Surat: Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel peace prize winner Dalai Lama, who is on his maiden visit to Gujarat, today said he considers Indians as his "Guru".
"My mind is filled with Nalanda (an ancient Buddhist Monastery) thoughts. That is an ancient Indian institute. So, therefore I consider you Indians as my Guru (mentor) traditionally, historically," the Dalai Lama said before reporters at Surat city airport.
"We are Chelas (disciple or proteges). So as a simple Chela I would like to express my greetings and appreciations to our Guru," he added.
Dalai Lama on Thursday arrived at Surat city on his two-day tour to receive 'Santokba award' for his social work.
The 'Santokba award' including a gold-plated memento studded with diamond and a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh, has been initiated by a Surat-based businessman Govind Dholakiya in his mother's memory, a release of the organiser Shree Ram Krishna (SRK) foundation said.
Later, the Dalai Lama will interact with the students of 'Veer Narmad South Gujarat University' (VNSGU) and the Tibetan people based in Surat today.
Earlier, the award was conferred to Sam Pitroda for his works in telecom, Verghese Kurien for his contribution in milk cooperative sector along with Ahmedabad's renowned kidney transplant surgeon Dr H L Trivedi.
Veteran Gandhian Narayan Desai, freedom fighter Poornima Pakwasa and the pioneer of green revolution, M S Swaminathan were also honoured with the awards.