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Shun idol worship, Dalai Lama urges

Buddhist leader says compassion speaks louder than prayers

Dalai Lama addressing the audience at the festival of ideals Dalai Lama addressing the audience at the festival of ideals
  • Bosco de Souza Eremita, Panaji
  • India
  • February 8, 2011
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The Dalai Lama has urged people to turn their backs on the worship of idols and imbibe more compassion and sincerity.

Compassion and genuine sincerity are keys to real happiness, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said yesterday.

He was addressing a festival called “Ideas for the New Millennium” in Panaji, the state capital of Goa.

During his address, the Dalai Lama discouraged worshipping idols, telling the audience that idols are nonresponsive. “You interact with a human, and he responds to you,” he said.

“Action is more important than prayers” to achieve the desirable, he asserted.

The Buddhist leader said belief in the creator would help develop tolerance and self-discipline.

“Indulge in deeds that will help others, as this will give you more happiness. Be compassionate at heart. This is the basis of ethics,” he added.

He also called on people to keep “conscience” alive to lead a free life in the material world.

“We should be selfish wisely. This is love which extends to others,” he said, adding that unless one knows how to love oneself, he cannot love others.

The Buddhist leader also said a person becomes fanatical and biased if he is too attached to his religion.

He suggested opening small libraries at places of worship to help people learn about other religions.

“Instead of having speechless objects such as the statue of Buddha, one should print more books. Knowledge does not come from the temple or church, but from education,” he added.

The Dalai Lama then urged religious leaders to educate their people about “ill practices” being carried out in the name of religion.

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