Dalai Lama emphasizes importance of adhering to one’s traditional religion, addressing a Chinese audience
(TibetanReview.net, Nov14, 2016) – The Dalai Lama on Nov 12 morning met with a group of around 150 Chinese in Osaka city of Japan before resuming his ongoing religious teaching on A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. It was not clear, however, whether they Chinese were from the mainland or Japan residents, or both.
“You Chinese follow your parents’ Buddhist religion. As you recite the Heart Sutra, so it is very important to study its meaning and what is Buddhism,” the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet was quoted as having told his audience. He has emphasized the importance for people to adhere to the religion followed by their ancestors as this was related with their custom and tradition and was therefore most appropriate to them.
Making it clear that he did not favour converting people’s religious faith, the Dalai Lama has said, “When some religious organisations in Europe invite me to give teachings, I clearly tell them that as a follower of Judo-Christianity they should not convert their religion.”
Recalling a meeting he had with a group of Christian missionaries during a visit to Mongolia, now many years ago, he has further said, “Some Koreans who have come there to promote Christianity came to meet me. I told them that Mongolia is a Buddhist country, so they should not promote Christianity here. Instead, I will appreciate if you give support towards the education and health of the people in the region. I also told them that I even do not promote conversion of religion.”
So, when on one occasion, during a visit to France, an affluent German spoke of his plans to build a Buddhist learning centre in France, the Dalai Lama has said he responded by remarking, “France is not a Buddhist country and it is not good do so. If you really wish to support such work, do it in Buddhist countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka or India.”
He has emphasized the similarities underlying the different religious traditions in this world, saying they all “preach development of positive values such love, compassion, generosity and patience”.
Coming back to Buddhism, the Dalai Lama has told his Chinese audience: “Buddhist philosophy is the most detailed and it can go hand in hand with science. It has been 30 years since I built relationship with science. The scientists have been showing great interest in the role of Buddhism to develop positive emotions to bring inner peace and happiness. Most importantly, as Buddha himself has said, it is very important to understand his Buddhist teachings through thorough investigation and study.”
The Dalai Lama later addressed an audience of Tibetans as well before resuming his three day teaching in the Seifu High School auditorium.
The Dalai Lama is visiting Japan from Nov 9 to 26 to hold a religious dialogue, give religious teachings, and deliver public talks besides carrying out other engagements, including with youths and students.