|Trinket sellers follow Dalai Lama in his travels|
SHILLONG, Feb 4 – Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama is not just a wealth of knowledge and wisdom, but also a source of income, driving hundreds in their pursuit for daily sustenance in the materialistic world. Apart from the Dalai Lama’s official entourage, which includes his security and other officials, there is an unofficial entourage that follows him to every place that he visits in India.
A large number of vendors travel from places such as Bhutan, Bihar (Bodh Gaya), Sikkim and other places and sell religious artefacts, trinkets and other memorabilia at places to which the Dalai Lama travels. “I have been travelling all the places across the country where the Dalai Lama goes and selling items to people,” said Rigjin Lama of Bhutan, selling posters of the Dalai Lama, trinkets and other items of religious significance.
Similarly, Vishal and his friends from Bodh Gaya have also been travelling behind the Dalai Lama and selling clay idols and busts of the Buddha, beads, rosaries and other items. “Wherever the Dalai Lama holds a religious discourse, people do come and buy these items,” Vishal said.
It is not just the local Buddhist population that these vendors are looking for, but also those who travel from far-off places just to get a glimpse of and hear the Dalai Lama in person. People have driven hundreds of kilometres to see the Dalai Lama. “It is a lifetime opportunity to see the Dalai Lama and hear him speak about his beliefs and thoughts,” said Kenchowangdi and Pematashi who came from Bhutan to listen to the Dalai Lama.
In today’s discourse, the Dalai Lama spoke about ways to meditate and take control of the mind and soul. He spoke in one of the Tibetan dialects and there were two interpreters who translated it into an Arunachal dialect and Bhutanese. The whole Polo Ground was decked with flags. People listened to the Dalai Lama in a festive environment.