Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - The Dalai Lama arrived at Syracuse University on Monday to hold a panel discussion and bring a message of peace to students and Central New Yorkers.
The sequel to the two-day event will continue Tuesday when more than two dozen performers will come to the Carrier Dome for a concert.
Organizers believe that approximately 24,000 people could attend the event, at which the celebrated Tibetan cleric will deliver a public address.
Although the panel discussion was well attended on Monday, many Central New Yorkers were baffled when a NewsChannel 9 team asked them who the internationally celebrated leader of Tibetan Buddhism actually is.
The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader, believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be a manifestation of a Tibetan saint.
This week, the Dalai Lama wants to deliver a message to a new generation.
“He’s an exile from Tibet, where he is from. Obviously, very spiritual,” said Syracuse University law student Brandon Handelman.
The 14th Dalai Lama was born into a farming family in 1935. According to his website
, the Dalai Lama was discovered at the age of two by a group looking for an enlightened being, believed to be the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, reborn to serve humanity. After passing a series of tests, he was sent to a monastery to study Buddhism.
In 1959, a decade after China claimed Tibet as its own territory, the Dalai Lama escaped to India, where he began resisting the Chinese occupation from exile.
“Younger generation, you can make this century be much peaceful,” the Dalai Lama told those who gathered at the Schine Center on the Syracuse University campus to listen to him.
Crossing a generational gap may be his greatest challenge. On Tuesday, he’ll have the support of celebrity musicians to attract young minds at the One World concert at the Dome including: Dave Matthews, Counting Crows, Nas, Cyndi Lauper, Engelbert Humperdinck, Roberta Flack, David Crosby and Nelly Furtado.
“I think this is a very timely period for young people to begin to reflect on what kind of world they are going to inherit to their children,” said Gregg Lambert of the SU Humanities Center.
Handelman hopes the event will be more than a musical experience.
"I guess the goal for the school is to really raise awareness and if each student takes one thing from this, I think it would be a good thing, something other than the concert experience,” he said.
There are still some tickets available at the Dome box office for the Tuesday concert.
Those who attend should park at Skytop or Manley Fieldhouse. A free shuttle will be available to take concert-goers to campus.
Parking is $10 per vehicle and the lots will open at 3 p.m.
Security will also be tight at the event.
No cameras, handbags, or backpacks will be permitted in the Dome during the event.