World needs India’s traditions of non-violence, compassion: Dalai Lama

Delivering the 24th Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan memorial lecture on “universal ethics” Dalai Lama said India’s message of “ahimsa, kindness, love and compassion” spread even during religious conflicts

Dalai Lama (File photo-IANS)
Dalai Lama (File photo-IANS)


India's ancient traditions of non-violence, kindness, love and compassion are needed in today's world where people are fighting on the basis of religion and countries over territorial disputes, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said in New Delhi on Thursday.

India also needs to bring some kind of "revolution" in its education system by combing its 3,000-year-old ancient tradition of high moral teachings with modern education, he said.

"Those mental quality subjects like non-violence, love, kindness and compassion should be included as an academic subject instead of religious teachings," the 84-year-old said.

Delivering the 24th Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan memorial lecture on "universal ethics" organised by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, he said India's message of "ahimsa, kindness, love and compassion" spread even during religious conflicts and World Wars.

Unlike in parts of the world where Shia and Sunni Muslims fought with each other, there was no fighting within India, he said.

"Such high moral teachings of ancient Indian culture and tradition are need of the hour the world over now," said the Dalai Lama, who escaped Chinese occupation of his homeland in 1959.

There should be "genuine compassion (even) without attachment," he stressed.

Paying rich tributes to Radhakrishnan for his role in bringing modern education system to India, he said the former president was an example of the combination of modern education and ancient Vedic knowledge, culture and traditions.

Later, answering a question from the audience on how he could always smile and remain happy, the Dalai Lama said a person should treat even the enemy as the best teacher.

He said though at times he was concerned about China's anger and its fear of him, as a Tibetan and a practising Buddhist since childhood, he never felt any anger towards it.

"I have special pills" to keep smiling and remain happy, he joked.

To another question, the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1989 said the "Indian vegetarian food" was better than the "Chinese non-vegetarian food".

He said a person's "inner value" is more important than the "outer beauty", and stressed that outer beauty can be increased artificially but to improve inner values, the path of ahimsa, kindness, love and compassion should be followed.

Asked about plastic usage, he referred to global warming and increasing pollution levels across the world, and suggested that print and electronic media should play a role in educating the masses instead of sensationalising news.

Former governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir N N Vohra and ICCR president and lawmaker Vinay Sahasrabuddhe also spoke on the need to uphold universal ethics.

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