Message from the Dalai Lama to the people of Kalmykia on the 100th anniversary of Autonomy

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama sent an official message to the people of Kalmykia on the 100th anniversary of Autonomy. The message reads as follows:

“I am pleased to know that the Republic of Kalmykia under the Russian Federation is celebrating its 100th anniversary of Autonomy this year.
The special relationship between the peoples of Kalmykia and Tibetans has a long history, since we are followers of the Sanskrit tradition of Buddhism as upheld in the renowned Nalanda University.

On the three occasions that I had the privilege of visiting the Republic of Kalmykia so far, I was impressed to see how strong people’s faith in the Dharma had survived despite difficult periods in the past. In recent years there has been a growing interest in reviving Kalmykia’s Buddhist heritage. Kalmyk students have been studying in the monastic centres of learning we have re-established in India, while a steady flow of Buddhists from Kalmykia visit India to attend teachings by Tibetan Lamas.
In the past, there were scholars from Kalmykia, as well as the other Russian Buddhist Republics of Buryatia and Tuva, in Tibet who made great contributions to the development of Tibetan Buddhism. Several of them attained positions of eminence in Tibet’s major monasteries.
Today, I urge the people of Kalmykia to become 21st century Buddhists, not only maintaining deep faith in the Buddha, but also cultivating a sound understanding of what he taught. Nevertheless, understanding alone is not enough; we must put what we have understood into practice in daily life. This means cultivating a warm-hearted concern for the well being of others through which we can all contribute to building a more peaceful world.
On this special occasion, I send my good wishes and prayers for your peace, prosperity and happiness.”

2 March 2020