Dalai decries conversions

Dalai decries conversions

Dalai decries conversions

 Addressing a gathering at St Joseph’s college here, the Dalai Lama observed that proselytisation by monetary inducements was not only harmful but was the very antithesis of Christian precepts.

However, he added that conversion, per se, was not condonable if a person took it with full awareness and knowledge. He cited the example of Mongolia where he said some Buddhists, lured by money, had embraced Christianity.

At the same time he observed that a reponse to conversions through hatred and violence on the part of Hindus by burning down churches and destruction of property, was not worthy of the tolerant nature and the embracing tradition of the world’s most ancient religion.

The Dalai Lama’s comments come in the midst of a raging political debate on Justice B K Somasekara Commission’s report that criticised some Hindu fundamentalist organisations for attacks on churches in many districts of the State in 2008.

The Nobel laureate, however, said these incidents were far and few and were caused by those who did not understand the tenets of the religion they espouse.

In this regard, he also noted how Buddhism did not believe in converting people into its way until the practitioner was fully convinced that the person interested in the Buddhist way of life was capable of accepting that path and totally understood what is expected once he took to it.

It was this principle, he said, which has seen Buddhism not as widespread as other religions since it did not believe in converting people unless the practitioner and the seeker were on the same mental plane.