And, so I waved at the Dalai Lama

It wasn’t supposed to be a wave, no it wasn’t. It was supposed to be soaking in his presence for one whole hour and then a wave, maybe I would even shake his hand at the Penguin Annual Lecture 2011. But, even though I  had passes from two weeks ago, and even though I arrived well before it began, I was sitting in the winter sun watching the lecture on a screen, just outside the Stein Auditorium. Alas!

But, it didn’t matter, and it shouldn’t for the Dalai Lama is an incredible man. He is what I would call truly spiritual-  religion neutral, a loving heart, a curious mind…

And, that day he taught us the Art of Happiness. In a world like ours, you would think happiness is hard to come by. But, he was effortlessly calm, and cheerful and composed…and when you looked at him, you would imagine happiness as the easiest thing in the world.

It is a thing of the mind, the Dalai Lama says. Happiness is self love, and self confidence yet thinking about others. It is extending love to the world around you, expressing concern, acting out of the benefit of someone else. It is music, and all things pleasurable but it is more than that. It is about staying happy after the music is over. It isn’t prayer, it is understanding. It isn’t anger or fear, it is compassion. It is coming closer to God.

And, then he put forth so casually the easiest definition of God: Infinite Love, All-Knowing.

So unlike so many belief systems that encourage you to detach from the world. And, so unlike so many religions that force definitions of the mystery that is God…

As the convoy drove out of the India Habitat Centre, I waved, then clicked a picture for posterity.

A man came in the way.

It really wasn’t my day. But, I had learned to be happy anyway!



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2 responses to “And, so I waved at the Dalai Lama

  1. This is wonderful! I love the practical way the Dalai Lama talked about happiness, and what you wrote about not detaching from the world or forcing a definition of God. It’s so cool that you could hear him…and feel happy!

  2. Hi,

    I write to you on behalf of The Viewspaper ( which is India’s largest youth paper and the 5th largest media company on Facebook.

    We are organizing the World’s Largest Tweet-A-Thon! and would like to invite you as a panelist for the same.

    From American political journalists in the 1950s, to The Economist magazine not so long ago; speculation has run rife about India and whether we will survive as a nation.

    Poverty. Maoists. Communalism. Corruption. Terrorism. Disease. Currency woes. We’ve got it all, and more. We’ve been written off, doomsdayed, delegitimized – but we keep coming back! What is the root of this appetite for adversity, this solid resilience?

    It is our nation’s optimism. No matter how much you bring her down, India feels up!

    A first of its kind initiative, the #IFeelUp Tweetathon is a 3-day virtual conference, which delights in the irrepressible state of the nation, in spite of its laundry list of issues. Over 72 hours, we’ll be bringing in 400 panelists for non-stop discussion, and that’s where you come in.

    We would like to invite as a panelist for a 30 minute session where in you can participate from any part of the world.

    I hope you’re interested and if i could give you a call and discuss the same with you in detail.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


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