Kochi: Describing this century as the century of dialogues, Tibetian spirtual leader, Dalai Lama today called for complete freedom to practise various religions and to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
`In some places there are restrictions. That is harmful. Allow complete freedom of various religious practises`, the Dalai Lama said in his inaugural address at the 33rd World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom here.
In erstwhile Soviet Union and China there is interest in religion now. `Outwardly they may be aethist, inwardly they are religious`, he said adding in western countries also scientists were now showing interest in spirituality.
The crime rate is increasing in developing and developed nations as there is gap between the rich and the poor. In china there is huge gap happening. We have to think about it and reduce the gap, he said.
Due to global warming, there have been disasters round the world. There has been drought and floods in Paksitan, some parts of Africa, China, Tibet and Ladak. This is due to negligence and expolitation of natural resources and there is need to develop sense of global responsbility towards our planet, he said.
There may be differences in the philosophies and traditions of different religions be it hindusim, christianity, Islam, Jainism, Buddism, Sikhism, but they all profess the same message of love, compassion, tolerance and contentment and there is need to respect all religions.
`Keep faith in once own religion, but respect all religious tradition`, he said. That we can develop and practise, he said. “Otherwise in the name of relgion, conflicts have taken place in the past and the present. Some manipulate religious faith. It is very sad,” he said.
Later at an interactive session, the Dalai Lama was asked by a women delegate if he saw a special role for women in this century of dialogue.
`No doubt about that`, was his quick reply. Biologically women have greater potential for compassion and love. Even when fathers disappear, mothers take care. Therefore women should take more active role.
Replying to another query, he said in modern education,
more attention is being paid to knowledge and brain
development. But there is need to introduce ethics in the
education system to make it more wholistic.