His interest in Buddhism began with his trip to Nepal in 1978 and since then Richard Gere has been a practicing Buddhist and an active supporter of the Dalai Lama. So much so, that the actor believes that the spiritual guru is not less than Santa."He is actually a wish fulfiller, in the deeper sense, not in terms if you want a car, you get a car, but if you are seeking happiness, this is the man who understands and has internalised the words of the Buddha… So that’s why we are all drawn to this," the 62-year-old said in an interview to NDTV recently.
Gere, who was in Bodhgaya for 10 days recently to attend Dalai Lama’s discourse, said, “It’s unlikely that we will have a figure as dominant as him, not just in the Tibetan society, but on the planet, probably in the next 100 years I guess. Those of us who have lived in this lifetime will tell their children, grandchildren their great grandchildren that we met such a person,” said the actor.