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Dalai Lama calls for freedom to practice various religions

September 04, 2010 22:45 IST

Spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Saturday appealed for complete freedom to practise various religions saying that there may be differences in philosophies of different religions but all profess the same message of love and compassion.

"Allow complete freedom of various religious practices," Dalai Lama said in his address at the 33rd World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom in Kochi.

In Russia and China there is interest in religion now. "Outwardly they may be atheist, inwardly they are religious," he said adding in western countries also scientists were now showing interest in spirituality.

There may be differences in the philosophies and traditions of different religions, be it Hindusim, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, but they all profess the same message of love, compassion, tolerance and there is need to respect all religions, he said.

"Keep faith in once own religion, but respect all religious tradition. Otherwise in the name of religion, conflicts have taken place in the past and the present. Some manipulate religious faith. It is very sad," he said.

Stressing on the need to develop sense of global responsibility towards our planet the spiritual leader said, due to global warming, there have been disasters round the world.

There has been drought and floods in Pakistan, some parts of Africa, China, Tibet and Ladakh. "This is due to negligence and exploitation of natural resources," he noted.

Speaking on the importance to narrow the bridge between the economically sound and weaker sections he said, "The crime rate is increasing in developing and developed nations as there is gap between the rich and the poor," he said.

Later at an interactive session, the Dalai Lama was asked by a woman delegate if he saw a special role for women in this century of dialogue he said biologically women have greater potential for compassion and love.

Even when fathers disappear, mothers take care. Therefore women should take more active role.

Replying to another query, he said in modern education, more attention is being paid to knowledge and brain development. But there is need to introduce ethics in the education system to make it more holistic.

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