Posted by Susan (22.214.171.124) on September 01, 2000 at 15:41:50:
WORLD TIBET NEWS - PROVIDED: OFFICE OF TIBET, NEW YORK
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I join in spirit the more than 1,000 religious and spiritual leaders around the world who will gather at the United Nations to attend the Milliennium World Peace Summit to discuss ways to engage the power of religion to create a more peaceful world. While wishing the historic summit and the eminent participants every success in their deliberations, I take this opportunity to share with you a few thoughts of mine.
I think it is a wonderful idea to employ the wisdom of ages to make our common future more peaceful and to discuss ways to ensure that rather than dividing us the power of religion will make into a family of peacemakers.
I see all the different religious traditions as paths for the development of inner peace, which is the true foundation of world peace. These ancient traditions come to us as a gift from our common past. Will we continue to cherish it as a gift and hand it over to the future generations as a legacy of our shared desire for peace or will we turn it into another weapon that will snatch away the future of the coming generatons? The choice we will make is obvious. What needs detailed discussion is how we can ensure that different religions of the world can become powerful allies of peace.
In order to do this, the different faiths need to develope mutual respect for and understanding of each other's beliefs and values. The world's religions can contribute to world peace if there is peace and growing harmony between the different faiths. It would be sad and tragic if inter-religious rivalry and conflict undermines world peace in the 21st century. In this regard, I have always encouraged and supported efforts toward better understanding among our different faiths. It is my firm belief that this better understanding will enhance the ability of different faiths to make positive contributions to world peace. In this respect, the religious and spiritual leaders of different faiths can play a pivotal role by making a sustained effort to explain their respectivr followers the importance of respecting the beliefs and traditions of other faiths. We need to embrace the spirit of pluralism in the field of religions as well.
It is also my belief that whereas the 20th century has been a century of war and untold suffering, the 21st century should be one of peace and dialogue. As the continued advances in information technology make our world a truly global village, I believe there will be a time when war and armed conflict will be considered an outdated and obsolete method of settling differences among nations and communities. The nations and peoples of the world will soon realise that dialogue and compromise are the best methods of settling differences for mutual benefit and for the sake of our future and the future of our much ravished and fragile planet.
However, there can be no peace as long as there is grinding poverty, social injustice, inequaity, oppression, environmental degradation, and as long as the weak and small continue to be trodden by the mighty and powerful.
The world's spiritual and religious leaders need to address these real and pressing issues and find ways to contribute towards their elimination. These are the enemies of peace and true tyrannies of our times.
In conclusion I would like to share with you a prayer composed by Shanti Deva, an 11th century Indian Buddhist master, in the hope that it will provide you the same inspiration and determination as it continues to give to me.
"FOR AS LONG AS SPACE ENDURES, AND FOR AS LONG AS SENTIENT BEINGS REMAIN, UNTIL THEN MAY I, TOO, ABIDE TO DISPEL THE MISERY OF THE WORLD."
With my prayers and good wishes.
August 23, 2000
THE DALAI LAMA
This was delivered to the United Nations on the 30th of August, 2000 by Drikung Chetsang Rinpoche, head of the Drikung Kagyu line of Tibetan Buddhism.
It is with great pleasure and love that I send this to each of you. We as Tibetan Buddhists are moved and our devotion to His Holiness is witnessed by the world as his words.
I have gone this many times and I am sure that I have erred, forgive me. See how the prayers worked. Thank you to each.
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