His Holiness Wraps Up Canada Visit
New York, 7 May: His Holiness the Dalai Lama ends his Canada visit today after a meeting with key media leaders, including senior editors, columnists and publishers.
The Canada part of His Holiness’ visit has been by and large one of the most hectic and successful oversaeas trips undertaken so far. Over 80,000 people have heard his message directly in public talks and spiritual teachings. In addition, political leaders, community leaders, and religious leaders have met him.
His Holiness has also interacted with some 500 mediapersons in Canada as well as in the US earlier.
Almost every single day of his stay in Canada was reported extensively in both the print and electronic media, with many reports appearing on the front page. There were also a number of columns, some written by leading media luminaries of Canada.
For His Holiness, the purpose of this visit, as of most of his other visits, is to contribute to the flowering of the seed of kindness that, though inherent in all human beings, needs nurturing so that we may be able to bring about a positive change in the world, making it more caring, more compassionate and, by extension, more just and equitable.
Acutely aware of the hatred that is being bred in the name of religion, His Holiness has for many years made special efforts to foster understanding and respect between different religious faiths.
Addressing an interfaith meeting in Toronto, His Holiness asked the spiritual leaders to visit and pray at places of worship of other faiths, and also make conscious efforts to learn from each other’s tradition. Since all religious traditions came into being to serve the humanity, learning from each other can only deepen our mutual respect and dispel prejudices. His Holiness believes that spiritual plurality is a must in the human society. The humanity needs different religions to serve the varied spiritual needs of different human propensities. He reasons that just as one medication cannot cure all illnesses, and just as one food cannot answer the palate of all individuals, so is it foolhardy to think that one religion can satisfy the spiritual needs of all human beings. A true practitioner of any religion, His Holiness believes, needs to show kindness and respect to all other beings, no matter how different they are from us. This is because kindness, love and compassion are the core teaching of all religions, His Holiness says.
As we begin to recognise all human beings as our brothers and sisters, having the same desire to achieve happiness and avoid suffering, we will realise that we do not need to waste our resources on building an army and military hardware. Instead, nations with surplus resources can help the poorer regions.
Environment consciousness is another matter that His Holiness seeks to promote. He is concerned about the present trend of economic development, which sees the earth as an infinite source of resources to satisfy our greed and consumeristic life style.
“This beautiful planet is the only home we have. If we destroy this, our survival will become a thing of the past. We can survive without religion. We can survive without many other things that we hold dear. But we cannot survive if we destroy the planet earth.”
These then are the messages His Holiness has brought to Canada, and earlier in the United States. These are the very same messages he had taken to other parts of the world. And, he will take the same messages to Niort and elsewhere.
“I have nothing clever or intelligent to offer you. I neither have anything new to tell you,” he remarked in one of his earlier public talks.
Over the past couple of decades, His Holiness has spent most of his time travelling tirelessly, believing that his message of love and caring would “help contribute in however miniscule a way” to the happier life of at least some people.
The purpose of his life, he often says, is to do his bit in every possible way to bring happiness to others.
A report by OoT, New York