DIFFERENT PATHS BUT ONE GOAL
by HH the Dalai Lama
There are many differences between one religion or faith and another, yet if we look
at the real purpose behind the different philosophies, teachings and methods, we find
it is actually the same. All teachings offer advice on becoming a good human being,
on the need to live one's daily life in the right way, and the need to practise love.
Far from being a difficulty, the fact there are different philosophies and religions
is particularly useful since people themselves have different mental dispositions...
If we look at the different philosophies, we find big differences. There are many,
many points about which one could argue endlessly, for centuries, without result and
with no good coming out of it. On the other hand, we would do well to understand the
real meaning behind these philosophies, the real purpose of these different teachings...
Religion teaches discipline, and to control our anger and hatred, not to create or
increase it. So if we are sincere religious practitioners, first of all we must point
our finger at ourselves, inside not outside, to see whether we are practising well
or not. Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or Moslem, first you should check yourself...
Our main responsibility is not to criticize other people, not to argue with others,
but to argue with and criticize ourselves. First we ourselves must change our bad
thoughts into good thoughts, from being a bad person into being a good person,
thereby making ourselves an example for other people. If you become a good human
being through the help of a certain teaching, then others will feel respect for it.
They will think: 'There must be something good in that. He believes in it and as a
result his behaviour is good, so it is something that is worthy of respect. I shall
follow it too; it seems worthwhile.' We religious practitioners must be sincere and
honest with ourselves. If you accept a faith, you must follow it sincerely...
With science and technology, in the future we may be able to reach other galaxies,
as we see in science fiction stories where people travel into outer space, visit
other planets and meet the beings who live on them. One day this may actually be
possible. Yet if we look around us, the whole world is full of problems. If we
solve these problems, then it is worth our while going to another planet, but if
we have not solved such problems, then instead of helping other planets we may
simply end up bringing them extra problems to add to their own. First, it is up
to us to become good human beings.
At this particular time, all the different faiths must remain together and show respect
for one another. For this, we must have closer contact, and through that we will have
better understanding of each other. The more knowledge I gain, the more my respect
will grow, the more I will realize 'Ah yes! Such and such a teaching has a particular
speciality which is really marvellous.' That sort of feeling will grow naturally.
Let us remain as Christians, or as Buddhists, but at the same time, learn more about
other faiths' techniques and specialities. This will make our own faith richer.
Dalai Lama XIV (born 1935)
"Toward a New World Religion"
The Problems of Humanity
World Goodwill, London, pp. 20-21