KORIYAMA, November 6: Arriving into Koriyama city in the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima, it is hard for the naked eye to notice any striking difference from the other places that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been visiting for the last ten days.
But a Geiger counter device, used for detecting radiation, when placed on the ground in the middle of the city just before the Dalai Lama’ s arrival, showed a reading of 2.28 microsievert/hour – a mark, dangerously bordering the radiation level considered hazardous for human life if continuously exposed for a year.
On March 11, following the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, 60 kms from Koriyama, suffered major damage to its cooling system, leading to nuclear radiation leaks.
Over 200,000 people were evacuated from the Fukushima prefecture. Many never returned, while those who did, had their families separated and livelihoods destroyed.
Arriving from the tsunami stricken areas of Sendai, the Dalai Lama told a packed audience at the Nihon University in Koriyama that calm mind, self-confidence and holistic approach during tragic circumstances were essential in confronting problems.
“A good immune system can protect your physical health but if your mental state is disturbed, then even a small problem would seem unbearable,” the Dalai Lama said.
Responding to a concern expressed by a teacher of his students facing emotional distress following the tsunami and radiation threat, His Holiness said that it was always beneficial to “share people’s sufferings”.
“We, being social animal and part of the human society, must use our human intelligence and help those suffering. Always think that you are not alone, the whole humanity is with you.”
Advising the audience, many of whom were uprooted from their native lands by the radiation leak, the Dalai Lama said it was always better to take precaution.
“More natural disasters might come in the future because of global warming, so it is better you move to higher grounds and rebuild your home and family with greater enthusiasm”.
Crediting his late mother for bestowing in him the seed of compassion, the Dalai Lama said that warm heartedness and kindness were the ultimate source of optimism and inner strength.
“The first benefit of genuine compassion goes to the practitioner. Genuine warm-heartedness gives you the self confidence and determination to see things positively and impartially”.
Rubbishing widespread rumours of the world facing its end in the year 2012, the Tibetan spiritual leader said that human kind will continue to live and evolve for thousands of more years.
“Every single person from amongst 7 billion human beings have something to complain. So, don’t worry. Be optimistic”.