(TibetanReview.net, Feb09, 2015) – Visiting the Swiss city of Basel for two days, the Dalai Lama on Feb 7 gave religious teaching to a capacity crowd of 7,500 in St Jakobshalle. He also addressed the media, including on the controversial issue of Shugden whose adherents were protesting against him outside, and had lunch with the city Mayor.
He began by stressing the importance of knowledge, saying one’s faith in the Buddha should be based on one’s understanding of his teaching.
During lunch, the city-Canton President Dr Guy Morin told the Dalai Lama that there were currently about 600 Tibetan residents in the city. He said Basel’s connection with Tibetans was so long that he could remember having had a Tibetan classmate at school 40 years ago.
While addressing the press earlier in the day, the Dalai Lama, when asked about the pro-Shugden protestors on the street outside, replied that the issue had nothing to do with religious freedom but was concerned only with the question whether spirit worship is a proper Buddhist practice. “The Buddha counselled his followers only to take refuge in and seek guidance from the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. He said we should not seek refuge in spirits,” he was quoted as saying.