Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said “strictly secular and not religious way” was the only way forward for peaceful living, and that no one religion could claim supremacy over the other. He also called on people to imbibe scientific temper and common sense. Barring occasional problems caused by some “mischievous people”, all religions, including those that trace their origins abroad, have co-existed in India over the past 2,000 years, and the country should tell the world that it stands for compassion and respect for all religions, he said at the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.
The spiritual leader, who arrived in Bhopal on Saturday, attended the government’s ambitious Narmada Seva Yatra at Dewas before delivering a lecture on “The Art of Being Happy”. He praised the state government’s Happiness Department and lauded Chief Minister Shviraj Singh Chouhan, whom he met earlier in the day, for conceiving the idea. He said the department should also carry out research.
Calling Parsis the oldest refugees in India, he praised the minority community for living without fear in Mumbai and for being successful. Talking about himself, he said he never considered himself “special or holy”. “If I had allowed myself to think that I am the only Dalai Lama in a world populated by seven billion I would have felt very lonely and isolated,” he said.
Describing himself as “half Buddhist monk and half scientist”, he said he learned compassion from his mother who was caring and never got angry, and “not father who scolded me for playfully touching his moustache.”
He called for revising the modern-day curriculum that focuses on material progress, and replace it with a version that teaches compassion and other human values.
Replying to a seven-year-old’s question on “how to be happy in life?”, he said, “”The responsibility to create a peaceful country rests on the young generation and not mine.” He described the 20th century as one of violence.