Dharamsala: Fifty-three years after he made India his second home, the Dalai Lama has developed a taste for 'dal-roti' and has imbibed the virtues of secularism.
Recalling his stay here ever since fleeing his homeland in 1959, the Tibetan spiritual leader said the "biggest thing" that he had learnt after coming to India was "how not to be a hypocrite".
The Nobel prize winner said he used to be an active member of the Chinese Communist Party from 1951-59 in Tibet and "like others I also honed my talent in hypocrisy. But this vice ended only when I came to India".
After coming to India and staying here for so long, he said, had "learnt so many things from Indian culture and religion".
One of the things which he highlights is developing the taste for north India's staple food 'dal-roti'.
"After living in India for over 50 years, I have developed great taste for Indian food like dal-roti. Whenever I get an opportunity I taste this great Indian dish," he said.
The exiled leader who, along with thousands of Tibetans, has made Dharamsala their home, described India as a seat of learning and frequently referred to the ancient Nalanda university in Bihar, terming it as the repository of Buddhism.
"Recently when I had gone to Patna to inaugurate a park named after Lord Buddha, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had told me that because of the blessing of Buddha and teachings of Buddhism, Bihar is marching on the path of development today.
"I told him (Nitish Kumar) that, Bihar actually has been the birth place of Buddhism and gave this great religion to the entire world," he said.
The Dalai Lama said India has always been sympathetic to the cause of exiled Tibetans and described it as the guru and the latter as the 'chela' (disciple).
"All the great religions in India -- Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism -- teach non-violence and practice secularism. I have also imbibed these virtues through interaction with spiritual leaders of different beliefs," the Dalai Lama said.
He also praised the secularism in India as the essence of its culture and tradition.
Ensuring that the Tibetans in India remain in tune with the present world, the Dalai Lama exhorted his disciples to keep themselves updated with scientific developments and increase their interaction with scientists.
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