Invoking the age-old catch phrase 'Hindi-Chini bhai bhai', Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today said China can learn much from India and called for "genuine friendship" between the neighbours.
Addressing a jam-packed session on the opening day of the Jaipur Literature Festival, he also called for special protection for women.
"India's greatness lies in the idea of Ahimsa. This country is a living example for the world to see how so many religions can exist together for centuries," he said.
Praising Indian democratic ideals, the 77-year old spiritual leader said China has much to learn from India.
"China is world's most populous country and India is one of the world's most populous democratic country. China could learn much from India," he said while emphasising on the importance of Sino-India relations.
"Genuine friendship between India and China is essential. On the basis of mutual trust the Hindi-Chini bhai bhai relation is essential," the Dalai Lama said.
The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner in his address on "Kinships of Faiths: Finding the Middle Way" kicked off a series of sessions that would speak on Buddhism and its influence on literature during the five day event.
"India is our guru we are the chelas, it is the source of all our knowledge," said the Dalai Lama who spoke about his understanding of the way of seeing and knowing as taught by the Buddha during his conversation with author Pico Iyer.
He almost recreated last year's 'Oprah' moment at the literary extravaganza when people found it difficult to even find a place to stand in the over-crowded Tata Steel grounds at Diggi Palace.
His talk was much applauded by the audience.
Supporting more security for women in the wake of increasing cases of violence against women, he said, "These days I have been noticing that big cities are reporting so many incidents of violence like rapes, murders. We must provide more security for women."
He maintained he is against death penalty. "Amnesty International had started a campaign against death penalty and I am one of a signatory to it. I do not like death sentence. But this depends on the country. It depends on their laws," he said reacting on such demands made in the aftermath of the Delhi gangrape incident.