Staff Reporter

`He looks like an ordinary Indian but is full of modern thoughts'

He plants a bodhi sapling at Buddhavanam in NagarjunasagarHe is opposed to the idea of conversion, he says He has night's stay at Vijaya Vihar

NAGARJUNASAGAR: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has claimed that he is the follower of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and praised him as a leader of courage and honesty.

"He is a great man and I am his follower. He looks like an ordinary Indian but he is full of modern thoughts," he said while addressing a press conference after planting a bodhi sapling at Buddhavanam here on Tuesday.

To a question on terrorism, he said that there was no basis for anyone to call someone an enemy. "The reality is that your future depends on them (your enemy). Hence, listen to his views and make reconciliation. Repression and violence cannot solve any problem. You can find a solution through non-violence and dialogue," he maintained.

The Dalai Lama said that he was opposed to the idea of conversion. "It is wrong since religion is entirely an individual right. Maintain your own tradition," he suggested.

He observed that the ancient preaching of Nagarjuna was very much relevant in this era of globalisation. "He dealt with the `meaning of emptiness'. It is about absence of independent existence. Nagarjuna's ancient theory is very much relevant now," he said.

Hundreds of monks, who came to this place to attend Kalachakra carnival at Amarawathi, welcomed their spiritual leader by holding white scarves, Khadas in their parlance.