The 14th Dalai Lama: "Russia serves as a bridge between East and West"

 At the widely published press conference, held in June 2007 in the small German city of Heiligendamm, a Der Spiegel reporter asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to comment on the statement of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who called him a pure democrat. 

"Of course, I am a pure democrat," he replied. "But do you know what the problem is? The tragedy is that I'm such a one. The problem is that I’m all alone, the only one of my kind in the whole wide world. There is no one to talk to since Mahatma Gandhi died."


Some time passed and in March 2013, at the meeting of the Russian leader with the beginning lawyers, one of the students reminded these words to the head of state - since Mahatma Gandhi died, there was no one to talk to. In this regard, he asked which historical or living individuals Putin would be interested to talk to. 

Turning to the student who asked the question, the president admitted that there are many of such people, but now he was interested in talking with this audience. "I say it without irony. It is because, as a rule, I communicate with much more boring people. I'm used to them already. And we always need some novelty in order to feel real life," Putin explained.
I would like to note that, although the president himself calls his words of 2007 a common joke, this expression has sunk into the soul of many people in Russia. And from time to time it emerges again when the president communicates with the people.
It seems that the Russians subtly felt that by saying these words the president opened himself to the world in a special way. These words were like a kind of message with a hidden true meaning, which only few could understand. Whatever it was, it was clear to people that the image of Mahatma Gandhi was brought up by the president not by accident.
Our president, as we know, at the youngest age was interested in the East. As a result he chose a sport (model of life) of judo instead of, for example, boxing. Try to imagine the psyche of a man whose only desire is to strike a stranger who has done nothing wrong to him. Aggression and ruthlessness, pressure and uncompromising. That’s the essence of Anglo-Saxon’s version of "non-resistance to evil" in boxing.  
Judo is quite different. It is based on three basic principles: mutual help and understanding to achieve greater progress, the best use of body and spirit, and a soft power to win. The East, of course, was always close to Putin, who obviously learnt much in martial arts. And the true strength of martial arts is based on the wisdom of Eastern religions. Hinduism is a complex and multifaceted religion. This religion has no single organizing core, and it is more like a doctrine of the reincarnation of man and the eternity of the soul. There are no heretics in Hinduism. The literal meaning of the word Mahatma is great soul. This is one of the names of the world spirit in Hindu mythology and theosophy. In Hinduism, this applies to highly spiritual, enlightened individuals.
Buddhism also came from India. Buddhists honour the Dalai Lama as the greatest reincarnation of the long chain of spiritual leaders, bodhisattvas, who have chosen to be re-born in order to open the way to the enlightenment of people. A Bodhisattva in Buddhism is a person who has attained enlightenment without leaving this world but remaining in it, despite having achieved personal liberation and full awakening.
His goal is to help others on the path of spiritual improvement and attaining enlightenment. Bodhisattvas often live among ordinary people, observing vows and not turning off their path. They are distinguished by charity and empathy for other people. In general, it is believed that the arrival of such a being on Earth is a great blessing. After all, bodhisattvas always attract those who want to hear wisdom. And people, hearing the speech of a Bodhisattva, receive the necessary impulse in their spiritual development, which allows them to radically change their lives for the better. It is a great blessing for any person to meet a Bodhisattva or a Mahatma.
According to Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is the incarnation of a Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva of compassion. The theme of compassion is closest to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. And since His Holiness is the incarnation of a Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, he uses every opportunity to meet people so that they have a chance for spiritual rebirth and the good changes in life as a result of meetings with the Bodhisattva.
Despite his already advanced age, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama travels much. In September 2018, he began a visit to Europe. And almost the next day after arrival, he is engaged in speeches, lectures, Buddhist initiations and meetings with scientists, students and politicians. Every day, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama gives thousands of people the opportunity to see and hear the wisdom. And people enjoy such a unique opportunity. Wherever His Holiness appears, crowds always gather. And almost everyone can not only see the spiritual leader of the Buddhists of the world, but also get answers from him to his questions.