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22august2010 24 Jispa: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama gave a press conference on Friday (August 20) at which he said the world needs to develop a spiritual dialogue to find the right way to address conflict and violence.

Speaking in Jispa, as part of his teaching tour of Himachal Pradesh, north India, His Holiness made the following speech:

"Buddhism and all other religions very much emphasise the practice of love, compassion and forgiveness. These are [the] bases of dialogue, of reconciliation. Therefore, the world now needs spiritual dialogue.

"When we face differences...that causes conflict and violence. We must find the proper way to deal with this problem: that's dialogue. So more dialogues, not out of fear but [voluntarily], with self-confidence, with truthfulness.

"Buddhism, as any other religion, can refund human compassion, human brotherhood, sisterhood. That's one thing. Then, [what's] unique [about] Buddhism - there's Buddhist ideology, philosophy.

"Now, there's a big difference between different traditions - between Christianity and Islam, between Hindus and Jains. [But] in [science] and in Buddhism, no idea of creator. Everything happens or comes due to [its] own condition.

"Einstein noticed that Buddhism is a little different from other religions. Therefore, Buddhist concept is, I think, more suitable to non-believers, like...David [Barnhill], Wysconsin University's professor. Gradually we [have] developed close contact, dialogue, discussion about modern science, then Buddhist science, [and] I explain Buddhist philosophy.

"So these people gradually develop more enthusiasm [for] Buddhist explanations about reality - particularly how to develop inner peace without believing in God or a creator. Simply, you [come to] realise human intelligence. That is one of the unique [things] Buddhism can contribute.

"You [local people] already have some monasteries here. Monasteries must [be] learning centres - not just requiring puja. There's so many things to learn. So these monasteries should be education centres for Buddhist studies. And then, of course, we can provide teachers for Buddhist studies [and] philosophy.

"As I mentioned earlier, no creator, no God [in Buddhism]. Oneself [is the] essence, [the] full master. Buddha is our teacher. He shows us, he [didn't create the] essence.

"Study Buddha dharma, in Tibetan translation from the Sanskrit written by those masters like Nagarjuna. Altogether [there are] 300 points - commentary 200 points. Whenever I have time, I teach some of these points, and study. So learn Buddha dharma, including Buddhist logic.

"Those masters always use [explanations] not relying on Buddhist quotations. Because, in Buddha's own words, there are different philosophies. If we totally rely on Buddha's own words, then how can define all [of Buddha's] concepts [using the same] words?

"Buddha's followers [understood things on] different levels - there are many different explanations. Therefore he taught according [to] different people's wisdom and understanding levels.

"..Certain Buddhist [thought] brings contradiction in reasoning logical approach. So in Buddhist philosophy we have the liberty to investigate Buddha's own words. Therefore there are lots of commentaries. We must study Buddha's teachings and commentaries written by Buddhist masters. Plus full knowledge about modernity. That's the definition of [the] critical stances of Buddhism.

"Buddha himself didn't make discrimination between male and female. We find [a] rank issue [concerning monks and nuns]. [That came from] a different tradition of monastery system, eight or nine centuries [ago] I think. 40 years ago, I introduced to nunneries in Dharamshala the serious studies, like for monks. So now many [nuns] learn through debate. That should be known.

"Many years ago, a women's magazine asked me if in the future [my] reincarnation can be a female. I said yes. Because, among Tibetan high reincarnation, I think [in the] last 800 years, female reincarnation already happened. Yes, we accept it. The purpose of the reincarnation is to serve people. If female born is more useful, then why not?"

Please visit our news gallery for pictures of this event.

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