We should learn from Christians how to serve humanity: Dalai Lama

Dharamsala: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Tuesday said the Buddhists should learn from the Christians how to serve the humanity.

Presiding over the second day of his discourse in Bihar’s historical city Bodh Gaya, the Dalai Lama urged followers of all religions to form closer contact and learn from each other’s traditions.

“The major world religions — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, different Hindu and Buddhist traditions, Jainism, Daoism, Confucianism, and so on — each of these has its own unique knowledge that benefits people,” he said.

“Therefore, through an exchange of knowledge, we can learn new things from each other.”

Emphasising its vital role in the spiritual and inner development, the elderly Buddhist monk said religion has the potential in bringing together people and that “a meaningful exchange could widen and deepen our own spiritual experience”.

“Particularly from Christian brothers and sisters, we as Buddhists could learn how to serve the community and engage in social work. I really feel that we should emulate their exemplary social service.”

The Dalai Lama has been living in India in self-imposed exile since 1959 when he fled his homeland after Chinese Communist troops took over Tibet.

The spiritual guru’s teachings are free and open to the public. Even board and lodging is free for the participants, says the Dalai Lama’s office here.

The teaching sessions are held at the request of followers and devotees, mostly Westerners and Asians. The Dalai Lama teaches in Tibetan and there are simultaneous translations in English, Hindi and Chinese for the participants.

The government-in-exile is based in Dharamsala and has never won formal recognition from any country though contacts are maintained at various levels.