|Dharamshala: In his keynote address at the 33rd World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom in Kochi on Saturday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama called for complete freedom to practice different religions, emphasising that all the religious traditions profess the same message of positive human values, PTI reported.
There may be differences in the philosophies and traditions of different religions be it Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, but they all profess the same message of love, compassion, tolerance and contentment and there is need to respect all religions, he said.
(Photo courtesy: Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
“Keep faith in once own religion, but respect all religious tradition,” he said. “Some manipulate religious faith. It is very sad.” he added.
Describing the 21st century as a century of dialogue, His Holiness underscored the need for dialogue between religions to promote harmony.
He said people are taking interest in Russia and China now. “Outwardly they may be atheist, inwardly they are religious,” he said adding that in western countries also scientists were now showing interest in spirituality.
Negligence and exploitation of mineral resources around the world have caused disasters in the form of floods and drought in Pakistan, some parts of Africa, China, Tibet and Ladakh. “There is need to develop sense of global responsibility towards our planet, he said.
Later at an interactive session, His Holiness was asked by a women delegate if he saw a special role for women in this century of dialogue. “’No doubt about that. Biologically women have greater potential for compassion and love. Even when fathers disappear, mothers take care. Therefore women should take more active role,” he replied.
Replying to another query, he said in modern education, more attention is being paid to knowledge and brain development. But there is need to introduce ethics in the education system to make it more wholistic.
Earlier in the morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was accorded a warm welcome by hundreds of Tibetans and well-wishers on his arrival at Kochi, located in the south Indian state of Kerala.
At the venue of the World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom, His Holiness was accorded a traditional reception. The programmes at the venue started with a performance by the members of Japan Yoga Association.
The prayers of 12 religions were chanted prior to the beginning of the programme.