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TIME Magazine Lists Dalai Lama Among Asian Heroes

Phayul, November 9, 2006

Time magazine has listed the Dalai Lama as one of the heroes in Asia in the 60 years since the magazine began publishing an Asian edition.

<< 60 Years of Asian Heroes. Illustration for TIME by Michelle Chang

New York, USA -- In its issue, Vol. 168, No. 20, dated November 13, 2006, Time said, "The most tumultuous decades of the most populous continent on earth have produced an astonishing array of heroes." "In this special anniversary issue, we pay tribute to the remarkable men and women who have shaped these times," it continued.

Time listed the heroes in five categories: Nation Builders; Artists and Thinkers; Business leaders; Athletes and Explorers; and Inspirations. The Dalai Lama is listed under the Inspirations category. Tenzing Norgay, the ethnic Tibetan, who ascended Mount Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953, is listed under the Athletes and Explorers category.

Time had special writers report on each of the more than 50 heroes that they had listed. The essay on the Dalai Lama is written by Deepak Chopra, the popular writer and speaker on spirituality. Chopra writes, "It's the fate of great spiritual leaders to be both lighthouses and lightning rods.

No one has endured this double act more gracefully than the Dalai Lama. As a lighthouse he represents Buddhism for most of the world outside Asia.

Welcomed everywhere but in his own homeland, revered beyond the narrow limits of sectarianism, his visits bring out throngs of people. What they crave is his presence and his peacefulness. He travels the globe to remind us of our better selves. Yet the presence of the Dalai Lama is also immediate and worldly. He's the lightning rod for Tibet, and a symbol of its subjugation under Beijing's rule. As long as that injustice persists, the Dalai Lama will remain peaceful and poignant at the same time."

Following is the full text of Deepak Chopra's essay. The entire Time story can be read on http://www.time.com/time/asia/2006/heroes/index.html.

The Dalai Lama

Tibet's spiritual leader is otherworldly, yet deeply engaged in this world. With remarkable subtlety, he teaches patience, humility and compassion By Deepak Chopra

It's the fate of great spiritual leaders to be both lighthouses and lightning rods. No one has endured this double act more gracefully than the Dalai Lama. As a lighthouse he represents Buddhism for most of the world outside Asia. Welcomed everywhere but in his own homeland, revered beyond the narrow limits of sectarianism, his visits bring out throngs of people. What they crave is his presence and his peacefulness. He travels the globe to remind us of our better selves. Yet the presence of the Dalai Lama is also immediate and worldly. He's the lightning rod for Tibet, and a symbol of its subjugation under Beijing's rule. As long as that injustice persists, the Dalai Lama will remain peaceful and poignant at the same time.

Over the centuries, Buddhism has spread more quietly than any other faith or philosophy. In that quietist tradition, the current Dalai Lama stands firm. Buddha said, "Whoever sees me sees the teaching, and whoever sees the teaching sees me." Whenever I have the privilege of sitting with the Dalai Lama, I feel that I am, indeed, seeing the teaching - and that it sees me. Benign as His Holiness is, one senses detachment, which isn't the same as indifference. This is a detachment born of immense patience. It's rooted in a deep belief in the power of consciousness. No one I've ever met is so involved in the material world without actually believing in it.

He is also insidious, if you can use that word about such an innocent man. If you ask his opinion, he invariably murmurs, "Ah, I'd rather listen to you." Instantly you feel a bit of your own egotism fall away, and, despite yourself, the presence of humility is felt deep inside.

So I salute the Dalai Lama as a great spiritual seducer. We will never know how much he has changed the world - and us - because we never see it coming until the change has already occurred. He is a time bomb of compassion, and that is the source of his greatness.

----------------------
Deepak Chopra, who writes and lectures widely on spirituality, is writing a book on the Buddha.



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