Dalai Lama on destroying ignorance

Dalai Lama on destroying ignorance

Once His Holiness The Dalai Lama arrived in Dehradun of Uttarakhand state in northern India to participate in a wellness retreat at the Vana Retreat Centre. 
Tibetans lined up the road as he approached, greeting him with incense and traditional white silk scarves. People gathered from many different parts of the world came to hear his words.

The god-king of Tibet, a refugee in Buddha’s native land, said, "During almost the whole of my life, I've been witness to killing and violence. When I was born, the Sino-Japanese conflict was about to break out and the conditions that gave rise to the Second World War were stirring in Europe. After that came the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Throughout this period, many people suffered and were killed."

He stressed, "Here and now we're living in peace and comfort. But at the same time, in other places many people are dying as a result of anger and other negative emotions. If things continue this way, the 21st century will end up being as violent as the century that went before.”

"Although our basic nature is to be kind, affectionate and compassionate towards others, and we tend to be like that as children, we seem to lose these qualities as we grow up. We no longer feel the need to care about others, exploiting them, bullying them and lying to them instead. We become inured to others' suffering so that if a tiger kills someone it's news, but when there are reports of people killing each other, we are almost indifferent to them."

His Holiness explained that the remedy for this condition was that inner values must be taught in schools rather than materialistic goals.

"Many of the problems we face we create ourselves as a result of short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness. This amounts to ignorance and we have to overcome it. Those of us who belong the old generation who created so many of these problems have a responsibility to indicate what's wrong and how we may achieve a happier humanity," he concluded.