Moscow: The Representative of Office of Tibet, Moscow, Telo Tulku Rinpoche attended a Dialogue of Religions, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on 11 December.
The round table meeting titled, ‘Religions in the contemporary world, Its challenges and prospects’ was held at the Diplomatic Academy and attended by representatives of the traditional religions of the Russian Federation: Christian Orthodox, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism.
In his welcome remarks, Dr Evgeny Bazhanov, the rector of the Diplomatic Academy said, “I was stationed in the China during the culture revolution in the early 70’s where many monasteries and institutions was destroyed as well as many Buddhist institutions. I had the chance to return to China in the 90’s and things have changed completely. Though is it still a communist country, there are signs of growth in spirituality and the various religious traditions coexisting in peace and respect.”
“I remember visiting a Buddhist temple and was invited to his living quarters. The monk showed me his altar where he had images of Buddha and Jesus Christ. The Monk said to me that he was a Buddhist but Jesus is also good as well. Such statements show how one can live in harmony and respect with other traditions. The main Organizer of today’s Round table is Irina Kolosova, who is a Christian orthodox but a great admirer of Buddhism and she had to opportunity to meet H.H. the Dalai Lama on some occasion and was deeply inspired to start such initiative as today’s round table discussion based.”
Honorary Representative Telo Tulku Rinpoche was invited to speak as representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia as well as head of the Buddhist of the Kalmyk republic of the Russian Federation. He spoke on the topic of “Buddhism in Dialogue with Other Religions” where he spoke about His Holiness the Dalai lama three main commitments.
“The Dalai Lama main three commitments is universal and it does not touch upon a specific religious ideology. Today all representatives of the traditional religions of Russia are gathered here to have a dialogue and it is my belief to overcome misunderstanding, doubt and obstacles is to have an open dialogue. Yes, there are Philosophical differences and there always will be, but, it should not mean that we should isolate ourselves because of such differences” Telo Tulku Rinpoche said.
“Only through dialogue, communicating and respecting one another as brothers and sisters, we will be able to build peace and Harmony,” he said.
To Dr. Badzhnov, he said, “I thank you for your opening remarks and you had mentioned that China is changing and growing spiritually, to a certain extent I will agree with you because the numbers of Chinese Buddhist is growing and the estimated number of Buddhist alone in China is at 400 million. But at the same time, we must not forget that many minorities such as the Tibetans and Inner Mongolians are still being suppressed and they are yet to gain their freedom to practice and grow spiritually. The Tibetans continue to be discriminated because of their faith and because of who they are. The remarks you made about China changing must be looked at carefully and thoroughly investigated. The issue of Tibet should not be taken simply as a political issue. The issue of Tibet is for right for justice and Human Rights as well as basic rights as Tibetans.”
The representatives of the traditional religion spoke on various topics from inter religious communication as a factor towards peace to topics that touched upon secularism, terrorism, extremism and socio economics issues. The Round table was the second of it kind to be held at the Diplomatic Academy of the Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
-Filed by Office of Tibet, Moscow-