Osaka, Japan, 8 April, 2014: - "Japanese people need to give more attention on developing inner values along with technological and material development,' His Holiness the Dalai Lama told a group of Shinto priests and practitioners in Sendai during an interactive discussion.
Highlighting of importance of meeting with different religious traditions as part of his commitment to promote religious harmony in the world, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said: "In order to develop religious harmony, it is very important to know the different traditions. To know the different religious traditions in a deeper way, it is not sufficient to read books, but meet with people who actually practice the spirituality. In Japan, I had met with Shinto practitioners for the last many years. But this time, I would like to have a more academic discussion about how to develop inner values," he said.
Describing inner emotions as destroyer of peace of mind, His Holiness the Dalai Lama underlined the need to include study of developing ethics and positive emotions in today's education system. The 78-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner and spiritual leader of Tibet said thinking only about material development and money causes competition, anxiety and distrust. It also leads to suicide.
"Some of my friends in US and Europe, who are billionaire, are not happy. To much money fails to bring inner peace. Today's education system only talks about material development rather than inner values, including ethics. As far as ethics is concerned, traditionally, we put all the responsibility on religious teachings. In today's modern world, interest in religions is getting lesser," His Holiness said.
"The existing education system alone has the responsibility to take care not only of physical world but also the internal world. A generation of people who is brought up under such system has no concern about the inner values. They think only about material values and money. Money is important, but it is equally important to develop inner values like compassion and sense of concern for other's well being. This is the only source of real happiness and inner peace," he added.
His Holiness said scientists in their research proved that negative emotions like anxiety and stress is destroying our immune system and physical health. "We have made efforts to make interaction between Buddhist science and modern science for the last many years. Many modern scientists and researchers, including those from the US-based Mind & Life Institute, have been showing great interest in studying about inner values in a secular way."
"Buddhist science is a science of mind and modern science is that of physical body. The interaction between the two in the last seventeen years has proved mutually beneficial," His Holiness said, adding: "Many Japanese intellectuals and scientists are also showing genuine interest in this kind of academic study, which is a very positive development."
His Holiness praised Shinto tradition of caring and respecting the nature. "My impression of Shinto tradition is that it very much love nature and respect trees and flowers. In today's world, as human life has become too much mechanised with technological development. But since time immemorial, the life cycle has been evolving within the nature. So we must respect the nature. So the ancient spiritual traditions, particularly Shinto and some US native religions, very much respect the nature, which I think is very relevant in today's world," he added.
His Holiness arrived in Japan's capital Tokyo on Apr 6 for a series of events which include offering prayers and succour for the victims of the devastating earthquake and Tsunami which hit the country in Mar 2011, as well as to give public talks and religious teachings, to hold discussions with scientists and to interact with students. His Holiness will conclude his visit on Apr 18 with a meeting with the Tibetan community in Tokyo. This is His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 20th visit to Japan since his first one in 1967.