Karma Chura-Tsang (R)giving his two short readings as Tseyang Dolma (L) holds the golden London Olympic Torch during an interfaith service in London on July 22, 2012. (Photo/Tibet Society).
DHARAMSHALA, July 25: Although Tibet doesn’t qualify as a nation to take part in the 2012 Olympic games, two Tibetans in London were given the opportunity to hold the Olympic torch at an interfaith service.
Days before the opening of the Games, the World Congress of Faiths, an inter-faith group, organised a pre-Olympic prayer service at St Martin in the Fields on Sunday.
Two Tibetans, along with representatives from nine other faiths, were invited to do readings of their version of the Golden Rule - 'Do unto others what you would have them do to you.'
According to the organisers, the golden Olympic torch that was held aloft during the service was lent by an Olympic torchbearer from Bristol, a city around 200 kms west of London.
Olympic torchbearers are allowed to keep their torch as mementos. Many have also opted to put them up for auction for charity.
Karma Chura-Tsang gave two short readings in Tibetan and English of the Buddhist version of the Golden Rule, while Tseyang Dolma held the unlit Olympic torch.
Karma, who is also a board member of Tibet Society read first from the Dhammapada: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful”. He followed this with an ancient Tibetan Buddhist saying, “Whatever is not pleasing to yourself, do not that unto others; let all hear this moral maxim and having heard it, keep it well.”
Riki Hyde-Chambers, Chairman of Tibet Society, then expanded on these by reading a piece by the Dalai Lama; “As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery. We have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger and attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion, a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness. Or, in simpler form, if you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Incidentally, the World Congress of Faiths was founded in 1936 by Sir Francis Younghusband, the British army officer who invaded Tibet in 1904.