His Holiness Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche : A trusted leader of the Tibetan community, Samdhong Rinpoche is the Prime Minister of the Government of Tibet in Exile

All Cultures are Unique Samdhong Rinpoche

Prime Minister Government of Tibet in Exile
…I am neither a writer nor an artist. I am just a simple Buddhist monk. First of all my greetings and the greetings of the Tibetan refugee community in India for this conference and through it to the people of all the SAARC countries.

The theme of the conference is an important philosophical concept. It is also congruent with the true Buddhist path which has pertinent path, interdependent origination, peaceful co-existence and peace as its cardinal principles. Culture is essential in establishing connectivity among the peoples of different nations. Though the word is of Western origin, it has a special connotation in our civilisation. This fact initially struck me on reading Acharya Narendra Dev’s works in which he has simply explained culture as : Sanskritic chitbhoomi ka kritya. In simple English, it can be paraphrased as : ‘Culture is a cultivation of mind’. Real culture lies in a cultivated mind i.e. a mind which is cultivated and developed according to its own nature. The mind of such a person is totally purified. All expressions coming out of such a person are cultural expressions. So without cultivating the mind, without purifying it, art, literature and architecture coming out of a mind cannot have connectivity and expression.

We shall have to understand the uniqueness and the individuality of various cultures. Each one of us is a unique individual. In this world, there are billions of people, but you will not find any of them physically identical. This uniqueness is the basis of commonality and connectivity. If everything becomes uniform, then I don’t think there is much scope for connectivity and inter-dependence. It is high time we recognise each other’s uniqueness, the special flavour of each other’s culture and way of life. Each individual, group or nation is built on the bedrock of uniqueness and this must be respected and preserved. Therein lies the importance of connectivity.