ENDANGERED SPIRITUAL HERITAGE
The news about the auction/sale of the Tibetan Cultural
Center and grounds in Bloomington came as a shock (The Star,
May 26). I cannot imagine the pain and anguish of its founder
Dr. Thubten Norbu, the brother of His Holiness the Fourteenth
Dalai Lama. His life-time of work and dream to build a spiritual
refuge for the uprooted Tibetan people and culture in America's
heartland is about to be shattered.
The Chamste Ling Interfaith Temple near Indiana University
is an interfaith center for all religions dedicated by the
Dalai Lama in 2003. For countless millions of other faiths,
His Holiness is an illustrious spiritual teacher and man
of peace. With Dalai Lama's four visits to the area, Buddhists
consider this as hallowed ground; many others consider this
sacred space as an "island of peace." This is
a cultural treasure: an emerging international pilgrimage
center and a unique spiritual tourism site.
Religious institutions need to be financially responsible,
meet their obligations, and honor the laws of the land.
The Tibetan Temple/Cultural Complex cannot be exempt from
that basic responsibility. However given the urgency and
its importance, our philanthropic foundations, interfaith
and educational institutions, successful Buddhists and others
must step forward to save this cultural site from disappearing
and simultaneously to work on its future stability. Our
timely action or lack there of sends an important message
to the world. Hoosiers have an opportunity to honor a spiritual
leader of our times, Tibetans around the world, and faiths
that today enrich our cultural landscape.
Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA