddhist monk,
said: "The reading of a book on the Dalai Lama is
a meditative experience. It is like having an
audience with the Dalai Lama where he could offer
you personal advice on how to generate compassion and positive thoughts.

"I have especially purchased this book, 'The Art
of Happiness at Work.'" It's in fact a sequel to
his earlier work, "The Art of Happiness: A
Handbook for Living," which contains the Dalai
Lama's message on happiness. In this book, Howard
Cutler together with the spiritual guru explores
ways to finding happiness at workplace. During my
vacations (in India), I will go through the entire book," Pulitzer said.

Born July 6, 1935 at Taktser hamlet in
northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama, 74, was
recognised at the age of two as the reincarnation
of the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso. He fled
Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese
rule in 1959, basing his Tibetan government-in-exile here.

Around 140,000 Tibetans now live in exile, over
100,000 of them in different parts of India. Over
six million Tibetans live in Tibet.

Vishal Gulati can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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