25 June, 2021

Talking To 'The Devil'

When my meeting with the Dalai Lama was fixed in early February, Tibet was simmering but calm. Between the appointment and the actual meeting, Tibet had erupted...

Talking To 'The Devil'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

"The Dalai Lama is a wolf in monk's robes, a devil with a human face but the heart of a beast."
—Tibet's Communist party chief Zhang Qingli

When my meeting with the Dalai Lama was fixed in early February, Tibet was simmering but calm. I told the intermediary keen to arrange the discussion that while I admired and respected His Holiness, I wasn't into worship or meditation, neither had I any compelling curiosity to meet sacred persons with divine cover. I remember in the mid-'80s in Bombay when Bhagwan Rajneesh was all the rage, I studiously avoided invitations to visit him or his sexy commune. To me he was a harmless trickster, to others he was an avatar of Vishnu. Being Voltairean in my attitude, that's where things stood till last Monday when I went to meet my first godman.

Of course, between the appointment and the actual meeting, Tibet had erupted. Thus, I went with mounting expectation for my mostly off-the-record exchange to the sixth floor of the Ashok Hotel in New Delhi, not to obtain...

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