Khaleej Times

‘Human Compassion To Help Ease Tensions’
by Reuters
(Khaleej Times. March 13, 2000)

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said yesterday human compassion could ease tensions in a world torn by individal and religious strife.

Advocating greater compassion and 'warm-heartedness' in the new millennium, he said much of the suffering in the world was beacause of a lack of these qualities among human beings.

'So long we are human the human community, the sense of caring, sense of concern to one another...these things are very, very essential,' the 14th Dalai Lama told a hall packed with hundreds of people to hear him speak on 'Ethics For The New Millennium'.

'Without that, you can't be a happy person, you can't be a happy family.'

He was in Bombay, India's commercial capital, to inaugurate the first 'Festival of Tibet' from March 12 to 17, showcasing the culture and traditions of Tibet and its suffering under the Chinese rule.

The Dalai Lama, who fled his Himalayan homeland in 1959 after he failed uprising against Chinese communist rule, said compassion had little to do with religion.

'People have the impression the concept of compassion is to do with religion. That is wrong. It need not be based on religion. Religion comes later. Compassion is a part of human life,' the 64-year-old Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said.

'Irrespective of whether you are a believer or non-believer, trying to be a warm-hearted person is essential. This is nothing to do with religion, nothing to do with the philosophy.'

'There are different religions, but all are for the betterment of human beings. All carry the same message of compassion, love, forgiveness.'

He said animals and birds seemed to enjoy greater harmony than human beings despite lacking intelligence. 'They have no constitution, no ideology. But simply because it is necessary, they live together, work together.'

The Dalai Lama, who heads the Tibetan Government-in-exile based at Dharamsala in northern India, said different religions reflected different mental dispositions.