Religious leaders play major role in promoting harmony: Dalai Lama

New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) Religious leaders in India, especially the Muslims, have a major role in promoting religious harmony, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Saturday.

“The Indian religious leaders, especially the leaders of Muslim community, have a major role in promoting religious harmony,” the elderly Buddhist monk said while addressing over four hundred Indian students and scholars at a teaching session organised by Vidyaloke here.

Vidyaloke is an initiative focused on revitalising ancient Indian traditions.

He said in India, concepts such as ‘ahimsa’ have existed for more than 3,000 years. “It’s time for Indians to activate these principles for the benefit of the entire human family.”

“Indians should take more active role in promotion of inner values, as it is a part of the ancient Indian tradition,” he said.

Concluding his discourse on Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna’s ‘Letter to a Friend’, the spiritual leader advocated the revival of ancient Indian knowledge through scholarships on the Nalanda tradition and the teachings of the 17 Nalanda masters.

“You are the master of the ancient Indian knowledge, particularly the Nalanda tradition. As Tibetan Buddhists, we are the messenger. On the level of messenger, we are making every effort. Now the Indians as masters should take active role in promoting these human values; not through prayers but rigorous study,” he said.

Identifying himself as a messenger of the ancient Indian thought and as a son of India, the Dalai Lama, who is revered by the Tibetans as a living god, said: “Each cell of my brain is filled with Nalanda thought and physically I am survived by Indian food. Therefore, in all sense, I describe myself as son of India.”

“If I boast a little bit, since I follow these great masters of Nalanda, I have also become a tiny master myself,” he said with a hearty laugh.

In an emotional recollection of his experience as a leader of the Tibetan people and as a Buddhist scholar, he said, “At the beginning, the concern was of my own survival. On 17 March, 1959 when I escaped from Norbulingka in Lhasa, I was doubtful if I will be alive to see the next day.”

“Then the second phase was how to preserve the ancient knowledge, including our script and language. The present concern is how much we can serve and contribute to the well being of humanity with this knowledge,” he added.

The 81-year-old spiritual leader, the global face of the Tibetan exile movement, lives in exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala along with some 140,000 Tibetans, over 100,000 of them in different parts of India.

Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.

–IANS

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