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Lions Roar : July 2017
The Chinese escorted him on tours around China to impress him with their successes. At one point Mao took him aside and said, “But of course, religion is poison.” In 1956, the Dalai Lama made his second foreign visit—to India for celebrations marking the 2,500th anniversary of the Buddha’s birth. When he visited Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment, “a feel- ing of religious fervor filled my heart,” he recalled, “and left me bewildered with the knowledge and impact of the divine power which is in all of us.” The young Dalai Lama met with Indian Prime Minister Nehru, who discouraged him from staying in India as a refugee. Nehru said it would only harm his people if he did not return to Tibet. But the conflict and terrible conditions inside Tibet only grew worse. In 1959, as the Dalai Lama prepared for his final geshé exams, the equiv- alent of a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy, atrocities and crimes against the Tibetan people were being reported to him every day. “I concentrated hard on developing compassion for all sentient beings,” he wrote in Freedom in Exile. “I reminded myself constantly of the Buddha’s teaching that our enemy is in a sense our greatest teacher. And if this was sometimes hard to do, I never really doubted that it was so.” He was twenty-three. The Dalai Lama with his senior tutor Ling Rinpoche (left) and his junior tutor Trijang Rinpoche (right) during their visit to India. Following the Chinese invasion, the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama travel to China seeking peace. They are greeted at the train station in Beijing by Premier Chou En-Lai (right). Trying to save his nation: the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama negotiate with Premier Chou En-Lai and Communist ruler Mao Zedong (center). On his second foreign journey, the Dalai Lama travels to India to celebrate the 2,500th anniversary of the Buddha’s birth. Indian Prime Minister Nehru points out a land- mark to the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. PHOTOS(CLOCKWISEFROMTOPLEFT):KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GETTYIMAGES),THETIBETMUSEUM,THELIVINGHISTORYPROJECT,ANDTHEOFFICEOFHHDALAILAMA LION’S ROAR | JULY 2017 63