SaiRam, Salaam, Sasriyakal and Hello!
I am back again sharing my final thoughts in respect to His Holiness Dalai Lama’s visit at Loyola University, Chicago.
Finally, the most awaited day, April 26th, 2012, was here. My accompaniment Mohit brother and I reported to the event venue at 11:00 am and we were issued both the performer’s pass and the photographic pass which allowed us later to be photographed with His Holiness.
The selected students who had the photographic pass were then lined up and directed to a different hall for the official photograph. There were about 20 chosen students that represented different faiths. We were then requested to line up in a separate room according to height. Being only 5′ 7″ in height, I was placed at the end of the line. We were then walked to another room by the officials for the photograph. Being at the end of line because of my short height, I was placed in the front row by the photographer. I was so excited at that moment that I was chatting with the people to my right not realizing that the seat on my left was empty and reserved for His Holiness himself. In several moments, His Holiness slowly approached us and gave us a message about the importance of unity and interfaith collaboration. His Holiness and us then posed for the picture. His Holiness extended His hands to each of us on His side. I had a life time opportunity to be so blessed as to receive His hand. The picture taken came out superbly well.
No sooner had the picture been taken, the performers had to rush to the Gentile Arena as the pre lecture performances had already commenced. We were at last on the schedule to perform. My accompaniment and I stood confidently and we performed to our best. Upon finishing our performance, all the people appreciated with loud applause. That applause still resounds in my ears.
The pre-lecture program then ended. Fr. Michael Garanzini, the president of Loyola University, Chicago, walked up to the dais to openly welcome His Holiness. Fr. Garanzini then called upon all the six prayer performers representing different faiths on stage to offer their humble prayer. Though I was last to perform, like the others just before I performed from bottom of my heart. After our prayers, His Holiness signaled us to approach to be given for personal greeting. My mother from Nepal had sent me several Khadas (holy Buddhist scarfs) to offer to His Holiness for blessing if in case I had an opportunity in the event to meet with him. Remembering my mother’s words, I had put the Khada in my pocket before leaving the house. This foresight turned golden and His Holiness blessed the scarf and gave it back to me.
His Holiness then started His engaging lecture. While listening to His Holiness, the audiences were very much touched by receiving His holy message. The message consisted of human values such as Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-Violence.He further emphasized in respecting and appreciating all religions as each religion is a pathway to God. Furthermore, His Holiness addressed that in order to find peace, we do not have to search anywhere else as peace is always within.
This experience with His Holiness will last me a life time. My sincere gratitude to all the Loyola University, Chicago family for giving me such a rewarding opportunity.
Have a Blessed Day Everyone.