Monks attending the Dalai Lama's discourse in Tawang criticised China's reaction to his visit to India's northeastern border state of Arunachal Pradesh as the Tibetan spiritual leader continued preaching to thousands of devotees for the second straight day on Tuesday.
"Beijing's reaction to the Dalai Lama's visit is simply illogical," said Thengu Dhondup, a Buddhist monk from Sella, a village on the Chinese border.
"The Dalai Lama is visiting an Indian town and China should have no problems in that."
"The Dalai Lama has every right to visit any part of the world to meet his followers. China should concentrate on their own problems," said another monk who identified himself as Tenzing.
The crowd swelled from about 35,000 on the opening day of the religious discourse to nearly 40,000 Tuesday with the Dalai Lama continuing to talk about global peace and universal brotherhood.
"The younger generation has lots of responsibilities in so far as promoting Tibetan Buddhism and I am sure our religion and culture would survive the challenges," the Dalai Lama said.
Many of those who attended the religious discourse were happy at the Dalai Lama's anti-China remarks made on his arrival Sunday.
"The Dalai Lama rightly said China's reaction to his Arunachal Pradesh was 'usual' and that allegations of him having splittist intent were baseless. We are happy at the Dalai Lama's bold stand," said Balden Norbu, a community elder.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, who arrived on a weeklong visit to the state Sunday, had raked up a controversy by hitting out at China during two interactions with journalists on the first day of his trip.
While he expressed surprise at China's claims on Arunachal Pradesh, he also charged Beijing of unnecessarily trying to accuse him of encouraging a "separatist movement" in Tibet.
Beijing had opposed the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh as it lays claim on the territory. Beijing-based Global Times had Monday quoted a Chinese analyst as saying that the Dalai Lama's visit to the area, which China calls southern Tibet, was made under pressure from India.
In New Delhi, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor denied the Chinese newspaper's report and said: "The Dalai Lama is free to travel anywhere in India".
The religious discourse at Tawang, the town through which the Dalai Lama had escaped the Chinese to enter India in 1959, would continue till Wednesday.
The Buddhist leader would then visit the adjoining towns of Bomdilla and Dirang on November 12, before leaving for state capital Itanagar on November 14. His visit ends on November 15.