(TibetanReview.net, Sep14, 2018) – The Dalai Lama has reiterated his wish, first expressed to the Chinese leadership way back in 1954 when he was in Beijing, to undertake a pilgrimage to Mt Wutai, or Wutaishan, the fabled abode of the Buddhist deity of wisdom, Manjushri. However, given the situation today, he has spoken of having two conditions for undertaking the pilgrimage, speaking in an interview with the Dutch daily de Volkskrant which posted it on its volkskrant.nl website Sep 10.
His conditions make it clear that he does not want to restrict his visit to Wutaishan. “I want to go to Wutaishan on a pilgrimage. Many Tibetan and Chinese Buddhists come to my presence, so I want to have the freedom to give a religious lesson. And I want to visit top universities in Beijing. I have been discussing emotions, psychology, the cosmos and quantum physics with scientists in India and the West for almost forty years. I want to do that in China,” he was quoted as saying.
He has spoken of having made his wish known to a Chinese friend and was now waiting for a response. “So first Wutaishan and Beijing,” he has said.
Back in 1954, the Dalai Lama could not visit Wutaishan because Chinese leaders told him the road was too bad. Now, “65 years later I still have that desire. Whether I will see a manifestation of Manjushri or not, I want to go to that place,” he has said.
The Dalai Lama also wishes to undertake a second visit afterwards. “On a second visit, … I want to go to my homeland. Then possibly other Tibetan areas, perhaps Lhasa at the time. But purely for the purpose of meeting the brothers and sisters in China, especially the Buddhists,” he was quoted as saying.
Located in the coal-rich northwestern Chinese province of Shanxi, Wutai, a valley with five holy mountains, has been a magnet for pilgrims for centuries, from Indian philosophers to Chinese believers and Tibetan Buddhists.
Currently touring Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, the Dalai Lama has spoken of his continued commitment to promote the Tibet issue as well as global peace and inter-religious harmony. He therefore hopes to continue to visit Europe.
“As long as my physical condition is good and my brain is in order, the journey of eight hours to Europe can still be done. But I think the United States is too far away. Another eight hours of flying after Europe takes too long,” he has said.