I’ve been thinking about the Dalai Lama and the Tibet situation. His Holiness, like Christ, never advocates violence as a solution to solve problems, particularly in running the Chinese out of the land. If one’s person is being attacked and is in immediate danger, then one ought to protect oneself, but offensive violence will never support their cause. Especially their spiritual one.
And I wonder, since impermanence and suffering is so much part of their Buddhist foundation, then how can they fight to regain what once was and has since passed? It must be a quandary to be an oppressed Tibetan Buddhist and to have the whole worlds’ eyes on you to see when and if you will abandon your eternal beliefs for worldly success, which in this case would be a return to Tibetan autonomy, a way of life which was lost over sixty years ago. Those with spiritual maturity and a lifetime of mind cultivation, such as the Dalai Lama, may see the Tibetan diaspora within the big picture, a grain of sand in one of their religious mandalas; but for many young Tibetans and those not living in exile but as second-class people in the homeland, it is nearly impossible to view the repression, anger, and torture inflicted upon them within the context of their faith: “that their enemy can be their greatest teacher,” as HH the 14th Dalai Lama has advised.
It almost helps the cause of the Chinese government to have Tibetans rebel and violently oppose Chinese rule because, 1) rebellion shows a divided allegiance to the Dalai Lama and his peaceful and often cooperative efforts with the Chinese, and, 2) by acting out of anger and other emotions, the principles of their religion become just empty rituals, no longer guiding their everyday lives, thereby cleansing society of religion altogether; a goal of Mao Zedong who once famously whispered to the then sixteen year-old Dalai Lama, “Religion is poison.”
Yet, I empathize with those who have been imprisoned for decades simply because they once declared, “Free Tibet”; those who have seen their children shot at and killed by Chinese troops in protests; those who have been brutally tortured while their captors have not (yet) been held by the hand of justice. Simply, it is unimaginable how to literally live out your spiritual life guided by God only, when you have faced these injustices.
Christ warned those who love God about religious persecution and how extremely difficult it will be to remain faithful amidst it all. We see the Dalai Lama demonstrate this impenetrable faith—while not physically attacked–has enemies and is known to hundreds of millions of Chinese students as a terrorist. Years ago I had a premonition that before he passes from this world he will acknowledge the role of Jesus Christ in his life and how God has helped him endure the suffering of him and his people. We know there is but one God, and though Tibetan Buddhists and others know God in their own way, they are still God’s people.
If healing is going to occur among the people who have grieved for over six decades, we must all go the way of forgiveness and see that it is not just the six million Tibetans who have been oppressed but over a billion Chinese people under a despotic regime; and this has not only occurred with Chinese and Tibetans in the last century, but with millions of Jews and other European minorities in the Holocaust and tens of millions of Russian peasants under Stalinist Soviet Union; and this pain is not only a product of the twentieth century but has occurred in the US with the genocide of its indigenous people, and all over the world for many centuries whenever an ideal is contracted like a virus that the ideal is so pure that it suddenly has dominance over anyone with whom it comes in contact. For the world to heal we must turn to God, who is not a pure ideal but the Creator of the universe and the author of love.
When teenage Chinese soldiers entered Tibet last century and declared they were liberating Tibetans from the tyranny of western imperialism, we must look at that moment as not only the beginning of the end of thirteen centuries of a thriving Tibetan civilization, but also as the beginning of an era of Tibetan evangelism. Because of the conflict in Tibet, the whole world is touched by Tibetan spirituality, including a traumatized, largely atheist China, a nation badly in need of once again knowing God’s love. When we come to pity those who subjugate us, then their dominance over us begins to dissolve.
© 2015, Amaya Engleking