tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN May 25, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
when you first became dalai l a lama? >> oh, yes. >> his candid views on world leaders. >> i love president bush. >> which one? >> the younger one. >> really? >> really. as a person, as a human being, very nice person. i met him. >> his unexpected views on women. >> do you ever feel temptation when you see a woman? >> oh, yeah. sometimes. she 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, your holiness. i like your accent. this is "piers morgan tonight." our big story tonight, the dalai lama, tibet's spiritual leader in exile, is is one of the world's most visible and honored holy men. he's a nobel peace prize winner, in the u.s., my honor to welcome
his holiness, the dalai lama. your holiness, how are you? >> fine. >> you were at the mayo clink. you've had your annual checkup. everything good? >> everything good? >> everything healthy? >> last one was seven years. annually i got checked, yeah. >> yeah. >> so basic sort of physical condition remain more the same. >> that's good. yes? you are probably the most famous person i have ever interviewed. >> really? >> do you like being that famous? >> no, no, no, no. i describe myself as a monk, no more, no less. i am one of the seven human beings. basically, we are the same. you are british or -- >> i'm british, yes. >> i'm tibetan.
these are things. basically, your emotion, my emotion, your mind, my mind, your -- of course differences the size of nose. but basically the same physical. so i always look that way. yeah. same. yeah, same. >> do you think that fame is a corrupting force in the modern world, celebrity? >> i think it depends on attitude toward these popularity or name if you're too much attached. and then sometimes that become hindrance to realize one's own weakness. so sometimes people originally very nice person, like most of the people at the begin, truly
dedicated people. but then eventually power, this is spoiled. so then sometimes become arrogant. like that. so more -- practice one tibetan, he mentioned if you are becoming -- if you find more and more people respect you, then you must think of yourself is the lowest person. so that's very important. doesn't matter other people say. now, 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'm 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. >> hmm. >> 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. and many people think that is damaging to modern society, that that is the new aspiration of young people. >> the word -- >> celebrity. >> celebrity. or be famous. >> yeah. >> i think -- and may i say so, most case spots or sinners or some dancers, that part, that kind, one can put it that way. so another i think really add
some scientist, genuinely cares research, analyze, finding some new things and chip away. so i prefer this one, really thinking, not just sort of external thing. >> so you like famous people who are famous because they have done something serious, scientific. >> yes. >> intelligent. rather than perhaps more transito transitory, vacuous. >> like einstein and some other. these are really -- found some new things which useful. of course sometimes too much never emotion, then sometimes
this new finding you realize for destructive. that is sad. but the founder of these new things are great, not their mistake, not their fault. >> we're here to discuss the world peace summit, which 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. f fundamental level i think the world is much better. at least with disappearance of berlin wall and eventually big change happened. so at least the two blocks. both have nuclear weapon ready to shoot each other. that kind of danger is now no
longer. and some sort of pocket, some violence. that is sad. but compare during that danger, i this think that today much better. that i think important. i think world peace almost something 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 uprisings 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 dictatorships and 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. but obviously, i was telling, expressing, world belongs to humanity, not this leader, that leader, or the kings or -- kings or religious leader. world belongs to humanity. and then each country essentially belongs to their own people. so in america, i often use the express america belongs to americ american, and i think 300 million american. not republican party or democratic party. so -- >> do you think sometimes that the politicians forget that? >> so -- i don't think generally
politician come from democracy country, i think not that thinking. but sometimes little bit shortsighted. they are mainly looking the next vote. >> it's true. >> that is what we say, drawback. i don't think. i don't think. i don't think. so, therefore, the best way govern the country by the people is democratively. there's no question. no question. therefore, i -- my own choice, i the dalai lama, actually, formally ended almost four centuries' old tibetan tradition. alone the head of the political. that i not end it.
because since i shall vote, i was very impressed with the democratic system. >> you actually overthrew yourself. >> oh, yes. volunteered. happily. proudly. i have one secret. last year, the day i did, that night, unusual deep sleep. >> really. >> yes. all happy. >> all the responsibility is gone. let's take a short break. >> so, so, so, democracy system is best system. >> yeah. >> so these movement, peaceful, very good. now i would like to take this opportunity. now they achieve the best goal. now time come, they must stay united. all forces. no -- no matter what their political thinking or something. now they must work together.
that's very important. thinking abtheir economic condition or education, but this is most important. that i would like to say. i would like to take this ton. >> let's take a short break, your holiness. when we come back, i want to pick up on that same point, but i want to ask you about china and about america and about the forthcoming presidential election. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: slow ]
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i'm with his holiness, the dalai lama. let us talk china for a moment. china has become, in your lifetime, arguably now one of the two great superpowers of the world and may well economically in the next 10, 15 years become the number-one superpower 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. with china, most population and also long history. i think really china -- chinese,
i think really long history of civilization, rich culture. i would normally argue richness of their food. however, in modern china, lot of ups and downs. but i have full faith. chinese people are hardworking, realistic. so the last i think 60 years i think they already test id, sort of different sort of experience. i think they -- modern china, they got sort of really tough experience during cultural revolution. so after cultural revolution seems they opened their eye. so things are changing -- i feel
very realistic person. somehow he's communist, life-long communist dedicated person. so he very much sort of keep the political power. now that also now changing. now president, prime minister, wen jiabao, often several location including one, i think his meeting with cnn, he mention ed china needed political reform. so he seems to -- >> are you pleased when you hear that? >> oh, yes. now, as i mentioned earlier, my fundamental belief, you see, china belongs to the chinese people, not communist party or government party. >> but is china's power -- >> so things are 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.
>> some, yes, more sort of cautious. but somehow it's a tibet issue. this is a very much just an issue and also a moral issue. so number of chinese also showing they're changing sort of the sense of solidarity with us. and the world -- many parts of the world, at least who know something about tibet, the current situation, i think very, very sympathetic. so they have very much concern. and the political or business company sometimes 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 sent a special sort of representative. i mean, he send something, sent to me, explained the reason. there's such a reason. so better. first his meeting. i think without some point without chinese complaining. so better. >> you understood that. >> yes. then soon after he returned, he want see me. >> he gave you a 17-minute meeting, which is the longest time i believe 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 explain the current situation and what thinking. and he show sort of genuine --
the tibetan issue. >> does he share your vision, which is for a tibet that has shared pow er between tibet and china? does he share that vision? >> our approach, not seeking separation for all interest. i explain these things. of course he already knows. then after our meeting, the white house formally -- some press, clearly mentioned their support. very, very good. very good indeed. >> activists -- >> and that also sort of meeting, the previous bush and clinton, and yesterday this senior or the father mr. bush the father that was -- also i met very nice. all very nice. >> since the start of 2011,
activists say that over 30 tibetans have started a serious escalation in the number of people taking their lives in this way. as their holy leader, what do you feel about this? what do you say to people who are thinking of doing the same thing? and why aren't more people doing this now? >> of course it is extremely sad, very sad. but this is not something new. in china itself during the revolution, one important chinese did that to himself. it happened. these are one way they believe nonviolence. and then the kings are desperate. then instead of harming others
they simply sacrifice their own life. so very sad. so now important thing is we express we are very sad. but we must think what the causes of this sort of desperate situation? >> and what do you think it is? >> that's obvious. i often used to telling, now time come, the chinese government must think seriously, and then they must follow the guardians of the policy regarding the minority. they must follow the policy as truth and fact. so their policy must be realistic. they must accept the reality. so then the things -- once they know the reality, and that
process or policy according to reality, that's 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 were told? >> some say yes, there have been sort of -- what's the -- purpose. so some people say that means independence. but many tibetan, you say if you
really want me back, trust me, then automatically they will sort of agree my view. so it is quite contradiction. they want a dalai lama, but they do not want dalai lama's idea. it is contradiction. >> that is a big problem, isn't it. >> i don't think, no. no. of course some people they say 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, i had few occasion to collect their views. even within tibet. from pock epoch ets.
so most of the people, particularly more educated, more think -- more realistic thinking, they all fully support -- >> do you believe the new chinese leadership 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, their sort of policy regarding their own people, now things -- you see, there are indication, these are indication they're more moderate, more realistic thinking. there seems upper hand, gaining upper hand. but still too early to say. so the chinese leaders, communist leaders, they really thinking more realistically, then tibet very easily can show
and also the issue of the people and also rest of china. i think that's what -- i always expressing 1.2 billion chinese people have every right to know the reality. once people know the reality, chinese people also have the ability to judge what is right and what is wrong. therefore, the censorship is immoral. chinese people should know the reality. so censorship is really very, very immoral. >> if 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 american people what you think of modern america. and how to keep america great. because you've seen america for
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i'm back again with the dalai lama. your holiness, talk to me about america. what does america mean to you? >> oh, of course the greatest northern country and i think a country, because of the democracy, the freedom, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, i think lot of innovation, you see develop in this country. and then, as a human being, american, more straightforward, easily can talk, not like the british. >> the british. your holiness. no need for that. >> english, what's the -- >> polite is the word you're looking for. reserved. >> but my sort of experience first time visit europe and then
london, england, london. so one sort of reception after my talk, one reception. one english gentleman, very sort of dignified person approached me. then ek pressed to me he really admi admire, you often say "i don't know." so then i felt english person seems difficult find to say "i don't know." >> bthat is true. you never hear me say that. let's get back to modern america. clearly going through big problems at the moment. big economic problems. also 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.
>> hmm. >> 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 ask the president, and he assured me america, the fundamentals of the economic conditions is solved. so i often, you see, express when i give some public talk that in any case america must succeed. this is very volatile country. it is not only american interest but interest for the free world. so i think american lifestyle maybe i think sort of -- should be more realistic and think there are some obstacles. there is no guarantee to further
sort of go like that. that i think -- and then after all on global level 7 billion human being, some of it rich, some of it poor. big sort of gap. >> do too many americans chase money as a beacon of success, do you think? >> hmm? >> do too many americans see money as a form of success? is it a false dream, having a lot of money? >> that not only in america but also in europe and also now asia also. money is the topmost important for value of our life? this is i think wrong. this is wrong. the money or physical -- the material facility can provide only physical comfort. through physical confer, some kind of mental satisfaction is
actually false, delusion. so the great peace of mind must come through sort of inner mental strength, not money, not physical sort of comfort. so that i think modern world, not only america but modern world here in china and russia. now my sort of talk, you know, also 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 the orders of the -- >> but who has impressed you? i mean, somebody like nelson mandela? which people that you've ever met are you really impressed with? >> i think nelson mandela are 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. that's a human being. >> really. >> not as a president of america. sometimes his policy may not be very, very purposeful. but as a person, 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 so many deaths if you're a man of peace? >> after he sort of start the iraq sort of crisis, then my occasion meeting with him, i express for him i love you, but your policies concerned, i have some reservation. i told him. >> what did he say? >> he could not -- >> maybe you should have been in his cabinet. >> you see some -- >> let's take a short break,
your holiness. when we come back, i want to talk to you about you and your life. weather. nice weather coming up today through this tuesday. evening. you don't have anything on your calendar for this evening. fantastic..linguica. i found 5 restaurants whose reviews mention linguica fairly close to you. joke. two iphones walk into a bar.. i forget the rest.
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i'm back with his holiness, the dalai lama. your holiness. and i want to get into your life and the kind of lifestyle that you lead, because you're a fascinating man in many ways. first of all, you were a vegetarian, but then you got bored with that and went back to meat. is that right? is that right? >> of course my early part of my li life, a tibetan, to see our main diet, nonvegetarian. then after i came to india, 65 i give up eating meat and eggs, fish, pure vegetarian. so next, about 20 months i live that. then some illness. the gallbladder, jaundice problem. so i -- my face become yellow
and nails and eyes from yellow. so later i told the tibetan people at that time i truly become living buddha, yellow person. so i really making sort of positive -- making effort to put more vegetarian, but i myself remain nonvegetarian. >> let's move on to other issues. as a monk, you oversee -- subscribe to a vow of celibacy. >> yes. >> is that hard? >> no. if you just, you see, physically experience, then you sometimes you may find a certain desire. but then overall picture, i
often telling -- one occasion in england some buddhist monk, european become buddhist monk, i tell them, when you watch the people who have family, sometimes i notice my first visit another woman, another wife, second visit another woman, another wife, or the previous wife some children, then another oanother occasion, third wife. so this is really children suffer much when divorce, parent divorce. and i told the married people, their mental state, emotional state, too much ups and downs. compare that single people mind more steady. long run, we have advantage. >> do you ever feel temptation when you see a woman?
>> oh, yes, sometimes. oh, this is very nice. but then thinking, hmm, thinking it's a real job, then feel too much problem, too much dirty things like that. >> really. >> really. even my dream, this is some sort of dreaming some women, like that, originally i am monk. i never dreamt in my dream i'm dalai lama. i always am monk, buddhist monk. >> do you ever drink alcohol? >> never. >> have you ever smoked a cigarette? >> no. the buddhists -- >> ever take an drug? >> no. >> nothing. >> completely -- why? >> i don't know. i'm just asking. i don't know the answers. >> no, no, no, no. drugs, if your mind little disturbances, unrest, then there's no other choice but
drink, tranquilizers or drugs or alcohol. my mind, our mind quite peaceful so no need for these things. >> have you always been peaceful? >> then, then, 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, hmm, and i immediately run towards him. and then my finger put in the bottle. very sweet. then i ask that person, this one bottle put in my bedroom. >> i'm shocked, your holiness! what happened then? did you drink it? >> well, after my play, i return my room, and where is the
bottle? one bottle there. i touch, just water. so you see. >> and you can still remember that bottle, can't you. you wish you'd drunk it. do you watch television? >> yes. in the past, in the past, two years. >> what programs would you watch? >> usually like discovery, some sort of documentary. it's 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 movie -- "peace and war." >> "war and peace." >> yes. >> richard gere is your good friend. >> yes. >> have you 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. at aviva, we do things differently. we're bringing humanity back to life insurance. that's why only aviva rewards you with savings for getting a check-up. it's our wellness for life program, with online access to mayo clinic. see the difference at avivausa.com.
i'm back again with the dalai lama. your holiness, you're on twitter. you have 4 million followers on twitter. that's twice as many as me. i'm not happy about that. you're twice as popular as me. do you ever actually -- do you actually do the tweets? >> no, no. no never. >> somebody does that for you? >> yes. >> they're very good. i have been reading them. >> my finger -- you see quite well equipped to -- >> yeah. you must have been an engineer, i know. >> these things, my finger not -- not -- >> do you ever use a computer? >> no. >> do you ever send an e-mail? >> no. >> have you ever used a cell phone? >> no. occasionally. someone might talk, like including bush.
>> so if a president calls, you'll use a cell phone? >> yes. then -- >> pretty exclusive there. >> you see, when i talk that should be here and i listen should be here. then someone told me not necessary. just here. >> i like that. >> they warned me before that if you sit back in your chair like this, it means that you have lost interest in the interview. >> hmm. >> i have been very pleased that you spent most of the interview leaning forward. that means you must have enjoyed it? >> you sort of interview, not just because of -- something -- some discretion without feeling, since you are talking with certain feeling. then i love you, you're excellent. british accent. >> 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 would it be? >> initially, immediately after my final examination, it was -- >> to become the dalai lama? >> no. final examination for my degree for study. >> right. right. okay. >> then perhaps the 18th morning march '59. the 17th night i left -- i
escaped, and then 18th of the morning i reached in some distance. now free, chinese soldier. so tremendous feeling of sort f of -- personally, now no longer. immediate danger. still danger, still there. but then mainly freedom of speech. then when my mother and sister gathered afternoon on the 18th, then my -- including my mother now freely criticize the chinese. before that, we were a little bit sort of cautious. >> you were free at last. >> yes. >> free at last. >> i think that at least i think several i think thousand people should get some benefit after --
many occasion. some writing -- through writing or through personal meeting. a number of people express to me after hearing your thinking, their mind become much more happier. >> well, i can tell you, your holiness, that i feel happier than i did one hour ago. that is down to you. it has been a fascinating hour. thank you very much indeed. >> so i really appreciate it. >> so you see there's some -- and then religious harmony is concerned, i made some contribution. >> you did. you have. you have. >> and i reflect these things, then i feel deep introspection. >> your holiness, thank you so much. it's been such a pleasure. thank you. thank you very much. [ thunk ] sweet!
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well, tonight only 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 a retreat to botox and god knows what else. dalai lama provides a rather 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. the point of our existence as human being, we lead purposeful, meaningful lives. and the practice of patience is essential. five,e have the ability and the responsibility to choose whether our actions follow a virtuous path or not. six with inner strength we can endure all kinds offed a versety. seven, lonve, compassion and concern for others are essential. come on, you feel better already. that's all for us tonight. tonight, a special report, "arab spring: revolution interrupted." it's not often that correspondents who risk their lives covering conflict for cnn are in the same room at the same time anywhere. tonight they are, and we're going to spend the next hour taking an up-close look at the