A little SEB from HHDL?
Dalai Lama says prayer alone won't bring world peace.
CAPE TOWN, Dec 8,1999 (AFP) -
The Dalai Lama on Wednesday challenged the world's spiritual and
religious leaders to stop relying on just prayer and
meditation to bring about world peace but rather to become involved in
programmes of action.
"Change only takes place through action, not through meditation and
prayer," the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said in closing
the eight-day Parliament of the World's Religions here.
The parliament, organized by the Chicago-based Interfaith International
Board, drew some 7,000 delegates from 70 countries,
representing virtually every religious faith on the planet.
The Dalai Lama, one of the prime movers behind the gathering, urged that
future parliaments be more than mere talk-shops.
"Where there are areas of conflict, particularly areas of conflict of
religions, some people (from the parliament) should go there
and study and try to make a contribution," the Buddhist monk said. "Then
one of our wishes will be fulfilled."
At a press conference on Tuesday, the Dalai Lama, who is on a week-long
visit to South Africa, mentioned Bosnia and
Kosovo as areas where members of the parliament could play a role.
He called in his closing address for religious tolerance and "genuine
respect for other traditions."
"We need to ask, 'How can I make a contribution (to world peace)?', not
'How can I further my own religion?'" he said.
The world is entering a new millennium which, he said, was "nothing
special." Day and night, sun and moon will happen
anyway," he said. "But if particularly the young people make good
preparation for the new millennium, it will become more
peaceful, more friendly."
In his speech entitled "Taking the Parliament Home", the Dalai Lama
urged devotees, no matter what their faith, to "make a
good contribution to the betterment of society." To do this, he said,
devotees must develop a sense of caring for their fellow
"If I can achieve this, I can serve others more effectively," he said.
The closing ceremony was marked by song and dance, as
well as prayers by the religious leaders, most of them dressed in
Among the groups represented at the parliament were African religions,
Bahais, Buddhists, Christians, Confucianists, Hippies,
Jains, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Native Americans, New Agers, Sikhs,
Taoists, Unitarians and Zoroastrians.
Organisers said the intention of the parliament was not to create a new
religion but to discover the unity within the diversity of
the various religions.
A wide array of subjects, including the history and traditions of the
main religions and explorations of critical problems facing
modern society, have been addressed during the gathering, which opened
Wednesday last week.
The first Parliament of the World's Religions was held in Chicago in
1893, the second in the same city a century later, at which
it was decided to hold the gathering in a different city every five
years, starting in Cape Town in 1999.
The next parliament will be held in 2004 at a city still to be decided.
Be cool ;-)
Dhamma * Metta * Santi
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