Dalai Lama, the Spiritual Head of the Tibetan Buddhists, said when he is in a good mood and he knows he is not sick, he will allow mosquitoes to feed on his blood (since he is the Dalai Lama) and said “their whole body becomes red” and then they fly, “but there is no indication of appreciation,” a feeling that so provoked him that he had approached scientists to inquire whether insects are even capable of gratitude.
The students of the American Embassy School in New Delhi filed into the school’s auditorium on Friday last week to greet the 14th Dalai Lama, who will celebrate his 81st birthday this summer. They arranged themselves on the floor and gazed up at the Buddhist leader, who spoke for an hour and 40 minutes without notes.
Discussing the English, he described a man coming up to him in London to praise the way he answered, simply, “I don’t know,” when he did not know the answer, and said “I thought, ‘Oh, Englishmen feel difficult to say ‘I don’t know.’ ” When fifth graders asked their guest about whether he had pets (he does, dogs and cats), he went on a really hilarious riff about mosquitoes, who, he said, “don’t have any sense of appreciation.”
According to a report filed by the New York Times Bureau Chief in New Delhi, The Dalai Lama’s s speech was at times very funny — he said Japanese food “sometimes looks like decoration, not real food,” and that he occasionally felt, after finishing a Japanese meal, people might understandably feel inclined to go out and find a restaurant.
At some point, it seemed like he happily might go on talking for three or four hours. He was in the middle of telling a parable about a Jain monk from the sixth century B.C. when an administrator interrupted him and he guffawed. (His laugh is alternately a snicker, a chuckle or a fully liberated guffaw.) He said, “I am always telling my audience that once this person’s mouth opens, then he will blah blah blah continuously, that is my weakness.” Then he just kept barreling on very cheerfully for another quarter of an hour.
He said China is modernizing and many Chinese support the Middle Way, a policy that softened Tibetan demands, calling for self-governance within China. He criticized Chinese hard-liners, saying they are missing that part of the brain that controls common sense. And he said it was sad that people are able to “simply remain indifferent” to the suffering of other people, while “even animals, in a small herd, one animal is sick and another animal is licking.”
He said, that the institution of the Dalai Lama is outdated, and emerged from the feudal system, and that he is proud to have “ended” it. He criticized Sharia law, which he said was created for a nomadic civilization. He said the same thing about the Hindu caste system — that it was a remnant of a different age that must be abandoned, left behind. He said the next Dalai Lama could be a woman (and that physical attractiveness serves dharma, which in Buddhism means “cosmic law and order”).