After three meetings with His Holiness The Dalai Lama from Tibet, it was a special event to meet another Holiness from the Himalaya mountains: His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa.
He is a world-renowned humanitarian and environemtal activist from Nepal.
The Drukpa lineage is the grassroots school of diverse Buddhism, which celebrates diversity and active community service.
It counts 27 million followers worldwide.
The Gyalwang Drukpa received the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Honor in 2010 and is the leading advocate for Himalayan communities.
During a lunch at the famous Munich Security Conference 2016 he summarized his belief in a nutshell:
„ All we need is respect. For nature, all creatures, and human beings. A holistic approach to life“
His focus are the Himalaya mountains, where he lives near Katmandu in Nepal.
1.3 billon people depend on the water which springs from the glacies.
This is the roof of the world, where important rivers start which feed into China, India, Bangladesh or Pakistan and all large river deltas in this region.
There are three atomic powers (China, India, Pakistan) next to each other with territorial disputes and little trade or substantive steps towards reconciliation. The glaciers are projected to start melting, given the 2-4 degrees celsius increase in temperature in some decades, resulting in floods and later less water for millions.
The philosophy of the Gyalwang Drukpa rests on these believes:
- Preserving and honoring the diversity and cultures of the Himalayas, while improving quality of life for 1.3 billion people throughout the region by preserving water and natural resources, educating girls and women to become leaders, and sustaining peace in the region.
- An advocate of gender equality, he has made sure that nuns receive a modern education, spiritual teachings traditionally reserved for monks and training in martial arts. These Kung Fu Nuns serve as role models of female physical, spiritual, and mental strength.
- Promote interfaith harmony in the Himalayas. The Silk Road in the Himalaya mountains was for many centuries the world’s most important trading route. Drukpa Buddhism’s belief in accepting all pathways to truth and enlightenment has made the Himalaya region home to one of the few remaining examples of interfaith co-existence. Daily life in Ladakh is an example of Drukpa’s faith in action; once an empire spanning the China-India-Pakistan border, Ladakh is still an area where Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists live in integrated communities and maintain their traditions.
- Against extremism. As Pakistan, India and China closed the roads along their borders, trade and commerce between Himalayan communities suffered. The Drukpa Buddhists serve as a human buffer against the spread of extremism and communism. But a lack of resources makes them vulnerable to forced conversions and cultural genocide.
His Holiness showed that peace needs humanity, reconciliation, fairness, human rights- and a maximum for respect in a diverse world.