Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Experiencing the laughing Buddha: His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Yes that’s his most endearing quality…his full throated laugh and great sense of humor. Have always been in awe of the Dalai Lama, so the first time when I had a glimpse of him at the Taj Palace I considered that as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Little did I know that I will two years later get this amazing opportunity of hearing him speak on “The Art of Happiness”. So when I read that Penguin India is hosting HH Dalai Lama for their annual lecture, I was super excited and in a blink had called them, facebooked them and hounded them for more info and passes to attend the event.
On 3rd December I along with my husband and a dear friend were all set to attend the event at the India Habitat Center. When I reached there I was taken by a big surprise cause there were many enthusiasts like me who had queued up and the serpentine queue didn’t seem to end. Securing my place in the queue I hoped that the number of passes given out  were equal to the number of didn’t look like it though. I was willing to even sit on the steps to hear him live…the option of sitting out and watching him on the screen was not appealing at all….so just had my toes and fingers all crossed. Fortunately got the place (on the steps x_x) so there we were; me, Raja and Nina in the balcony level on the steps right in front of the AC blast on a December afternoon. In hindsight it was all worth it. Another friend Sapnaa had to literally wrest her way in as she got in late ; fighting to attend Art of Happiness !! Winking smile
A hush descended when the Dalai Lama entered and everybody rose to welcome him. On stage Penguin CEO, Andrew Phillips welcomed him and invited him to take over. 393436_231253646945223_147853875285201_551677_280419545_nThe lecture was on the Art of Happiness…and was full of happy anecdotes, pearls of wisdom, life affirming laughter and the bright aura of His Holiness.
He began with a prelude to his life and his refugee status and said “I lost a small home Tibet and I got a large home India” the optimism and the calmness of acceptance radiated from him and all were listening with rapt admiration hanging on to each of his word. Infact many had notebooks with them to write and make notes of what he was saying. He talked about a time when he had fallen so ill that he became yellow all over…he says, “I became a living Buddha then not because of action but because of my illness”. The little nuggets of wisdom derived from a life well lived shone across.
After the lecture came the Q&A session with a rider “No political questions please”. However one lady began thus: why no political questions i  wonder if this is Penguin’s or HH request…..The reply by HH to this was witty to say the least. He said “I have retired from politics” and then with an equally straight face went on to say “if I want to answer a political query I do but if I don’t I just say I have retired!!'”
When the session ended, the area below the podium was thronged by many hoping to get blessed by the magical touch of his fingertips.IMG01044-20111203-1631 He very readily obliged and shook hands with many, blessed many and left an indelible impression of an experience that can not be verbalized.
It was a lovely December afternoon…it was an experience of a lifetime…it was just so awesome. Thanks Penguin. Thanks HH Dalai Lama. Thanks Again.
      Wisdom Nuggets
  • "If the situation can't be controlled, then simply don't worry about it."
  • “If the situation can be controlled, then just work towards controlling it.”
  • "Your mental or physical pain overshadows compassion. We need to practice self confidence"
  • "I base my teachings on 3 things - common experience, common sense and research findings."
  • "There are only two choices in life - Truth or Corruption. There is no third choice."
  • "Fear, anger and hatred is eating our human system."
  • "Happiness comes with a calm mind. No stress, no anxiety leads to happiness."

Note: Wisdom Nuggets have been taken from Penguin tweets:
as also the pics Smile


  1. Nicely written Anubha! Congrats!
    The wisdom nuggets, whosoever they come from, are never new. The only thing that matters is that how well you blend them with your life and transform yourself.
    Keep writing!

  2. It is your good fortune to have been in the presence of someone as "happy" as HH. It is my good fortune to have found your post describing your experience. Keep writing. Will keep reading.

  3. Thanks Ashutosh and Subho for ur encouragement !

  4. Loved the experience Anubha...and loved reading your random musings too. Double thanks and a big (warm) hug :-). Nina