tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN April 29, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
>> i'm -- i consider myself a decent, you know, good human being. >> reporter: are you able to forgive those cops? >> oh, yeah. i've been given a break many times in life. everybody's entitled to a break, you know. i didn't die, you know what i mean? >> reporter: no animosity? >> no. >> no. for what? -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com millions of people turn to him for spiritual guidance. tonight my exclusive in-depth interview with the dalai lama. >> i always describe myself as a simple buddhist monk. no more. no less. >> an extraordinary and surprising conversation with the nobel peace prize winner. do you think the world is a more peaceful place now than it was when you first became dalai lama? >> oh, yes. >> his candid views on world leaders. >> i love president bush.
>> which one? >> the younger one. >> really? >> really. sometimes his policy may not be very -- but as a person, as a human being, very nice person. i love him. >> his unexpected views on women. do you ever feel temptation when you see a woman? >> oh, yes. sometimes. if she's -- oh, this is very nice. >> and a humorous side to the dalai lama you may not have seen before. >> i love your accent. british accent. >> thank you. i like your accent. this is "piers morgan tonight." our big story tonight, the dalai lama, tibet's spiritual leader in exile is one of the world's most visible and honored holy men. he's a nobel peace prize winner. he's in the u.s. with the 12th world summit of nobel laureates.
it's my honor to welcome him, his honorness, the dalai lama. how are you? >> fine. >> you were at the mayo clinic. you had your annual check-up. everything good? >> everything good. >> everything healthy? >> last almost stef seven years annually. i got checked here. basics of physical condition remain all the same. >> that's good. >> yes. >> you are probably the most famous person i have ever interviewed. do you like being that famous? >> no, no, no, no. i always describe myself as a simple buddhist monk. no more, no less. i am one of the 7 billion human being. basically, we are same. you are british, yeah. >> i am british, yes. >> i am tibetan. basically, your emotion, my emotion, your mind, my mind, your physical -- of course,
little differences. the size of nose. but basically, the same physical. so i always look that way. we are same. we are same. >> do you think that fame is a corrupting force in the modern world? celebrity? >> i think it depend on mental attitude toward this sort of sense of popularity or sense of good name. if you're too much attach. then sometimes you -- that become hindrance or obstacle to realize one's own weakness. so sometimes as a people, what is really very nice person. at the beginning, truly dedicated people. then eventually pow er.
then sometimes become arrogant. and that. so more, one tibetan lama, he mentioned if you find more and more people respect you, then you must attend to yourself the lowest person. so that's very important. doesn't matter other people see. first of all, in my own case, some people say, god king. nonsense. some people say living buddha. nonsense. and also the other side. some people say me demon. that also nonsense. i am simply a human being. like that. >> when i was very young, kids of my age, when i was sort of 8 or 9 years old, they wanted to be an astronaut or, you know, a scientist or something like
that. today's children, many of them in all the surveys want to be celebrities. they don't care how they get there. they just want to be celebrities. many people think that is damaging to modern society. that that is the new aspiration for young people. >> what is that word? >> celebrity. >> celebrity. or the famous. >> yeah. >> i think -- may i say so, most case, sports or singers or some dancers, that part, that kind, one category. i think really some scientist genuinely carry research,
analyze, finding some new things or deeper way. so i prefer this one. really. thinking. not just sort of external. >> so you like famous people who are famous because they have done something serious scientific. >> yes. >> intelligent. rather than, perhaps, more transitory. >> then i feel like einstein and some other -- really found some new things which useful. of course, sometimes too much negative emotion. then sometimes these new finding utilize for destructive. that is sad. but the founder of these new
things are great. >> we're here to discuss the world peace summit that you've been asked to speak at. do you think the world is a more peaceful place now than it was when you first became dalai lama? >> oh, yes. the fundamental level, i think, much better. at least with disappearance of war and eventually big change happen. so at least the two blocks, both have their nuclear weapon ready to shoot each other. that kind of danger is now no longer. and some pockets, pockets here and there, some violence. it is sad.
but compare during that period's danger, i think today, i think, comparatively, much better. then, i think important, i think all of the world peace is something almost become fashion. peace, peace, peace. even those -- some people who really making every preparation for war, but they use the word of peace, peace, peace. >> when you see the arab spring up risings through the middle east and you see so many countries having young people who are better educated, who are no longer prepared to put up with virtual tidictator ships a they rise up, are you supportive of their actions? do you think that is good for the world that they do this? >> yes, in principle, i support, of course. obviously, i always telling,
expressing, world belongs to humanity. not this leader, that leader or -- or that kings or religious leaders. world belongs to humanity. and then each country, essentially, belongs to their own people. so in america, i -- i often express america belongs to american. around, i think, 300 million american people. not republican party or democratic party. >> do you think sometimes the politicians forget that? >> i don't think generally politician come from democratic country, i think not that thinking. but sometimes a little bit short-sighted. they are mainly looking their
next vote. >> it's true. >> otherwise, i don't think. i don't think. so -- so, therefore, the best way govern the country by the people is to demock ratively. there's no question. no question. therefore, i -- my own case, i dalai lama actually formally ended almost four-century old tibetan tradition. the head of the political -- that i now ended. because, you know, since my childhood, i very much impressed with democratic system. >> so you actually, you ov
overthrew yourself? >> oh, yes. voluntarily. happily. proudly. i have one secret. last year the day i formally sort of handed over, that night unusual deep sleep. >> really? >> yes. so i'm very happy. >> all the responsibilities are gone. let's take a short break. >> so, so, so, so democratic system is best system. so this movement, principle, very good. now i would like to take this opportunity, now they achieved the best basic goal. now time come they must unite. all forces. no matter what their political thinking or something. now they must work together. that's very, very important. mainly thinking about their
economic condition and education are most important. that i would like to say. i mean, i would like to take this opportunity. let's take a short break. when we come back, i want to pick you up on that same point. but i want to ask you about china and about america and about the forthcoming presidential election.
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let's talk china for a moment. china has become in your lifetime arguably now one of the two great super powers of the world. and may well economically in the next 10, 15 years, become the number one super power in the world. what do you think of modern china and how it's changed in the time that you've been dalai lama. >> of course, big change.
china more populated nation. and also long history. i think really, china, chinese, i think they really long history of civilization. i would normally argue their fault. however, in modern china, a lot of ups and downs. but i have full faith chinese people, they are hard working. realistic. so the last, i think, 50 years, i think they already test it. sort of difference of experience. i think they, modern china, they got sort of really tough
experience during cultural relation. so after cultural revolution, seems they opened their eye. so things are changing. lifelong communist. so he very much sort of keep the political power. now that also now changing. now president, prime minister wen jiabao. his meeting with cnn. he mentioned china immedianeede political reform. >> are you pleased when you hear that? >> oh, yes. now, as i mentioned early, fundamentally -- china belongs to 1.3 billion chinese people. not communist party. >> is china's power -- >> so it is changing. >> but is china's new power good
for tibet or is it dangerous for tibet? because the rest of the world may become so fearful of offending the chinese that they stop talking about tibet. >> yes. in some, yes, that's right. more cautious. but somehow, it's a tibet issue. it's very much just issue. and also a moral issue. so number of chinese also showing their genuine sort of sense of solidarity with us. and world, every -- many parts of the world, at least who know something about tibet, about its current situation, i think very, very sort of sympathetic. they have very much concern. and political field or business company, sometimes they are a little bit sort of cautious. >> how did you feel when president obama delayed his
meeting with you when he became president because the chinese objected and he met with them first? did that offend you? >> no. >> did you understand why he did that? >> actually, he said one special sort of -- he says something -- said to me, explained reason. there's certain reason. so better. first, his meeting. i think without some point with chinese complaining. so better. >> you understood that? >> yes. then soon after he return, he want see me. >> and he gave you a 17-minute meeting. which is the longest time i believe that any american president has ever spent with you in one meeting. what did he say to you, president obama? did he give you assurances that he is going to help you? >> he inquired about tibet.
i also explain about the current situation and our thinking. and he show sort of genuine -- about tibet issue. >> does he share your vision, which is for a tibet that has shared power between tibet and china? does he share that vision? >> he support our approach. not separation. for our interest. i explain these things. of course, he already knows. then after our meeting, the white house formally -- clearly mentioned their support. very, very good. good very meeting. >> activists -- >> and also sort of meeting -- the previous bush and clinton. and even the senior or the
father, mr. bush father also i met. it was very nice. very nice. all very nice. >> since the start of 2011, activists say that over 30 tibetans have self-imulated. obviously a very serious escalation of the number of people taking their lives in this way. as the holy leader, what do you say to people doing these things and why are people doing this now? >> of course, it's extremely sad. very sad. but this is not something new. in china itself, i think during cultural revolution, one important chinese monster abort himself. it happen.
tibet, there are suicide cases there. this is one way they believe nonviolence. they simply sacrifice their own life. so very sad. so now important thing is, not sufficient to express we are very sad. but we must think, what causes this desperate situation? >> what do you think it is? >> that's obvious. i often telling including some chinese sort of print, now time come, chinese government must think seriously and then they must follow regarding the policy, regarding the minority, they must follow the policy as stated. so their policy must be
realistic. they must accept the reality. so then the things -- once they know the reality, then process of policy according to rewralty, realistic policy. >> many of the tibetans who are taking their lives are doing so because they want a free tibet. that implies that they want separation from china. but that's not what you want. >> no. >> you don't think that's achievable. you think that it's better to have a shared power. so what do you say to these young tibetans who are desperate for a free tibet? who are chasing separation? do you think it's time that they are told? >> among tibetan, some see, yes,
that means independence. but many tibetan, you see, feel, you see, if they really want me back, they really trust me, then automatically they will sort of agree my view. so it is quite contradiction. they want dalai lama. but they do not want dalai lama's idea. it is contradiction. >> but that is a big problem, isn't it? >> i don't think, no. no. of course, some people, right from the beginning they always say, oh, we want complete independence. but majority of the people, not only here, but also inside tibet, last few decades, say i
had few occasion, they collect their views. even within tibet. from pockets. so most of the people, particularly more educated, more think, more realistic thinking, they all fully support -- >> do you believe -- do you believe the new chinese leadership are -- are getting close to doing some kind of deal with tibet or not? do you believe that they are thinking the right way? >> now, firstly, you see, there are -- there are sort of policies regarding their own people now thinks there are indication. they're more moderate. more realistic thinking. they seems apprehend.
so once chinese leaders, communist leaders, they really thinking more realistically, then tibetan issue very easily can solve. and also the issue of uighur people. also in mongolia. also rest of the china. i think -- i always expressing 1.2 billion chinese people have every right to know the reality. once people know the reality, 1.3 billion chinese people also have the ability to judge what is right, what is wrong. therefore, the censorship is immoral. chinese people should know the reality. so censorship is really -- >> if the censorship goes and the reality comes out, there is more chance of a deal? >> certainly.
100%. let's take a short break. i'm going to come back and talk to you about america. i want you to tell the american people what you think of modern america and how to keep america great. because you've seen america for six decades, seven decades now. i'm interested in your view. the chevy cruze eco also offers 42 mpg on the highway. actually, it's cruze e-co, not ec-o. just like e-ither. or ei-ther. or e-conomical. [ chuckling ] or ec-onomical. pa-tato, po-tato, huh?
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i'm back again with the dalai lama. talk to me about america. what does america mean to you? >> oh, of course, the greatest democratic country. and i think a country because of the democracy, the freedom, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, i think a lot of innovation. you see, develop in this country. and then as a human being, american mostly forward very easily can talk. not like british. >> in the like the british? your holiness! no need for that. >> english a little bit -- what's the -- >> polite is the word you're looking for. reserved. >> but one might sort of experience first time visit europe and then london.
england. london. so once a reception. after my talk, one english gentleman. sort of dignified person. approached me. then expressed to me he really admire you often say i don't know. so then i -- i felt english person seems difficult find to say i don't know. >> that is true. that is true. you'd never hear me say that. let's get back to modern america. clearly going through big problems at the moment. big economic problems. examining itself as a country, about its values. the american dream and how that has changed. many people out of work now losing their homes and so on. what do you think of what has
happened to america and how can it get itself back on track again? >> as i mentioned before, actually, i asked the president, and he assured me, america, the fundamentalness of the economic condition is sound. so i often, you see, expressing when i give some public talk that in any case, america must succeed. democratic country. very powerful democratic country. it is not only american interest, but interest for the free world. so i think american lifestyle maybe i think should sort of -- should be more realistic. and think, there are some obstacles. there is no guarantee to further go like that.
that, i think. then after all, there on global level 7 billion human being. some are rich. some are poor. and big sort of gap, rich and poor. >> do too many americans chase money as a beacon of success, do you think? >> huh? >> do too many americans see money as a form of success? is it a false dream having a lot of money? >> not only america, but also europe. also now you see it also money is the top most important for value of our life. this is, i think, wrong. this is wrong. money or physical -- the material facility can provide only physical comfort. true physical comfort. some kind of mental sort of satisfaction is actually false.
disillusion. so the real peace of mind must come through sort of inner mental strength. not money. not physical comfort. so that, i think, modern world, not only america, but modern world, even china and russia, now, you see, they -- much of the talk involves money. >> who are the most impressive world leaders that you've ever met in your life? who have that heart element to them. who understand this. >> well, i think leaders have to act according to -- >> who has impressed you? somebody like nelson mandela? i mean, which people that you've ever met have really impressed you. >> i think nelson mandela, i think one of the sort of quite impressive. and then -- then, of course, as
individual, individual person, i love president bush. >> which one? >> the younger one. >> really? >> yes. >> really? why? >> as a human being. >> really? >> not as a president of america. sometimes his policy may not be very successful, but as a person, as a human being, very nice person. i love him. >> but how did you feel that president bush went to war so much and was responsible for death if you're a man of peace? >> after he sort of start the crisis, then my occasion meeting with him, then i express to him, i love you. but your policies concerned, i have some reservation. i told him. >> what did he say? maybe you should have been in his cabinet. let's take a short break, your holiness. when we come back, i want to
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>> yeah, right. of course, my early part of my life, as a tibetan, you see, our main diet, nonvegetarian. then after i come to india, 65, i give up eating meat and eggs, fish. so next, about 20 months. then some illness. the gallbladder, jaundice problem. so my face become yellow. and nails and eyes become yellow. so later i jokingly tell people, at that time i truly become living buddha. yellow person.
so i really making effort to put more vegetarian. but i myself remain nonvegetarian. >> let's move on to other issues. as a monk, you obviously subscribe to a vow of celibacy. >> yes. >> is that hard? >> no. if you just, you see, physical experience, that is sometimes you may find a certain desire. but then all picture, i often telling, one occasion in england, some buddhist monk, european buddhist monk, i told him, when you watch the people who have family, sometimes i
notice my first visit another woman, another wife. second visit, another woman, another wife. previous wife, some children. then another occasion, third -- third wife. so this is really children suffer much when divorce. parent divorce. and i told the married people, their mental state, their emotional state, too much ups and downs. compare that with celibate people's mind, more steady. >> do you ever feel temptation when you see a woman? >> oh, yeah, sometimes, you think, this is very nice. but then thinking, thinking it's a real job. then feel, oh, too much a problem. too much dirty things like that. >> really? >> really. even my dream.
sort sort of dreaming some woman like that. i monk. i never dreamt in my dream i'm dalai lama. i always dream, i'm monk. buddhist monk. >> do you ever drink alcohol? >> never. >> have you ever smoked a cigarette? >> no. >> ever taken a drug? >> no. >> nothing? >> why? >> completely? i don't know. i'm just asking. i don't know the answers. >> no, no, no. i mean, drugs, if your mind is little disturbances, unrest, that is not a choice. brain tranquilizers or drugs or alcohol. my mind, our mind quite peaceful. so no need these things. >> have you always been peaceful? >> and then -- wait, wait, wait. the wine, tibetan wine. when i was very young, i think
7, 8 years. very young. one night, one evening, late evening, i'm just playing. then one person you see carrying two bottles. and i immediately run towards him. and then my finger, bput in the bottle. very sweet. then i ask that person, please, one bottle, put in my bedroom. >> i'm shocked, your holiness. what happened then? did you drink it? >> after my play, i return my room. and there is the bottle. one bottle there. i touch. just water. they changed it. >> and you can still remember that bottle, can't you? you wish you had drunk it. do you watch television?
>> yes. in the past. last two years, no. >> what programs would you watch? >> usually like discovery, or some sort of documentary thing. very good. >> did you ever watch entertainment programs? >> no. >> you never watched "american idol?" >> no. >> simon cowell? do you know who simon cowell is? >> i don't know. >> that's the right answer. i like that. do you listen to music? >> no. >> not at all? >> no. >> really? >> really. >> no music at all? >> i have no interest. >> really? >> yes. >> do you ever watch movies? >> no. >> you've never seen a movie? i saw a movie, "peace and war." >> "war and peace." but richard gere is your good friend? >> yes. >> you've never seen one of his
movies? >> no. >> is he irritated that you've never seen one of his movies? >> i don't know. >> one final break. i'm fascinated about how you lead your life. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. monarch of marketing analysis. with the ability to improve roi through seo all by cob. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. i'm going b-i-g. [ male announcer ] good choice business pro. good choice. go national. go like a pro. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities --
you're twice as popular as me. do you ever actually -- do you ever actually -- do you actually do the tweets? >> no, never. >> somebody does that for you? >> yes. >> they're very good. i have been reading them. >> my finger -- you see quite well equipped. most of the -- >> yeah. you could have been an engineer. >> this was a computer -- these things, my finger not so good. >> do you ever use a computer? >> no. >> do you ever send an e-mail? >> no. >> have you ever used a cell phone? >> no. occasionally. i might talk with someone like including bush. >> so if a president calls you'll use a cell phone? >> oh, yes. >> pretty exclusive club you have there. >> i felt, you see, when i talk, that should be here and listen should be here then
someone told me not necessary. so it's like that. like that. >> they warned me before that if you sit back in your chair like this, it means that you've lost interest in the interview. i've been very pleased you spent most of the interview leaning forward. that means you must have enjoyed it. >> your interview not just because of the -- something, some discussion without feeling. since you are talking with certain feeling, then i love your ago scent. >> thank you, your holiness. i like your accent. let me ask you, finally, you have had an amazing life and long may it continue. what has been the greatest moment of your life?
if i could replay one moment for you, what wou it be? >> i think initially immediately after my final examination, it was 1959. happy. >> to become dalai lama? >> no, no, no, final examination for my degree of study. >> right, okay. >> and then, then perhaps the 17th or 18th morning march '59. the 17th night i left, i escaped. and in 8:00 in the morning i already reached some distance, now free. chinese soldier. so tremendous sort of feeling of
sort of -- firstly now no longer immediate danger. danger still there. then mainly freedom of speech. then when my mother and sister get out -- afternoon 18th, then including my mother, now freely criticized the chinese. before that sort of a little bit of cautious. >> you were free at last. >> yes. >> free at last. >> i think at least that i think several i think thousand people should get some benefit. many vocation, some through writing or some through personal meeting, a number of people expressed to me after
hearing your thinking, their mind become much more happier. >> well, i can tell you, your holiness, i feel happier than i did one hour ago. and that is down to you. it's been a fascinating hour. thank you very much, indeed. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. so, you see, there's some -- and then religious harmony is concerned. i made some contribution. >> you did. you have. you have. >> when i reflect these things, then i feel a success. >> your holiness, thank you so very much. it's been such a pleasure. >> thank you, thank you. >> thank you very much. >> announcer: with nothing but his computer, an identity thief is able to use your information to open a bank account in order to make your money his money. [whoosh, clang] you need lifelock, the only identity theft protection company that now monitors bank accounts for takeover fraud. lifelock: relentlessly
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tonight in america some inspiration from the remarkable man i just interviewed. americans spend $11 billion a year on self-help from books and yoga classes to retreats and botox and god knows what else. the dalai lama however provides a cheaper way of finding happiness. here it is in the great man's own words. the seven-point guide to self-fulfillment. one, the practice of love can be expressed in one sentence -- do not harm others. two, the true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred. three, the point of our existence is as human beings we live purposeful, meaningful lives. four, for your