Transcript of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's video on the 14th Dalai Lama’s birthday

On the 85th birthday of the Dalai Lama, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (first President of the Republic of Kalmykia, sixth President of FIDE) shared his memories of his meetings with the spiritual leader of the Buddhists and sent him best wishes. Here is a transcript of the video.

"Dear friends! Today is a great day for all of us: today marks the 85th birthday of a genius of mankind, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has done a lot for peace, love, kindness and for all living beings on our planet. Therefore, we all love His Holiness, we wish him well and long happy life.


Friends from Save the Tibet Foundation asked me to write down my memories of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. That got me thinking and don’t even know where to begin, because I have known him for over 30 years and we have had dozens and dozens of meetings. It is very difficult to talk about him, because he is as great as God and, on the other hand, he is just like any person. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is infinite and endless like our universe.

I remember 1992, when I at the age of 27, met His Holiness here in Moscow for the first time. Then he flew for a visit to Kalmykia, Tuva, and Buryatia. And so we met, and I looked at him, and, I have to admit I was extremely scared. His Holiness is the living embodiment of Buddha Avalokiteshvara. But then he smiled, hugged me, patted my shoulder and we went into his office holding hands.
Then there were other meetings in 1993, when I became president of the Republic of Kalmykia. We decided to make the first official visit of the delegation of the Republic of Kalmykia to Dharamsala, the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India. However, unfortunately, the leadership of the Russian Federation forbade us to go there, although we had already announced this trip. And imagine how wisely, tactfully and diplomatically His Holiness reacted: when he found out about our difficulties, he said that if the leadership of Russia viewpoint was due to the difficulties with China, then let it be. He added that maybe next time he would come to us. However, we were persistent, and thus our first delegation arrived in Dharamsala in December 1993.
It really was an official delegation, the first official delegation of the Republic of Kalmykia to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at his residence. I headed the delegation consisted of the chairman of the People's Khural (Parliament) of the Republic of Kalmykia Konstantin Nikolayevich Maximov, ministers of the Government of Kalmykia, Minister of Education and Social Development Sanal Alekseevich Badmaev and other officials. And so we came to His Holiness, and there was an official reception. We met with the Tibetans and with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We met with the government of Tibet in exile. We also met with members of parliament, and we had an open meeting, a dialogue with the deputies and members of the Tibetan government in exile. Of course, it was an unforgettable visit.
Then, on November 30 2004, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited our republic and consecrated the Syakyusn Sume. We also laid the stone in the construction of the largest temple in Europe, the "Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni."
I also recall the visit of the official delegation of Kalmykia to him in Dharamsala, where the leadership of the Republic of Kalmykia decided to award him the highest order of Kalmykia, the Order of the White Lotus. Again, the presidential administration of Russia found out that we were going there, and their calls and telegrams urged us not to go. But we know the origin those intrigues.
Of course, the leadership of the People’s Republic of China did not want the official delegation of Kalmykia to not only come to Dharamsala, but also awarding Hid Holiness the highest order of Kalmykia, the White Lotus. However, we arrived in Dharamsala and, in the evening I met with the Shajin Lama of Kalmykia Telo Tulku Rinpoche and Hid Holiness to discussed tomorrow's ceremony.
Telo Tulku Rinpoche said that we have problems with the leadership of Russia. They did not want the order to be officially presented like this. His Holiness thought a little and said: “Let's do it like this.” He pointed to Telo Tulku Rinpoche and took him by the hand. “You will award me with the order tomorrow, and the President of the Republic will stand by and we will all take pictures.” And so it happened: in the morning at the official ceremony of awarding the White Lotus Order to the Shajin Lama of Kalmykia, Telo Tulku Rinpoche donned the Order of the White Lotus. The Dalai Lama shook hands with Telo Tulku Rinpoche and me. They took a photo of us, and everyone congratulated His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Once again, I want to wish His Holiness a happy birthday. I recall other meetings: in Slovenia, in Switzerland and, of course, in Chicago, when the Nobel Prize winners summit was held.
Within the framework of this summit, a very warm meeting was held when I with the former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev went into the room of His Holiness. He invited us to sit on the sofa, and suddenly, for no reason, His Holiness began to touch the right knee of Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev. He started stroking it and said looking into his eyes: “Mr President does your knee hurt? Are you ill? Well, you should treat it.” We were all surprised, and then Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev admitted that his legs and joints hurt very much, and he was very surprised when the Dalai Lama felt it.
It was indeed, a very warm meeting. We all love His Holiness the Dalai Lama because he is the simplest, most humane person among us people on this planet. Because he loves all living beings. The kindness, love, charm and such universal love that has entered into him, he gives to all of us who live on this planet. Once again, I wish His Holiness happy birthday! We love and appreciate you and wish you long years of life! ”