His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks during his talk at the Tipsport Arena in Prague, Czech Republic on September 14, 2013. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL
DHARAMSHALA, September 16: The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that children should be taught ethics in schools as part of their education. “We need to introduce ethics into our education system, not based on faith but on reason,” the 78 year old Tibetan leader said in his public talk ‘Compassion & Respect in Today’s Society’ to some 6000 people at the Tipsport Arena in Prague.
His Holiness said that the essential teaching of all religions is love and kindness. “The key factor is education; education that involves warm-heartedness and takes account of human values.”
“Unfortunately, our education system is materialistically oriented and the influence of religion that used to be a source of moral values has declined. Many of those who continue to follow religion show little real dedication and are inclined to corruption and exploiting others,” said the Dalai Lama.
Before addressing the public, His Holiness paid tribute to his late friend and founder of Forum 2000, President Vaclav Havel, who he described as a “humble and genuinely good human being.”
“From the first he (Vaclav Havel) was honest and truthful. I visited him several times after our initial encounter and was one of the last to visit him before he passed away. Because of my friendship for him and others here, I have a special place in my heart for the Czech people,” he said.
The Nobel laureate said the best tribute for the former president was to “carry on his activities in his spirit.”
The Dalai Lama who arrived from Lithuania on Saturday was received at the airport by Karel Schwarzenberg, former Foreign Minister in the Czech government and leader of the TOP 09 party, Tomas Hudecek, Mayor of Prague, and Executive Director of the Forum 2000 Foundation, Jakub Klepal.
Public talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 'Compassion & Respect in Today’s Society' in Prague, Czech Republic on September 14, 2013. Photo/David Musil/Forum2000
“We are all basically the same, mentally, physically and emotionally. We all want a happy life and have a right to achieve it. We have the same emotions, some are destructive, some are positive. I don’t think of myself as anything special; I think of myself as one of you.”
His Holiness further noted that the whole world is “interdependent” and that we have to think of humanity as one family and work together as one.
His Holiness will deliver the opening speech at the 17th annual Forum 2000 Conference themed “Societies in Transition” later today. He met fellow Nobel Laureate and Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also gave teachings on the “Eight Verses of Training the Mind”
yesterday. He will leave for Hanover, Germany, tomorrow.
In 1990, His Holiness visited Czech Republic for the first time and met with late President Vaclav Havel immediately after the Velvet revolution.