His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the All Faiths Prayer Meeting at the Universal Temple of Sri Ramakrishna in New Delhi, India, on September 11, 2012. (Photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor)
DHARAMSHALA, September 12: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama took part in an all-faith prayer meet and inaugurated the World Meet for Peace and Harmony in New Delhi, Tuesday.
The events were organised to commemorate the 119th year of renowned Hindu scholar Swami Vivekananda’s rousing speech at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, introducing Hinduism and propagating world peace.
More than a hundred scholars and participants are attending the two-day World Meet as part of 'Awakening India' celebrations organised by the Ramakrishna Ashram to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
Former President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam in his address quoted at length from Vivekananda's historic 1893 speech and urged world leaders to practice his positive approach in denouncing hatred among communities and sectarianism.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the Dalai Lama said the spirit of Swami Vivekananda was living and growing and praised India for making it a reality the aspiration of all religions flourishing and living together in harmony.
“Swami Vivekananda is no longer with us, but the spirit of what he achieved is alive and growing,” the 77-year-old Tibetan leader said. “He had great foresight and I feel I am a follower, trying to implement his dream of creating inter-religious harmony in the world.”
Drawing from his past experiences of attending the Parliament of World Religions in Cape Town and Melbourne, the Dalai Lama, while respecting Swami-ji’s vision, cautioned that there was a risk of these meetings just becoming occasions for religious leaders to exchange calling cards.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, during the inaugural session of the World Meeting for Peace and Harmony in New Delhi, India, on September 11, 2012. (Photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor)
“I feel we need to make more effort if we are to actively foster harmony among our traditions. In Melbourne I said that effects come from actions not mere talk.”
His Holiness expressed his gratitude to all our religious traditions for conveying the same message of love and compassion despite their differing philosophical views.
“In a world of 7 billion human beings with different ways of life these different traditions are necessary for humanity,” the Dalai Lama remarked. “Realistically speaking we need these different approaches to achieve inner peace and peace in the community.”
His Holiness also commended the Ramakrishna Mission’s emphasis on education, noting that education is the proper way to achieve far-reaching results and to promote compassion and tolerance in society.
The Ramakrishna Mission, a philanthropic, volunteer organisation that conducts extensive welfare and educational work, was founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1897.