With the Chinese protesting the Dalai Lama's meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India on Saturday made it clear that the Tibetan leader is an honoured guest in the country and is seen as a spiritual leader by millions of Indians.
"The Indian position has been stated many times. It is unequivocal and categorical. The Dalai Lama is an honoured guest in India, is a spiritual leader and is held as such by millions of Indians," External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told reporters.
"We do not encourage anyone to get into political activities which will concern the relationship between the two countries," he said.
"The Tibetan Autonomous Region is part of the Chinese republic. I think that should bring down the curtain on any controversy."
The Dalai Lama had called on Manmohan Singh Aug 11, the first meeting between two since the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) returned to power over a year ago.
The Chinese government has reportedly conveyed its objection over the meeting through diplomatic channels.
The Dalai Lama heads a Tibetan government-in-exile that is based in the Indian hill town of Dharamsala. He fled to India in 1959 after an abortive anti-Communist uprising in his homeland.