World needs India's customs of non-violence: Dalai Lama

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama waves at the gathering during the 24th S Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecture on Universal Ethics organized by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. (PTI Photo)

India's ancient traditions of non-violence, kindness, love, and compassion are needed in today's world where people are fighting on the basis of religion and countries over territorial disputes, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said here on Thursday.

India also needs to bring some kind of "revolution" in its education system by combing its 3,000-year-old ancient tradition of high moral teachings with modern education, he said.

"Those mental quality subjects like non-violence, love, kindness, and compassion should be included as an academic subject instead of religious teachings," the 84-year-old said.

Delivering the 24th Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan memorial lecture on "universal ethics" organized by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, he said India's message of "ahimsa, kindness, love and compassion" spread even during religious conflicts and World Wars.

Unlike in parts of the world where Shia and Sunni Muslims fought with each other, there was no fighting within India, he said.

"Such high moral teachings of ancient Indian culture and tradition are need of the hour the world over now," said the Dalai Lama, who escaped the Chinese occupation of his homeland in 1959.

There should be "genuine compassion (even) without attachment," he stressed.

Paying rich tributes to Radhakrishnan for his role in bringing modern education system to India, he said the former president was an example of the combination of modern education and ancient Vedic knowledge, culture, and traditions.

Later, answering a question from the audience on how he could always smile and remain happy, the Dalai Lama said a person should treat even the enemy as the best teacher.

He said though at times he was concerned about China's anger and its fear of him, as a Tibetan and a practicing Buddhist since childhood, he never felt any anger towards it.

"I have special pills" to keep smiling and remain happy, he joked.

To another question, the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1989 said the "Indian vegetarian food" was better than the "Chinese non-vegetarian food".

He said a person's "inner value" is more important than the "outer beauty", and stressed that outer beauty can be increased artificially but to improve inner values, the path of ahimsa, kindness, love, and compassion should be followed.

Asked about plastic usage, he referred to global warming and increasing pollution levels across the world and suggested that print and electronic media should play a role in educating the masses instead of sensationalizing news.

Former governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir N N Vohra and ICCR president and lawmaker Vinay Sahasrabuddhe also spoke on the need to uphold universal ethics.

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