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article imageDalai Lama initiates inter-religious meet in India

By Sravanth Verma     Sep 23, 2014 in World
The Dalai Lama organized a two-day religious conference on "Diverse Spiritual Traditions in India," in New Delhi, India.
The event was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel, on September 22, and will end on September 23. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, spoke of how killing for religion was "terrible."
He was present with spiritual leaders of nine religions at the first day of the event. Also present was chief guest of the event, Najeeb Jung, the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi. Former Indian ambassador Lalit Mansingh opened the event with an inaugural speech.
The Dalai Lama commended India for being one of the few countries where so many religious existed side by side peacefully. Nowhere else does one find such a vast diversity, even in religious festivals, he said. He hoped Muslims of the world would learn from India's Muslims.
He also spoke of ISIS and jihad. He said that the term jihad was misused by so many terrorist organisations, and it had taken on a violent meaning. Actually, he clarified, jihad referred to the destruction of one's impurities within. "Jihad combats inner destructive emotions. Everybody carries jehad in their hearts, including me," he said.
His Holiness also gave his assessment of current Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has just completed a three-day visit to India where several deals worth $20 billion USD were signed. "A lot of changes have taken place since he (Jinping) took charge. Judging him by his ability of handling problems, he is more realistic and principled than his predecessors," the Dalai Lama said.
Later, Jung took the stage and re-emphasized the importance of religious harmony. He spoke of how Swami Vivekananda, one of India's great spiritual leaders in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, had spoken along similar lines during his speech at the Chicago
Parliament of World Religions in 1893. Jung listed out some of his favorite Swami Vivekananda quotes, and called on the gathering to heed the great leader's words.
Speeches were also given by religious leaders such as Nazneen Rowhani, Gaden Tripa Rizong Sras-Trul Thupten Nyima, Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, Manjit Singh, His Excellency Acharya Shri Mahashraman, Dadi E Mistry, Mufti Mohmad Sanaul Hoda Qasmi. Cardinal Osvald Gracias ad Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malkar.
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