The Dalai Lama is on a Bay Area tour. His Holiness landed on Friday, and today, he spoke to a sold-out crowd in Berkeley. It hasn't been all peaceful as some demonstrators have protested his visit. NBC Bay Area's Chase Cain reports from Santa Clara University where the Dalai Lama will be tomorrow.
The Dalai Lama landed on Friday, and on Sunday, he spoke to a sold-out crowd in Berkeley after blessing the Tibetan Community Center in Richmond that morning. In Berkeley, he gave a sold-out talk on how to achieve happiness, talking about love, compassion, and selflessness. He is considered the spiritual guide for many Tibetans, and lives mostly in Dharamsala, India. In 2011, he said he was giving up his role as political leader of exiled Tibetans.
But it has not been all peaceful as some demonstrators - mostly have protested his visit. They are upset about the lavish lifestyle he leads.
But the main reason they are protesting is because he banned a Buddhist prayer called Dorje Shugden, which is a prayer to the Buddha of wisdom for compassion. The Dalai Lama said the prayer hurts him and shortens his life span.
The Dalai Lama, while revered by many, is a political exile from Tibet, and who engages in "anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion," China's foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said, according to the Los Angeles Times. Community troops invaded Tibet in 1950, which has been a sore point for China ever since.
The protesters are small, but vocal.
"This is an absolute outrage," said Len Foley, who is from the International Shugden Community. "The Dalai Lama has an opinion. He's free to have that opinion. He's free to teach anything he wants. But once that opinion is imposed upon other people, then it becomes religious discrimination and that's why we're protesting"
At Santa Clara University, His Holiness is expected to talk about business and ethics. Although the event is sold out, protesters are expected to be there too.
After his talk in Santa Clara, he will go to Los Angeles.