In the 1970s, Tibetans were terrified of the Dalai Lama.
He was revered as a “man of peace” who lived for the “peace and welfare of humanity.”
He had a charismatic and charismatic message, he was said to have a charismatic voice, and he was known to speak about the dangers of nationalism.
Tibetans, however, did not trust the Dalai as a spiritual leader.
In the end, they rejected him.
But in the 1980s, the Dalai returned to the region, with a large Tibetan Buddhist community and a large following.
And in the years that followed, the Tibetan community’s confidence grew.
It was a community that had not felt so confident in a long time.
When the Dalai announced that he would soon be leaving Tibet, the community responded with shock and disbelief.
The Tibetan community had not known a leader like him for so long, they were not sure how to react.
And it was a shock to the community that a man who was such a respected spiritual leader had suddenly left them.
It also came as a shock that the community was so eager to embrace the Dalai.
In 1989, the Buddhist community welcomed him back.
The community welcomed the Dalai to the Dalai Monastery, which was the largest monastic structure in the world.
He called it “the largest and most powerful religious institution in the country.”
The Dalai Lama said he was here to worship, but he did not expect the community to follow.
They welcomed him with open arms, welcoming him to the monastery.
He welcomed them with open hearts, saying, I have come to pray, but my heart is not open to accept your invitation.
The people in the community embraced him and he embraced them.
The leaders of the Tibetan Buddhist movement welcomed the Buddha.
They said, Welcome back to Tibet.
And the community welcomed them back with open hands.
When they met him, they saw the Buddha, they knew he was the one.
But they also felt the power and presence of the spiritual leader, and they felt a tremendous sense of community and unity that was very powerful to the people.
It gave them hope and optimism, and in turn, the Buddhists became more confident and more hopeful.
In 1993, the first Tibetan Buddhist temple in the United States opened.
And a year later, the United Nations designated the Temple of the Buddha in India as the first temple in Tibet.
The Dalai returned in 1997, and a year after that, he gave a powerful speech.
He said, I wish to be the leader of the entire world, to lead all of humanity.
And then, on January 5, 1998, the Temple was opened, and thousands of monks, nuns, and laypeople attended the ceremony.
This ceremony was a moment of unity, a moment where everyone in the Tibetan society united in the belief that they were a part of one great Buddhist community.
In 1999, the last Dalai Lama died, and his teachings were formally declared the official teaching of Buddhism in the state of India.
But the Dalai was not the only person to return to Tibet in the 20th century.
Other Tibetan spiritual leaders have come and gone.
Many have been killed, and many have been exiled, and some have been in exile for their lives.
In fact, the current Dalai Lama, the one who has been in the limelight for the last 15 years, was the last spiritual leader to return.
And now, with the opening of the new Temple of Buddha in 2022, the Buddha will be in Tibet again.
As we speak, we see that, despite all the difficulties the people in Tibet have had with the Buddhist spiritual leaders over the last century, they are determined to continue to believe in and be a part and an integral part of the Buddhist tradition.
And they are very hopeful.
And so, the world is watching to see if this will happen.
Thank you, Mr. President.
[applause] Thank you very much.
[Cheers and applause]