Post menyikapi kejadian di Tibet baru-baru ini (Maret 2008).
Indonesia, Tibet and the secret of 'terima kasih'
Anand Krishna, Jakarta ,
I first met His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1996. Accompanying me was a
parliamentarian and two other friends. We were fortunate enough to
have a private audience with him. When I said we were from Indonesia,
he immediately reacted: "Oh yes, yes, yes ... Indonesia .... Tibet has
very strong relations, strong ties with Indonesia." | Mon,
03/24/2008 1:10 AM | Opinion
"Atisha, was a monk from India. He went to Indonesia to learn from the
Indonesian master," he said.
Fortunately, I knew the story.
Indeed, not many Indonesians remember we used to be a treasure house
of wisdom. We did not import spirituality from India; indeed, even the
Indian pundits came to our archipelago to learn from our indigenous
Later, Atisha traveled to Tibet, where he propagated the teachings of
The meditation he taught is still being practiced by the Tibetans. It
is called Tong-Len, literally meaning "The Meditation of Terima and
Kasih, Receiving and Giving". The common phrase terima kasih, now
meaning "thank you", is no ordinary phrase.
There's a deep philosophy behind it. It reflects our view of life and
it projects our deep rooted belief. We, Indonesians, believe, or at
least once believed, in the law of gratitude. We do not, or did not,
need a movie like The Secret to tell us to "be grateful" for all we
receive from the universe.
More than 800 years ago, the Indian pundit traveled to Sumatra, then
known as Svarna Dvipa, to learn from Dharmakirti Suvarnadvipi,
Dharmakirti of Svarna Dvipa. He spent more than 10 years with his
master. He documented each word he heard and each lesson he learned.
We, Indonesians, do not have any record of this.
Later, this meditation would be used by Tibetan medicine men and
doctors. They would imagine their patients' pain and draw it into
themselves. This is the first part of meditation, terima -- receiving.
Then, in the second part, they would send out their energy of well
being, kasih -- giving.
The was technique soon replaced their herb-based anesthesia. Let me
remind you again, all this happened over 800 years ago.
The beauty of this technique is, the receiver of pain, the recipient,
can process pain and transform it into well-being. All negativities
can be drawn into oneself, be processed and then projected out as
Now the technique is being used by many Western neurologists, as part
of transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, to relieve the suffering
of some stroke victims.
"But I have to emphasize, we haven't got a clue what's going on," said
Max Bennett, professor at the University of Sydney and one of the
world's top neurologists.
"It's a phenomenon. But in one sense, it does indicate that there are
a lot of things that we know nothing about in Western science," he said.
"We know by the year about 2020, the greatest disabling phenomenon for
the health of the human race will be depression. Not cancer, not heart
disease, but depression," he said.
This drug-free technique from our own archipelago can ultimately
replace the expensive morphine-based pain killers.
When discussing the Chinese occupation of his homeland, the Dalai Lama
said, "This is the meditation which frees me from hatred. I use it
every day to send out positive energy and feelings to the Chinese."
I personally can never ever forget the words of the Dalai Lama: "We
Tibetans are always thankful to Indonesia and Indonesians, for this
beautiful Tong Len teaching."
Those of you who have seen and heard him may recall the way he speaks.
He uses minimal words, short sentences and is not burdened by the
sophisticates of English grammar.
I bear witness to Dalai Lama's terima kasih for us, Indonesians and
our land, Indonesia. I stand witness to his gratefulness, his gratitude.
Now, as Indonesians let's remind ourselves of what it means to be
thanked. It is kembali kasih, and when reading between the lines it
means "I am equally grateful to you."
Unlike the American "welcome" and British "never mind", Indonesians
return "gratitude with gratitude". Let us now face the mirror of our
consciousness and let us check the face of our souls. Have we returned
the Tibetan gratitude with gratitude?
For almost a millennium the Tibetans have preserved the missing pages
of our history. They have preserved them with a sense of gratitude.
What have we done for them? How do we return our gratitude to them?
The European Union, the United States, the United Nations and
countries like Poland, Germany, India and Taiwan have all commented on
the recent uprising in Tibet against the illegal occupation of their
homeland by the Communist regime of China.
What do we have to say? Perhaps we find it more comfortable to remain
silent as we have been doing recently. But, let us remind ourselves
this is not our tradition, this is not our culture.
Let us remind ourselves of what Sukarno, the father of our nation,
once said: "Freedom to be free* For, of what use would be 'freedom
from fear'; of what use would be 'freedom to express, freedom to
believe, and freedom from poverty, freedom from fear' -- if there is
no 'freedom to be free?'"
Time and again, Sukarno would repeat that the fruits of Indonesia's
freedom would not be enjoyed by Indonesians alone and that Indonesia
would unceasingly work for the freedom of all peoples from all lands.
I have no space left to discuss the illegalities of the Chinese
occupation of Tibet. Any student of history cannot but condemn the
occupation. We, as a nation, must immediately stand up against the
occupation. Otherwise, generations to come may laugh at our cowardice,
unclear foreign policies and our negligence toward history. Aside from
the Tibetan issue, I am afraid our attitude may ultimately harm us.
The writer is a spiritual activist and author of more than 110 books
(www.aumkar. org, www.anandkrishna. org, www.californiabali. org).