Zanskar: In what may seem like a milestone in interfaith harmony in India, Buddhists and Muslims in Zanksar presented a letter to His Holiness the Dalai Lama pledging to forgo past six years of communal tension and instead demonstrate dedication to embracing a harmonious future by promoting interfaith harmony.
The fortuitous incident took place yesterday after His Holiness the Dalai Lama conferred the Avalokiteshvara empowerment.
His Holiness heartily accepted the letter and lauded both faith groups for pledging religious harmony.
His Holiness also thanked the monastics and devotees at Zanskar for offering a Long Life prayer and assured them that their prayers will be answered.
His Holiness reiterated the importance of peaceful co-existence of all existent beings on earth. “Friendship and harmony between different faith are of fundamental importance. The followers of different faith must follow and practice the advice of their own teachers,” said His Holiness.
His Holiness also said that wherever he goes, he extols the harmonious co-existence of different religious traditions in India as a model for interfaith harmony in the world.
While admonishing the practice of discriminating against a group of people considered ‘low-caste’, His Holiness recalled an incident where His Holiness had deliberately requested for tea offered by the outcasts. “The Buddha taught us that caste and clan are not important, what is important is your practice, your action, your deeds,” stressed His Holiness.
Speaking exclusively to Bod.asia editor Ngawang Thogmed who is reporting from the field, Gulam, the President of Muslim representatives, expressed fulfillment over having pledged peaceful co-existence between Buddhists and Muslims in Zanskar. He further mentioned that to this effect, they have set up a Peace Committee consisting of six representatives from both faith groups. Gulam further attributed the achievement of such breakthrough to His Holiness. “We owe it completely to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s vision and compassion for enabling us to reach this milestone and for this, we remain forever indebted,” admitted Gulam.