His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during his talk on "Secular Ethics" in Nashik, Maharashtra, India on January 3, 2015. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL
DHARAMSHALA, January 5: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Saturday said time has come for the world to promote oneness of humanity rather than creating differences based on faith, race and social background etc.
“When we are children we don’t care very much about differences of faith, family or nationality, we just play together. But as we grow up we function less on that basic human level and learn to pay more attention to secondary differences like faith, race, social background and level of education. By seeing each other in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’, we lay the ground for conflict. We seek ways for ‘us’ to win and ‘them’ to lose. This is the basis for bullying, cheating and exploitation that gives rise to violence, corruption and the gap between rich and poor,” the Tibetan leader told some 4500 people including Tibetan sweater sellers, Buddhists monks from Sri Lanka, Burma and Christian priests in Nashik, where he spoke on secular ethics at an event organized by Indo-Tibetan Mangal Maitri Sangh.
The 1989 Nobel peace laureate, who considers fostering religious harmony as one of his three commitments in life, said the most effective way to bring inner peace is to inculcate the basic human values into daily practice.
He said that educational institutes in USA, Europe and India have collaborated in he initiative to introduce basic human values not based on any religious faith into education system.
His Holiness said there the ancient Indian concept of secularism which viewed all religions and even the views of non-believers with respect, can be achieved in the present time.
Some of the over 4,500 people attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama's talk in Nashik, Maharashtra, India on January 3, 2015. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL
He said that even those who do not believe in any particular faith will also benefit from “Secular ethics” which can appeal to everybody. “Because they are in everyone’s interest.” However, he added that if the non-believers are approached with faith based explanation they might not accept.
“Religious harmony is important because all the major religious traditions are supposed to bring inner peace, but too often they are used to foster anger and hatred. We are all at peace here, but in other parts of the world conflict and violence have broken out in the name of religion - this is why we have to make an effort to create harmony between us.”
His Holiness further said that every human being has the potential to benefit or bring harm to others, adding that one must reduce the negative emotions and increase positive behavior.
Tibetan spiritual leader who is currently in Delhi is scheduled to give a talk on ‘Secular Ethics’ at Presidency University in Kolkata, West Bengal on January 13.