Video: Ann Curry's full interview with the Dalai Lama

NBC News
updated 4/12/2008 7:59:46 AM ET 2008-04-12T11:59:46

NBC News' Ann Curry talked today with the Dalai Lama upon his arrival into Seattle for a five-day conference.  The interview aired this evening on "Nightly News" and will continue Monday on "Today." Below is the full transcript

ANN CURRY:

You've come to America to encourage compassion, and yet it seems, you come as you are suffering, Tibet is suffering. 

In the recent hours you have been troubled, yes?

DALAI LAMA:

Yes.  Yes.

ANN CURRY:

Tell me why? What is the burden for you, to see what you are seeing?

DALAI LAMA:

Now, reason be it, after 10th of March-- I had for-- the same experience-- that was-- 10th-- after 10th of March in 1959.  It was a week in Lhasa.  A lot of sort of anxiety-- a lot of fear.

ANN CURRY:

You felt anxiety--

DALAI LAMA:

At that time, at that time.

ANN CURRY:

--and fear?

DALAI LAMA:

Uh-huh (AFFIRM).  So, similar experience now, this time also, after 10th of March.  Afternoon, 10th of March, I received information.  People in certain area of Lhasa, now moving for demonstrations.  As soon as I heard this and that information, then I-- felt, oh, now, our people-- are going to suffer.  That's a definite.  So, then eventually, not only in Lhasa area, but entire Tibetan sort of area.  That means-- beside autonomous region of Tibet, but other four Chinese provinces. My own-- birthplace, Qinghai, and Gansu, Sichuan, and Yunnan.  Actually, in these four Chinese provinces, around 4 million Tibetans usually exi-- live in this area.  So, almost now entire Tibetan population now expressed their deep resentment and angering those student in Peking (PH). They also-- expressed that way.  So, sorry, and anyway, I really, eh, uh, feel uh of course, fear, much anxiety, anguish.  And the also feeling of helplessness.  Only pray.

ANN CURRY:

Helpless?

DALAI LAMA:

Uh-huh (AFFIRM).

ANN CURRY:

China says you're not helpless.  China blames you for it. (LAUGHTER) It calls you, "A wolf in monk's clothes.  A devil with a human face.  A terrorist."  Are you a terrorist?

DALAI LAMA:

(LAUGHTER) You should judge. (LAUGHS) Is sometimes you see uh the wolf with Buddhist robe during Cultural Revolution, now these words is used.  So, now again, you see they use these uh also they-- these old words.  Okay, doesn't matter.  But one thing I really consider is-- (SNIFF) uh because of official propaganda, millions of innocent Chinese in mainland China, who have no sort of, I would call access to know through sort of third information or some more, I think realistic information. uh they're only relying, they have to rely on their own, how to say, government sources. So, if those innocent Chinese, very sincere Chinese brothers, sisters-- millions of these people really feel-- how-- is something uh demon.  (LAUGHS) Then I feel really sad.  But otherwise no problem.  Whatever you call me-- people call me-- I'm still a human being. (LAUGHTER) I'm still a simple Buddhist monk, and that's all.  No problem. And in fact, as a Buddhist practitioner, this is-- now, this is real sort of test period that I sincerely practicing, sort of Buddhist teaching.  Teaching of compassion, tolerance, and these things.  If because of such sort of circumstances, if I lose my temper, heated. Then that means I'm not really sincere Buddhist practitioner. So, these are for practitioners, (UNINTEL PHRASE) Golden Period.

ANN CURRY:

A Golden Period?

DALAI LAMA:

Uh-huh (AFFIRM).

ANN CURRY:

Is this a period in which you are, as the Chinese government says, did you or your government encourage any of these protests in Tibet, in London, in Paris--

DALAI LAMA:

No.

ANN CURRY:

--in San Francisco?

DALAI LAMA:

No.

ANN CURRY:

And elsewhere?

DALAI LAMA:

In fact uh soon after crises happen.  I express now, of course the expression of uh  defeating is the freedom of expression or speech.  However, we must carry these strictly non-violence.  If people indulge violence, and violence become out of control, then my option is, my choice is, I resign.

ANN CURRY:

You resign as Dalai Lama?

DALAI LAMA:

uh, Dalai Lama I don't know. (LAUGHTER)

ANN CURRY:

Resign as what?

DALAI LAMA:

Resign from responsibility of our struggle. As early as-- '87, '88 I remember, is-- one of my close friend, Jonathan Mirsky.  I think, London Observer, sort of correspondent.  He, at that time, ask, "If things become more violent, then what do you do?"  And I immediately responded, "If the violence become out of control uh there is no other choice except, resign."  I told.  So, this once more I repeated this. And it makes uh  seems to some effect, some Tibetan.  Uh then (pause) then also uh I appeal Chinese community all over the world, and particularly in mainland China.  We are not anti-Chinese.  We always respect and admire this Chinese civilization and Chinese people.  And, as a Tibetan, almost 2,000 years we live side by side. Occasionally, some unfortunate event also there.  But most cases we live happily.  So, therefore, and also, as a Buddhist monk, I always consider our Chinese Buddhist brothers, sisters as a elder student of uh Buddha.  We are younger. Whenever I give some teaching to our Chinese brother, sisters, I always firstly, sharing my respect.  I'm junior, or younger student.  Or, occasionally, I also make joke.  Maybe as I knowledge is concerned, junior student may be little better. (LAUGHTER) So.  So, emotionally, also you see, they very close.  I always admire.  And then, in-- as a matter of fact, some people from China-- most populated nation.

ANN CURRY:

Yes.

DALAI LAMA:

So, we must respect.  We must accept that reality.  Some kind of negative feeling towards them is useless, unjust.  And then, also, they, what say they, what what call they uh Olympic Game. Right from the beginning, I support that ancient nation, most public nation, now, really deserve to host for this uh world famous Olympic game.  And then after now this well, what do you want to call uh Olympic to, tore-- torch.

ANN CURRY:

Torch.

DALAI LAMA:

After some uh unpleasant, sort of event in happened in England and Paris, I sent a message to Tibetan in San Francisco area, please don't uh create any violent things.  I sent a message.

ANN CURRY:

Is your message that the protests stop?  Or, that the violence stop?

DALAI LAMA:

Violence.  Violence--

ANN CURRY:

So, you are supporting the protests?

DALAI LAMA:

The protest?  Firstly, I myself, fully committed about democracy, the right of expression, the freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, among Tibetan.  Those Tibetan who directly criticize me, I respect their expression. (PAUSE) It is part of practice of criticism.  And part of, part of democracy.  So, therefore, see, I cannot say, "Shut up." (CHUCKLES) Even as a critizi, criticism towards me, or criticism of do-- criticism about Buddhism now among Tibetan.  Now, we can't stop these things.

ANN CURRY:

There is a strong feeling though, in China, specifically from its President Hu, who says you are fanning and masterminding the unrest in Tibet.  And that you are trying to sabotage the Olympics.  Do you want the world to boycott the Olympic--

DALAI LAMA:

No.

ANN CURRY:

--Games, to support your--

DALAI LAMA:

No.

ANN CURRY:

--efforts in Tibet?

DALAI LAMA:

No.

ANN CURRY:

Do you wish the President of the United States, and other world leaders might consider not attending the open ceremonies in support of your efforts in Tibet?

DALAI LAMA:

That's up to them.

ANN CURRY:

Do you wish they would?

DALAI LAMA:

I wish, basically, their world event, game event should be uh should take place smoothly.  Uh but whether you see individual leader, go down or not,  that also up to them. (LAUGHS) That individual right.

ANN CURRY:

Would it please you if world leaders say, "We care about Tibet, so we want to make a statement, and not attend the opening ceremonies"?  Would it please you?  Would it be important?

DALAI LAMA:

I heard there is some leaders already decided not to go there.

ANN CURRY:

Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain.

DALAI LAMA:

That...

ANN CURRY:

And Nicholas Sarkozy is considering--

                (OVERTALK)

DALAI LAMA:

I tell you--

ANN CURRY:

--of France.

DALAI LAMA:

--it is very important that you see, make clear, not only just the Tibet case.  But in China proper, the record of human right is poor.  And religious freedom, also very poor.  Oh, this reminds us the-- Tiananmen event.

ANN CURRY:

Tiananmen Square?

DALAI LAMA:

Thousands of people, particularly young people was crushed.  So, I think that I think.  I'm still-- you see, I think thousands of Chinese brother, sisters, particularly-- many ladies, who lost-- either their-- son, or-- or is it their husband, or their friend like that.  So many of them still feel very, very sort of sad.  I think, now, we should remind some of these things.  And after all, the Chinese leaders, I think, last-- now last-- 60 years, if we watch carefully.  I usually describe Mao's era, Deng Xiaoping's era, Jiang Zemin's era, Hu Jintao's era, if you look closely, the leaders at different time, I think, they had according to new reality. Now, there's Hu Jintao uh very much emphasis-- the importance of uh build harmonious society.  That is, I think, very sort of I think, very-- I think, very right, according to new reality.  Now, economy, prosperity, these things are-- and going well. Now, important is this get rich and poor, reduce.  And then also, the different ethnic, including Tibetan, including national, I don't know, whatever you call, the unity, harmony is very essential.  Now, for that, they equality.  I think, the harmony, very much based on trust. Without trust, we fear.  Harmony is impossible.  A trust must develop.  For trust, more freedom, more equality.  Let them speak.  Or, Chairman Mao, see, often used to say the Communist Party, without self-criticism, and criticism from other cannot survive. Like fish without water.  Once, says Chairman Mao, only he himself not very sincerely practice these things.  But I think, these are really wonderful.  And that also (UNINTEL PHRASE) seeking truth from fact.  These are scientific and very realistic.  So basically, I think the leadership in these four periods, I think uh their approach, I-- I feel, more realistic. So therefore, now, under the leadership as-- Hu Jintao , present President Hu Jintao.  I think China eventually may open more uh open society.  I think, that's the interest for everyone.  So, I think the people will outside world, in particular these present leaders of nations' leaders, I think, should remind, not only just Tibet case, but they must remind the sitting Chinese, uh People's Republic of China as a a whole. In China, mostly important, most important nation and very very important member of the humanity.  Now, in order to carry more, sort of, what's responsibility, more effective responsibility, the Chinese moral authority must improve.

ANN CURRY:

So, to remind China of this, you think that the world must send a message to China--

DALAI LAMA:

That's important--

ANN CURRY:

--that you must rise, not only as an economic power, but one that supports human rights?

DALAI LAMA:

Yes.

ANN CURRY:

So, are you saying then, the answer is yes?  That you would wish world leaders, in some way, to make a statement?  Whether it's not attending the opening ceremonies, or in some way, you wish world leaders to make a statement to China on this?  Is this correct?

DALAI LAMA:

Yes.  It reminds them, in order to be a respected, important member of the humanity, in certain field, not only economy impro-- improvement, but in certain field, must improve.  That's, I think, important.  And Chinese people want that.

ANN CURRY:

Are you saying it would be significant, and that you could support world leaders boycotting the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games?

DALAI LAMA:

That I don't know.  That I don't know.  Generally, as I mentioned earlier, in principle, I fully support the-- the Olympic Game.  And--

                        (OVERTALK)

ANN CURRY:

I meant the opening ceremonies.

DALAI LAMA:

--and opening ceremony, all part of that.  (PAUSE) That, I feel up to that, those leaders individual.  They also have wisdom.  Should be, enough wisdom. (LAUGHTER) So, according their wisdom, they should judge.

ANN CURRY:

They should judge?

DALAI LAMA:

Yeah.

ANN CURRY:

But if they don't boycott the opening ceremonies, then you say, they should make some statement to China?

DALAI LAMA:

I think-- publicly or behind scene, I think, from time to time, others-- many leaders do that.  I think that is very, very important.  And then, not only the, these leaders.  Be it, the media, as well as the uh student, and sort of scholar, or is the exchange scholarships, and also, professors, visiting professors.  Everybody.  And including businessman.

ANN CURRY:

But if not-- but if not to boycott the Olympic opening ceremonies, if you're not calling on world leaders to do that.  If you're saying, "I leave it up to you," here's the question.  For 50 years, you have wanted the world to pay attention to the suffering in Tibet.  Now, the world is listening.  What do you want the world specifically to do?

DALAI LAMA:

I think, for immediate, uh immediate, firstly, now, at least according, the-- up to date information.  Of course, now, this information is difficult to crosscheck.  But uh generally, seems to say, few hundred people kept.  And a few thousands, I think serious injuries.  But these injury - inside Tibet.  Now, these, no medical facility.  And there are very, very fear to approach the Chinese hospital or these things.  So, I think, immense sort of suffering, callousness (UNINTEL PHRASE) injure, injured people.  And in some cases-- the people, uh, re, escaped, escaped from the town or monastery, and remain in mountain, without any sort of, what's now,  food-- food stuff and these things. So, they are really danger of starvation.  I heard there is some starvation already is happen.  So-- I-- right from the beginning, I appeal world community, please send some uh medical facilities, some doctors.  And then also, media people go there, investigate, including their accusation about me, towards me that those Tibetan outside.  Now, please carry terror investigation, on the spot, and including investigators, as a people, who investigate, including some Chinese.  Come to Dansala (PH) .  Most welcome.  Please.  Watch.  Resources.  Check.  Investigate.

                        (OVERTALK)

DALAI LAMA:

Whether we created these problems or not. (LAUGHS)

ANN CURRY:

China--

DALAI LAMA:

So, these are immediate so necessary.  Go.  Some medical help.  Then second, try to investigate, on the spot, what is the reason?  What is wrong?  Nobody want-- these troubles, Chinese government or Tibetan.  We want peace.  Peace life.  Peaceful life.  And stability.  We really want stability.  Through stability, the prosperity, or various activities regarding preservation of Tibetan culture. All these things.  Stability is the basis.  So, we must in order to avoid, how you say,  crisis.  We must-- know that-- that the reasons, the causes, and the conditions.  So uh  as as I had mentioned earlier, you see, I think, world community have the moral responsibility to help, fact finding, or seeking truth from fact.  That's the reporter.  I think, unfortunately, some local officials sometimes, I think, they are quite expert, pretend, hide the reality.  Showing something artificial.  Now, there's the problem.  That's problem. Unlike India.  They are huge country.  Almost,  South India and North India, in the different places, almost like, I see, different nation.  Different language.  There's a different culture.  Different behavior.  But these problems-- problems there-- and all problems immediately come out.  Nothing is (UNINTEL PHRASE) height.  In China's case, those totalitarian regions' case.  So, officially things looks smooth.  But underneath, a lot of resentment.  Now--

                        (OVERTALK)

DALAI LAMA:

--this must come out.  And accept that.  And then, realistically approach these problem.  So, therefore, I think for,  to the central government, I think, there's some independent type of investigation.  What is going on?  What went wrong?  I think it is very very useful to help central government, to know the reality.

ANN CURRY:

China says about 20 people were killed during the arrests in Tibet.  You just said, hundreds, you believe, were killed?  This is information you're getting?

DALAI LAMA:

Uh-huh (AFFIRM).  Oh, I-- I mean, you see, the-- I-- I think, maybe when Chinese say, I can only, autonomous region of Tibet, maybe.  I don't know.  I don't know.  But it seems, you see, they-- outside the the autonomous region of Tibet, this area very remote.  And many don't, deh, what's it called, what's say, normantic (PH), very remote area.  So, I really very much worry, as-- what's-- what is happening in this area?

ANN CURRY:

Let's talk about resolution.  This week, President Bush said, quote, "It would stand the government of China, in good stead, if they would begin a dialogue with representatives of the Dalai Lama."  What contact do you have with China?  Are you now willing to go to Beijing?

DALAI LAMA:

That's (my part??).  Anywhere, uh anytime, always ready--(OVERTALK)

ANN CURRY:

You're ready to go to Beijing?

DALAI LAMA:

--not busy.  That's uh now, if without sort of proper preparation, just to go Peking.  I think Tibetans, I think a Dalai Lama visit uh Beijing-- I think they may, I said, they put a lot of sort of hope, or whatever expectations.

ANN CURRY:

So, you're not resolved about whether you will go to Beijing?

DALAI LAMA:

So, I don't know.  You see, if I my go Peking, and nothing happen?  Then I think Tibetan I think it may get great disappointment.  Therefore, visit to Peking, we need some preparation.  But other, otherside, outside. no problem, anywhere, anytime.

ANN CURRY:

Let me put it this way, China is listening to this interview.  What is your message to the Chinese leadership?

DALAI LAMA:

(LAUGHTER) I already, you see-- wrote a letter to Chinese leaders, and also I appeal with my whole....

DALAI LAMA:

(LAUGHTER) I already, you see--wrote a letter to Chinese leaders, and also I appeal with my whole--hopeful hand to the millions of Han brother, sisters already. My main point is, we are not-- the Chinese public, they are not against you.  Always just respect you, admire you.  And so these-- past mistake-- we feel sympathy-- with them.  

CURRY:

You have sympathy for China?

DALAI LAMA:

Oh, yes, like Tiananmen event.  Same! Now, also is-- I heard is-- some Chinese killed during this-- period.  We pray together. No differences. Same human beings. So, now-- so-- the-- secondly, for Olympic-- right from beginning, I already support that. Still, I'm supporting. And I'm not seeking separation.  I fully committed-- my-- I call, mid-riff (?) approach.  And that means-- we want mutually a good solution. Because we are backward, Tibet area. Backward materially. Spiritually, very advanced.  But as-- therefore, as far as material development is concerned, Tibet remains retained-- big country, big nation, people from-- China. We get greater benefit about economy development.  But right at-- we must-- have certain subtle, or s-- system-- which can be full guarantee about preservation of Tibetan-- culture, including-- Tibetan language, and Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

CURRY:

You call it genocide, a cultural genocide--

DALAI LAMA:

Yes.

CURRY:

--is happening in Tibet?  You describe enormous suffering.  Be specific.  I mean, you say, "cultural genocide".  What is happening in your view, in Tibet, to cause this unrest?

DALAI LAMA:

I usually s-- always say, whether intentionally, or unintentionally, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place.  Unintentionally, means because of overwhelming Chinese population, now in Lhasa for example.  Lhasa, 2/3s of the population, out of 300,000, are Chinese.  Shopkeepers, restaurant-- all these Han Chinese. So, the minority Tibetan in-- in same sort of area.  All their daily life they have to speak-- they have to use Chinese more than Tibetan.  So, Tibetan language become something useless.  Therefore-- some-- or say these-- some parent or the student-- Tibetan, they, although they respect, you see, our language.  But in practical reason, they advise their children not better to learn Han-- the Chinese language.  Tibetan language is-- in order to seek jobs, or some better sort of-- or s-- opportunities--

CURRY:

Opportunities?

DALAI LAMA:

--the Chinese language is more important.  But these are-- because of the overwhelming, sort of, condition, or sort of circumstances, the Tibetan language becoming insignificant, or sometimes deliberately negligent number one. Then also, you see, the-- I met one-- some Tibetan student, who can speak only Chinese, not Tibetan. Now they say, they-- in their native place, they say they-- no opportunity to study Tibetan.  So, they ask Chinese authority-- "We want to study Tibetan."  That-- authority, in some area-- responded, "Ah, no use learning Tibetan."  So, that kind of s-- situation.  Not necessarily deliberately.  Some-- bad intention.  Not necessarily.  In meantime, the-- another factor, intentionally.  That means-- few years ago, one party secretary in Lhasa, his name, I think, TunGunYa. He mentioned in a party meeting the real source of threat of Tibetan separation from China, is the Tibetan Buddhist faith. So, they consider Tibetan Buddhist faith is dangerous. So, they have political, sort of motivations-- starting, out of the fear. See, that kind of attitude. So, therefore, you see, they deliberately-- put restrictions on Buddhist study.  And the student and officials-- banned to keep their Buddha-- in there-- or the others-- Buddha like that.  But many of them which is secretly-- keep (LAUGHTER) some Buddhist statue like that.  But their officials are like-- it's banning.  The officials and the student.  And the-- curriculum, text, there's some word which religious significant there.  They actually, deliberately is-- removing these things since, I think, last-- a few decades like that. So, these are-- and then, in the monastery, or nunnery, political education. (LAUGHTER) So, these are deliberate sort of methods-- in order to diminish the Buddhist sort of faith, or Buddhist sort of, what is, study like that.  So, that's part of intentionally. So, from both sides-- I-- I notice this as Tibetan, who born in India-- and Tibetan who come from Tibet. It clear sort of, what is-- what's the-- the differences.  You see, those Tibetan who come from Tibet, from our own land, you see, they-- their behavior, even-- local Indian people are-- sometimes, you see, express.  Those Tibetan who come in early '60s, they are very gentle, never quarrel with local population.  And after '80s and '90s-- some new Tibetan-- some Tibetan-- new face.  These are little bit different. (LAUGHTER) There's some locally there, you see--

(OVERTALK)

CURRY:

Because they've lost themselves?

DALAI LAMA:

Uh-huh (AFFIRM).  Their--

CURRY:

They're lost?

               

DALAI LAMA:

--cultural heritage.  More peaceful, more compassionate.  Now that damaged, or degenerate.  So, these are the sign of-- so-- disappearing Tibetan Buddhist culture-- Buddhist way of thinking. 

ANN CURRY:

Throughout history, nations have been absorbed by bigger states.  Often those nations which have stood and fight-- Often those nations that have stood and fight have won.  What has non-violence given the Tibetan people?

THE DALAI LAMA:

Mahatma Gandhi has a certain method.  And also the-- Luther King.  Martin Luther King, I think, one of the real admirer of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy.  And he, himself, implement and also Nelson Mandela.  Except his early part was different. So, the non-violent and any way, I think non-violent method is something, I mean, not something very unique, I feel non-violent is real human way struggle for our, for certain right. And also, very very realistic according to this reality.

ANN CURRY:

But some young Tibetans say--

THE DALAI LAMA:

Ah.

ANN CURRY:

--this is wrong.

THE DALAI LAMA:

Hmm.

ANN CURRY:

Some young Tibetans say, it is time.

THE DALAI LAMA:

Hmm.

ANN CURRY:

Because of the attention before The Olympics. The world is watching for real change to come to Tibet.

THE DALAI LAMA:

Hmm.

ANN CURRY:

Violence might be required.

THE DALAI LAMA:

Hmm.

ANN CURRY:

Your reaction.

THE DALAI LAMA:

This is too simplified. (CHUCKLES) And this, I think, ideas or talks come from emotion, not from intelligence. Even the United States, super power (CHUCKLES) too much using violence or force. Not really successful. (CHUCKLES) In Iran, or Iraq, and Afghanistan, not really successful. So this is the new reality. And China. Very strong army. This solution relying on using force.  It's old-fashioned.

ANN CURRY:

Is violence ever justified?

THE DALAI LAMA:

No.

ANN CURRY:

Never.

THE DALAI LAMA:

No. In theoretically, yes. You can say in certain-- under certain circumstances. Provided your motivation is good. Your goal is larger interest for larger people and a just cause. Theoretically, a violent method can be permissible, but in practical level, I feel always better avoid using violence. So, those Tibetans, yes, like some Tibetan youth organizations. Other generally youth organization, they also see, agree non-violent method. But some individual, yes, they criticize about our approach.  And very much so are including violent. And they prefer that. But then-- since-- what's it been, now I think, 20, 30 years. They say I have a lot of argument with them.  Saying--violence, some kind of very rough sort of method. Words. What are called Mujahadeens. These, like Palestines or some--yes, Mujahedeens in Afghan or like that. It is a word. And a word can easily express. But implementation. Even you want violent method, very difficult. In our case, Tibet case, violent method is almost like suicide. Not only against our principle, but also practically. Suicide. No use. So, if you think then I--I feel, after all, Tibetan problem must of solved between Chinese and Tibetan. Han Chinese brothers and sisters. Their help is immense important.

For that reason, if we take bloodshed method, the laws of the Chinese they will feel something difficult. Because we already, now we prove, we follow sincerely, non-violent method, non-violent principle. And secondly, not seeking independence.  Therefore, many Chinese scholars, many Chinese intellectuals, many Chinese history, artists and many officials, deep inside, very sympathetic to us. And very supportive. I feel that is-- a result of our approach.  I feel like that.

ANN CURRY:

You are a realist.  In your darkest moments, as you have suffered, you said at the beginning of this interview.  You, yourself, have suffered, thinking of the suffering.

THE DALAI LAMA:

Hmm.

ANN CURRY:

That's going on.  In your darkest moments, do you fear, as a realist, for the survival of Tibet?  Do you fear the possibility that you might be the last Dalai Lama?

THE DALAI LAMA:

That's Okay.  That is not a-- a problem.

ANN CURRY:

Why is that Okay?

THE DALAI LAMA:

It's not a problem.

ANN CURRY:

It might be a problem for the Tibetan people.

THE DALAI LAMA:

The Tibetan people-- as early as '69, I made clear, whether the Dalai Lama institution should continue or not for the Tibetan people.  It doesn't matter.

ANN CURRY:

Then what does matter?

THE DALAI LAMA:

Tibetan nation.  Tibetan culture.  Tibetan Buddhist culture. I think culture of compassion.

ANN CURRY:

Compassion.

THE DALAI LAMA:

And Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.  Or Buddhist-- Buddhist knowledge. I think-- I think one of the ancient treasure of India. Now not only ancient treasure of East, but also relevant to today's world. Now, the next few days here.  How do you say--my program.

ANN CURRY:

Yes, Seeds of Compassion.

THE DALAI LAMA:

Actually, some kind of seminar or discussion. How to utilize some of these ancient in-- Indian treasure. You see, to improve our health.  Health means not only physical health but also mental health.

ANN CURRY:

And--

THE DALAI LAMA:

And-- and through that way, how to-- how to-- how to become a happier human individual. Happy human family and human community. That is, I think, very, very important. Now-- now to the first century. Inspite of many material development, individual cases, human being, even billionaire or leaders mentally, emotionally, deep inside are not very happy. Very-- too much stress and unhappy person. I-- I can see it is so.  Now, for example here-- I-- in spite many difficulties, many sort of anxieties, or fear, and feeling of helplessness. But, at least, since the 10th of March, into-- intellectual level or certain level, lot of worry. Lot of sort of suspicion or lot of sort of expectation. Lots of sort of imagination. Many, many things. Unrest.  But-- among the intelligence-- certain intelligence.  Now, for example, realistic, realize the situation. The suffering which we are facing. I am facing. We are facing. Including myself, I am facing. If there is way to overcome, then no need worry. If there's no way to overcome. no need worry. I really believe that. So some intelligence side is thinking these lines send some signal on my emotion. So emotion--inspite some sort of turmoil in intelligence side, but the emotional side still calm. As a result, now since tenth of March my sleep never disturbed. (CHUCKLES) So this is practical sort of a benefit!

ANN CURRY:

So you're saying, you realize that no matter what happens, worrying is useless.  Fear is useless.

THE DALAI LAMA:

Right.  That's right.

ANN CURRY:

No matter what happens, is what you're saying?

THE DALAI LAMA:

That--that's right. So be realistic and without confusion, look at the truth. And then try to find realistic approach. If that fail, no regret.

ANN CURRY:

No regrets.  Hmm.  Hmm.

THE DALAI LAMA:

That's my view. (LAUGHS)

ANN CURRY:

I think it's a good view.  It's a very good view.  Do you want when you-- are looking at-- I know you are a humble man.  But when you-- but you have also an op-- a way to influence people.  Do you want to be remembered as, in your life, when people are coming after you, do you want to be remembered as--

THE DALAI LAMA:

No.

ANN CURRY:

What do you want your life to have meant?

THE DALAI LAMA:

No.

ANN CURRY:

Nothing.

THE DALAI LAMA:

No concern.

ANN CURRY:

You don't want to think about this.

THE DALAI LAMA:

As a Buddhist practitioner, should not think that line.  So long your life should be something meaningful.

ANN CURRY:

You want to be useful while you're alive.

THE DALAI LAMA:

That what people say.

ANN CURRY:

And what is the greatest use of your life?

THE DALAI LAMA:

To serve.

ANN CURRY:

To serve.

THE DALAI LAMA:

To help other people. You see I have three commitments.  Three responsibilities, up to now.  Number one, promotion of human value. Now next few days, this is the main sort of, my--interest in the field of interest how to improve human value in order to be better human being. Then, second, as a Buddhist-- promotion of religious harmony. So these two, till my death, I involve. So my death--how soon my death come, I don't know. Perhaps after five years, or ten years, fifteen years, 20 years, 30 years, I don't know. (CHUCKLES) But in any way, as long as I remain, I-- I survive-- alive.  I fully committed.  The third commitment is about the Tibetan res--Tibetan struggle.  Now this is concerned since 2001. We already have elected political leadership.  Since then my position is something like semi-retired position.  So now I'm looking forward to complete retirement.  (CHUCKLES)

ANN CURRY:

Do you think you'll ever see Tibet again?

THE DALAI LAMA:

Yes, I believe.  I believe.

ANN CURRY:

Thank you.

THE DALAI LAMA:

Thank you.

ANN CURRY:

Thank you very much.  Thank you for that.  Thank you.

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