Citizen Reporter
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2 minute read
27 Dec 2021
8:16 am

WATCH: ‘Spiritual brothers’ Tutu and Dalai Lama’s special friendship

Citizen Reporter

'The friendship and the spiritual bond between us was something we cherished', the Dalai Lama said in his tribute to Tutu.

Archbishop Emeritsus Desmond Tutu (R) of South Africa welcomes exiled Tibetan spritual leader Dalai Lama prior to the international peace conference in Hiroshima, 02 November 2006. (Photo for illustration by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

South Africa and the world continues to mourn the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 90.

With tributes pouring in from the likes of former US President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Kenyan President Uluru Kenyatta and Uganda opposition leader Bobi Wine, among many others, one tribute that stands out is from his longtime friend, the Dalai Lama. 

Tutu and the Dalai Lama shared a special bond, often throwing playful conversational jabs at one another.

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Despite Tutu being an archbishop in the Anglican Church, and the Dalai Lama being a Buddhist, facets of their lives that would regularly result in a joke or two; both formed a special bond over the good of humanity. 

Special tribute to Tutu

In the Dalai Lama’s tribute, he composed a letter to his daughter, Reverend Mpho Tutu. 

In it, he conveyed his “heartfelt condolences” to her, Tutu’s wife Nomalizo Leah, and other members of the family. 

He said he and Tutu enjoyed an “enduring friendship” over the years, with Tutu’s week-long visit to Dharamsala, India in 2015 being of particular significance.

During this visit, the Dalai Lama said he and Tutu shared “our thoughts on how to increase peace and joy in the world”. 

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“The friendship and the spiritual bond between us was something we cherished.

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu was entirely dedicated to serving his brothers and sisters for the greater common good. He was a true humanitarian and a committed advocate of human rights. 

“His work for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was an inspiration for others around the world.” 

The Dalai Lama said the archbishop led a truly meaningful life, which was devoted to the service of others. 

The best way, therefore, to pay tribute to him and keep his spirit alive, he continued, “is to do as he did and constantly look to see how we too can be of help to others.”

Watch an interview recorded in Dharamsala in 2015, in which Tutu and the Dalai Lama share some special moments, below.

Compiled by Nica Richards