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The Dalai Lama speaking in TISS on ancient Indian knowledge and love


His Holiness Dalai Lama had delivered a lecture on the topic of ‘Secular Ethics’ in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai on 14th August, 2017. Following is the transcription of that lecture-

I always used to feel that the ancient Indian knowledge about emotions is not only ancient one but very very relevant in today’s world, because without knowing system of all emotions, it is difficult to tackle fear, distrust, irritation and anger. So, therefore, now today’s…  I am always telling people the _____ (0.3 secs) being as I mentioned earlier, that we are born the same way and then we are nurtured with affection. Even an angry person, he/she needs love. Only affection and love can reduce their anger. Anger is never reduced by another’s anger. Violence is never reduced through violence. Now today there is truly fear of violence. I think comparatively in India it’s better. In Europe, America and of course the Arab world there is a lot of violence. And the so called terrorists. “Islam terrorists”. That is wrong. And I often see people saying “the Muslim terrorist”. A terrorist is terrorist. Once people indulge in terrorism, they are no longer Islam, Jain, Muslim. Few years ago in Burma a Buddhist monk had negative attitude towards Muslims.

So on one occasion in the Time magazine, there was the picture of this Buddhist monk who was described as “Buddhist terrorist”.  Of course I am Buddhist, so when I saw “the Buddhist terrorist” I felt uncomfortable. It’s similar for millions of Muslims who see “Muslim terrorist” written. Through meetings and talks I learnt that a genuine Islam practitioner should not create any bloodshed. As soon as you create bloodshed, you are no longer genuine Islam practitioner. And the reason is quite simple- Islam practitioner must extend love and affection towards all creatures of Allah. It’s wonderful. So according to theistic religious belief, we are all created by God. This very life, not any previous life is created by God. So God is almost like our Father. So we _______ (4:00 mins) being according to theistic religion are children of God. And God, our father is what kind of God? God with infinite love. So we all are children of a father with infinite love. It’s so wonderful. Now in newspapers they mention many cases of “jihad”. According to a Muslim friend, Jihad means combat, your internal emotional combat, not hitting others. So some Chinese officials describe me as a Buddhist terrorist *jokes* So, you two (points at the two professors sitting beside him) are sitting next to a terrorist. *laughs* I often see people using the wording, “Muslim terrorist” in Europe and America. That is wrong. It forms an impression on our Muslim brothers and sisters that if other people are considering them in a negative way, then they also automatically start acting in a similar way. When other people respect Muslim brothers and sisters, and distinguish between a terrorist and a genuine Islam practitioner, and reach out to them, then gradually those Muslim brothers and sisters who have those raw hurt emotions can get healed.

In this respect, I think Indian Muslim brothers and sisters can make significant contribution in cooling down their community’s anger is what I really feel. I often suggest many Muslim brothers and sisters that in India there is no hurt sentiments between Shi’as and Sunnis, Hindus and Muslims, Muslims and Christians, Muslims and Buddhists. Recently, I was in Ladhakh and it was a wonderful relation between the Buddhist community and the Muslim community. But there have been some incidents between them. Firstly, we must have a sense of community. Religion is an individual matter. So in this country, India, I think the sense of community continues to be strong. So Indian Muslims I think can make some sort of positive contribution regarding cooling down the narrow-minded Muslims. That also makes a difference, the environment.

Indian Muslims have relations with other traditions very cordial. And in Malaysia there are a large number of Chinese people who are Buddhists and a large number of Indians who are Hindus, so the Muslim people in Malaysia are more open minded.  And in Indonesia also to some extent. Since thousands of years, in Java area there are Buddhists, Buddhist community. So old Buddhist relics are there. So those Muslims in their mind are closer to other traditions. Whereas Arab is isolated. And in Jordan, I have been in Jordan, the Muslims in Jordan because of education have wider contact with outside world. Their way of thinking is much more normal than those Muslims completely isolated. So only thing is that some European countries and America or so, they try to combat with force which is totally wrong. So we must consider them human brothers and sisters and reach out.


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