In a message to the ongoing Global Buddhist Congregation in the Indian capital of New Delhi, Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama stressed on the importance of inter-religious harmony and the need to accept the “oneness of humanity”.
“Many of our world’s problems and conflicts arise because we have lost sight of the basic humanity that binds us all together as a human family. We forget that despite the superficial differences between us, people are equal in their basic wish for peace and happiness.”
Encouraging his fellow Buddhists to “learn and share” with other religious traditions, the Nobel Peace laureate said that all major religious traditions carry the similar endeavour of bringing the “betterment of humanity”.
“When we view them (religious traditions) as essential instruments for developing good human qualities such as compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and self-discipline, we can appreciate what they have in common.”
The 76-year old exiled Tibetan leader spoke about one of his principle commitments of promoting secular values based on the humanity’s basic foundations of compassion and love.
“Compassion and love are fundamental to relations between sentient beings in general and human beings in particular. I believe that we should no longer talk about Buddhist ethics, Hindu, Christian or Muslim ethics, because these values are universal.”
In his message to the Congregation which is being attended by the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa along with Buddhists practitioners from 32 countries, the Dalai Lama asserted that to be 21st century Buddhists it is important to engage in the study and analysis of the Buddha’s teachings.
“I believe that time has now come to communicate freely with one another, those in the Pali tradition engaging in dialogue with those in the Sanskrit tradition. After all, all our different branches come from the same common trunk and roots.”
Commending the Congregation for providing a “much needed crucial opportunity” to discuss issues of common concern, the Dalai Lama acknowledged the need to encourage and foster the exchange of knowledge and experience among the different traditions.
“I hope this will be the first of many such occasions that will enable us to foster better understanding and contribute more effectively to human happiness and peace of mind throughout the world.”
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Congregation which began Sunday, Tempa Tsering, the representative of the Dalai Lama in New Delhi, said that attempts at politicising the religious event were “unfortunate”.
India had indefinitely postponed the scheduled 15th round of Special Representative-level talks on the long-pending boundary dispute with China after Beijing raised objections to the Dalai Lama’s address at the Congregation and reportedly demanded the international event to be “scrapped”.
“His Holiness is coming. He is a religious practitioner and this is a religious conference. If any nation or individual distort the whole purpose of this congregation and misuses this just to politicise or to gain some mileage, this is unfortunate,” Tsering was quoted by reporters as saying.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is scheduled to attend the four-day Congregation on Wednesday to lead an all-faith prayer meet.