People must come together to overcome global threats, including COVID-19, Tibetan religious leader Dalai Lama has said.
In his message for Buddhists on Buddha Purnima, the Nobel Peace Laureate said that by developing a sense of respect for others and a concern for their welfare, one could reduce their self-centeredness, which is the source of many problems.
“I started my Buddhist education as a child and although I am now nearly 86 years old, I am still learning. Even though our world has changed substantially since the time of Buddha, the essence of his teaching remains as relevant today as it was 2,600 years ago,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“…Let us all join together in doing whatever we can to overcome the global threats we face, including the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought such pain and hardship across the world,” he added.
He said Buddha’s teaching was essentially practical not just for one group of people or one country but for all sentient beings.
“People can follow this path according to their ability and inclination,” the spiritual leader said.
He further encouraged Buddhists everywhere to discover what the teaching really means to be able to apply it in their life.
“This entails listening and reading, thinking about what you have heard and read and making yourself deeply familiar with it.” He stressed that Buddha’s advice was to avoid harming others and to help them always in whatever way possible.
“We can begin to do this by recognizing that everyone else is just like us in that…they want happiness and dislike suffering. Seeking joy and freedom from suffering is the birthright of all beings. But personal happiness very much depends on how we relate to others,” the Dalai Lama said.