His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Photo: screenshot

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Dharamshala, India — “Compassion is the seed of peace. When we have compassion, we find mental peace, when we have mental peace, our verbal actions and physical actions all become more peaceful. Therefore, today, our various religious traditions have a very important role to play in bringing about inner peace,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his virtual address at the 8th Parliament of the World’s Religions on Monday, 18 October.

In a video message to the 8th Parliament of the World’s Religions released by the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (OHHDL) on October 18, 2021, His Holiness the Dalai Lama stated: “Firstly, I would like to express my greetings to the members of the Parliament of the World's Religions. Even in the 21st century, when we experience great material development, really brings benefits. Religion seems to be something old-fashioned, that pray and pray."

“But actually, not only in past, but even today, we face problems of violence. We produce weapons that are supposed to build peace. But actually, the opposite is what happens, when there are more weapons, more guns, there is more violence," His Holiness the Dalai Lama begins.

“So now, when we think logically about peace, first of all, we need inner peace, without inner peace, if we are full of anger, hatred, and jealousy, it is very difficult to make peace. Therefore, all religions have something to teach us,” he continues.

“According to theistic religions, we are created by one God, for non-theistic religions, we are live life afterlife and when we are born, it is simply our basic human nature to be compassionate. So the essence of all religious teaching is compassion. Compassion is the seed of peace. When we have compassion, we find mental peace, when we have mental peace, our verbal actions and physical actions all become more peaceful,” the spiritual leader of Tibet added.

“Therefore, today, our various religious traditions have a very important role to play in bringing about inner peace. However, today, as well as in the past, we sometimes, unfortunately, face problems due to differences in religion. This occurs when people use religion for political reasons or power. The real religious teaching is warm-heartedness and forgiveness,” the Nobel laureate stated.

“Therefore, whether it be a theistic religion or a non-theistic religion, all religions really have the potential to bring about inner peace. And because of that, there is automatically mutual respect, India is an example of this. All major religious traditions live together here in mutual learning and respect,” he mentioned.

“Therefore, the Parliament of the world’s Regions is something very, very useful, and very important. As I mentioned to you before we members of the parliament, we should be more active, it is not just a question of ideas, we have to be practical. Whenever, we see a problem, particularly in the name of religion, we should take steps to bring about peace and harmony,” the spiritual leader said.

“I am a follower, a practitioner of one the worlds’ important religions, Buddhism, we talk about the welfare of all mother sentient beings, we consider all sentient beings as our own mother. This really shows that we have to have a sense of respect for all sentient beings. So as a practitioner of Buddha dharma, I make every effort to bring about peace, to bring about religious harmony, not just through some kind of ceremony, but from the heart. So on the occasion of the 8th Parliament of the World’s Religions, I want you to know that, you really carry a very, very important responsibility, that is relevant to today’s reality, please be active,” Holiness the Dalai Lama concluded.

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