Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) sah-sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosabale today paid his tributes to the 19th Kushok Bakula Lobzang Thupten Chognor Rinpoche at the closing ceremony of his birth centenary celebrations at the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies (CIBS) in Leh, Ladakh.
Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC) and India Foundation had jointly organized a National Scholars’ Confluence in Leh from 16th to 18th May to commemorate the year-long centenary celebrations.
12-year-old Nashtan Kushok Bakula, ordained as the 20th Kushok Bakula, also participated in the birth centenary celebrations of the 19th Kushok Bakula today.
“Kushok Bakula Rinpoche was a multi-dimensional personality who should be seen as a role model, whose life and achievements can guide us even today. He was a Buddhist monk, a spiritual leader, a statesman and an outstanding diplomat who worked with an all-encompassing vision of human welfare,” Dattatreya Hosabale said.
“If Ladakh is an integral part of India today, the credit goes to Kushok Bakula Rinpoche. In 1947 when Pakistan tribals attacked Jammu Kashmir, Kushok Bakula actively engaged in thwarting their nefarious designs. He always took the unambiguous stand that Ladakh is an unquestionable part of Bharat along with the rest of Jammu Kashmir,” he added.
“It is not enough to focus on geo-strategy, because such strategy will be short lived if it does not include the humane touch. That is why the Indian philosophy ‘bahujan hitaya bahujan sukhaye’ is most important, as it envisages and encompasses the good of every human being,” Dattatreya further added.
Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta was the chief guest at the ceremony, which was presided by Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) chairman Prof S.R Bhatt. Others who shared the dais were Mongolia’s Ambassador to India G. Ganbold, Minister for Ladakh Affairs Chhering Dorje, Nehru Memorial Library director Shakti Sinha, ICPR member secretary Prof. Rajaneesh Shukla, JKSC trustee Anil Goel, India Foundation director Alok Bansal and Dr. Mayank Shekhar from IGNCA.
“The people of Mongolia remember Kushok Bakula Rinpoche with great reverence even today,” said Ambassador G. Ganbold while elaborating on the various celebrations organized in Mongolia and by the Mongolian embassy in India to celebrate the birth centenary of Kushok Bakula Rinpoche.
Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta congratulated the organizers of the Kushok Bakula celebrations and said such efforts go a long way towards the cultural unification of India.
ICPR chairman Prof. S.R. Bhatt in his address emphasized the need for in-depth research work on the Rinpoche and Ladakh. He strongly demanded that the name of Jammu and Kashmir state should be renamed to include the word ‘Ladakh’.
Acclaimed as a statesman and diplomat, the 19th Kushok Bakula Lobzang Thupten Chognor was recognized by the 13th Dalai Lama as a direct disciple of Gautam Buddha.
As one studies the life of Rinpoche, he emerges as an incomparable personality – standing out among the pantheon of Buddhist masters for spreading his Dharma around the world, while at the same time proving to be an exceptional diplomat and a popular leader of his native constituency.
Born into a royal Ladakhi family on May 19, 1917, Bakula Rinpoche led a life that was markedly different from other religious leaders. He held many official positions during his lifetime including Member of the J&K Constituent Assembly, a minister in Jammu and Kashmir Government, two-term Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), a Member of the National Commission on Minorities and India’s ambassador to Mongolia.
Awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1988, Bakula Rinpoche is remembered even today as a god figure in Ladakh, Russia, Tibet and Mongolia because of his social and spiritual contributions.