Dalai Lama tells Hungarians of "common ground" between religions

Budapest, September 18 (MTI) – His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the exiled leader of the Tibetan people, stressed the common ground shared by the world’s major religions at a talk in Budapest on Saturday.

Speaking to more than 11,000 people at an arena in the capital, the Dalai Lama called for the preservation of religious traditions, but said efforts should be made to create harmony and cooperation between them. Differences between religions should not be the cause of unrest, he added.

     He said “the great common ground” of all of the world’s major religions was that they call for love and solidarity and strive to make individuals tolerant and forgiving. They also place importance on education, he added.

    Speaking about Islam, the Dalai Lama said that Jihad, or holy war, is not a call to kill other people, contrary to popular belief, but “to kill the negative feelings inside us” as is also professed by Christianity, he said.

    Happiness requires happy families and happy societies, the Dalai Lama said. He added that prayer does not bring material gain; for that people must work.

    Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky presented the Dalai Lama with the title of honorary citizen at a ceremony on Saturday afternoon. The title was an acknowledgement of the Dalai Lama’s work to promote peace, end violence and preserve spiritual and cultural values.

    In his acceptance speech, the Dalai Lama said the 21st century should be the century of world peace, but this means it must also be the century of dialogue.

    ”World peace will not come on its own, we have to work to create it ourselves,” he said. Openness and transparency are necessary to resolve conflict, as “we are all citizens of one planet…we belong to one family,” he added.

    Budapest enjoys an advantage in establishing and propagating openness because of its multicultural character, the Dalai Lama said.

    In a nod to multiculturalism in Hungary’s past, the Dalai Lama called the Hungarian explorer and linguist Sandor Korosi Csoma’s work to compile the first Tibetan-English dictionary “a great act”.

     The Dalai Lama returned to Hungary after a ten-year absence to teach, address Parliament and accept the honorary title from the city of Budapest.

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