Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Speech at the Inauguration

January 24, 2014

Respected Your Holiness Karmapa, Rinpoches and people who’ve come from all over the world for His Holiness’s teachings, I’m happy to come here because I know I can see history in the making. Every so many years one spiritual being in the form of a human comes to change history, to make religion more centred, to bring it to its original path and I believe that Karmapa is amongst those beings who has come to help us realize ourselves.

When an ant sleeps at night it makes a little pillow and it sleeps like this. When she gets up in the morning, the first thing she does is yawn and……..if you tickle a mouse it will also do hee hee hee.

When an elephant dies, the other elephants come for four days and they mourn that dead elephant. We also have a four day ceremony.  You take any animal, when a dog’s babies are run over in front of the mother, she cries and cries and cries.

There is no difference, the soul, the atman, the essence is the same. But we who believe in incarnation, I do not love animals, I love myself, and I see myself in every animal, and I feel scared [because] we are due for incarnation all the time. I have been a tree, I have been a donkey, I have been a dog, I have been a horse, I have been a snail, I’ve been a fish. Who knows what I will be next time, so why do I not make  preparation for my next time?  And that is the only reason why I work for animals, because I am the animal, I am the tree, I am the air.

How do you talk to God and say, “Help me!” when you are the eaten yourself?  Any animal you eat is a form of cannibalism, because there is nothing different. The cells are the same, everything is the same. Therefore, cannibalism is one of the reasons for all our diseases. We need to understand we are them, they are us. I believe that if we are going to make the world a better place for humans, then we have to make it a better place for every living being.

And that is why I am so happy that we have His Holiness the Karmapa, who has changed the Kagyu thought, who has turned many thousands and thousands of people vegetarian.

Bodhgaya has been the centre of so much enlightening thought. Till today there has been no animal welfare provided for in Bihar because nobody thought about it, but today we are thinking about it.

Today we have the ex-Urban Development Minister, the Health Minister, the local Mayoress, the MLA.

We have so many. We have the spokesman of the Chief Minister, we have so many wonderful people who have come here. I hope that today’s camp, which is going to be of a long duration, is the beginning of all animal welfare in Bihar. I will certainly work towards it and I hope that all of you [will too].

[India is] an ancient culture, an ancient civilization,

I wish the camp all well.

I would like to thank Catherine for introducing me to His Holiness and changing my life, and, hopefully, through us changing so many other lives. And I would like to thank Gangkar Rinpoche, whose guest I was in Chauntra, and all the other Rinpoches, and  enlightened souls who are here

Thank you all for coming.  Namaskar.


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