From Home To Exile-Remembering March 17, 1959
His Holiness escaped into exile and reached India on March 31st, 1959. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is today not only the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people but is a global icon of peace and a beacon of hope for millions around the world. This is possible because His Holiness has lived in exile, in freedom for the last 60 years.
His Holiness made the most important and biggest decision in his life at the age of 24, at a time when His Holiness straddled between the fear of occupation and hope of escaping into exile. On March 17, 1959, in the dead of the night under dramatic circumstances, His Holiness stepped out of Norbulingka, his summer palace, masquerading as a soldier and embarked on a dangerous journey, crossing the Himalayas on foot with a retinue of soldiers and cabinet members. His Holiness escaped into exile, for freedom and along with him thousands of Tibetans escaped into exile. His Holiness entered India on March 31, 1959, and established the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Mussoorie in April 29, 1959, and later shifted to Dharamshala in May 1960.
Freedom is not just the absence of oppression, but also the presence of purpose, clarity in vision and mission to achieving the purpose. The inspiring life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a living testament to that.
His Holiness said in his biography that when he first stepped on the Indian soil on March 31, 1959, there he experience ‘freedom.’ It was in exile that he found freedom, led freedom and the quest for freedom has set the foundations for CTA.
With its long history and spiritual heritage, CTA and its people survived six decades in exile as the most successful refugee community in the world. This was achieved under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his vision for a democratic Tibetan polity through its unique system of carrying out administrative responsibilities democratically but endowed with Buddhist spiritual values as core components.
The exhibition will feature 33 photos showcasing the journey of His Holiness from Lhasa to India.