(TibetanReview.net, Oct12, 2016) – Some 4,500 devotees, including around 3,000 from Russia, attended religious teachings given by the Dalai Lama in Latvia’s capital Riga over Oct 10-11. The exiled spiritual leader of Tibet expressed happiness to see so many people attending the teachings. The Dalai Lama also met with lawmakers and Tibet campaign supporters from the three Baltic republics.
He recalled that not so long ago, when he was in Riga to give an introduction to Buddhism, a Russian had told him how difficult it was for many of his compatriots to travel to India because of economic constraints while Latvia would be much easier. He added that his Latvian friends supported his idea of giving the teachings in their country.
Of the around 3,000 devotees from Russia who attended the teachings in Riga’s Skonto Hall, some 500 were from Kalmykia, 3-400 from Buryatia and 100 from Tuva. They surged forward to catch a closer glimpse of the Dalai Lama as he stepped on the stage and greeted them.
During the teachings’ lunch break, the Dalai Lama was joined by 15 parliamentarians from the three Baltic States: two from Estonia, three from Lithuania and ten from Latvia, as well as key supporters from these counties.
The teachings, which were on Dharmakirti’s “Commentary on Dignaga’s ‘Compendium of Valid Cognition’,” were organized by the Save Tibet Foundation (Moscow) and Saglabasim Tibetu (Riga).
Russia has been denying visa for the Dalai Lama over a number of years due to pressure from China despite repeated pleas from his devotees in the country.