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India is still the best country to uphold religious harmony and tolerance: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama

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The 14th Dalai Lama.
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Bomdila (Arunachal Pradesh) April 6, 2017: Emphasising the need for religious harmony, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Thursday said India is still the best country to uphold religious harmony and tolerance.

“Religious harmony is very essential at a time when the sense of responsibility is lacking. But despite niggles, it is possible in India — the most-populated democratic country. This country has shown the way for thousands of years,” he said while addressing people at the Buddha Park here.

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He said all the world’s major religions flourished in India.

“We are social animals and without a sense of compassion for each other, we won’t be happy. Whether we are religious or not, there is a need for love and compassion in the world,” the Dalai Lama said.

Asserting he was disturbed by terrorism committed in the name of religion, the Dalai Lama said: “We hear a lot about Muslim terrorists, and of late of Buddhist terrorists (Myanmar). But as soon as anyone indulges in terrorism, he is no longer a Muslim or a Buddhist. Come to think of it, Chinese officials describe me as a terrorist too.”

The Tibetan leader also said it was right to consume the meat of dead animals but not of those slaughtered.

“Buddhists are taught not to harm other creatures and are vegetarian; but Sri Lankan monk told me many years ago that they (monks) depend on begging for their survival… Buddhist monks are neither vegetarian nor non-vegetarian,” he said.

“Pope (Francis) said it is better to be a good human being than a stupid Christian. Similarly, it is better to be good human being than a stupid Buddhist,” he said. (IANS)

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India-Trained ‘Wrongly Educated’ Monks Banned by China

China has banned India-trained "wrongly educated" monks from teaching Buddhism, fearing they may be of "separatist" bend. The ban was imposed by a county in China's Southwest province in Sichuan, according to the state-run Global Times.

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Buddhist Monks Praying at Wedding Ceremony

China has banned India-trained “wrongly educated” monks from teaching Buddhism, fearing they may be of “separatist” bend.

The ban was imposed by a county in China’s Southwest province in Sichuan, according to the state-run Global Times.

An official said on Monday that “monks wrongly educated in India were banned from teaching Buddhism to residents of Litang county”.

Buddhism is one of the five officially recognised religions in China.

US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an "incorrect map" of China.
Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

China accuses Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama of secessionist activities in Tibet where most people follow Buddhism.

The county Litang stages patriotic education classes every year for those educated and awarded Gexe Lharampa, the highest academic degree in Tibetan Buddhist studies in India, an official from Litang’s ethnic and religious affairs bureau told the Global Times.

Those who behaved improperly at the patriotic classes or showed “any signs of separatist intent” are strictly monitored and banned from teaching Buddhism to the public, said the official who refused to be named.

The university has compiled and published 31 volumes from the photocopies of ancient Tibetan literature since 2005 and the figure is expected to increase to 45 in the following two to three years.
Monks, pixabay

China has its own criteria to award Gexe Lharampa. Candidates have to pass Chinese Buddhist tests and a sutra debate.

Also Read: Buddhism Speaks: Evils and Morals

Those awarded the degree overseas are not acknowledged by China and are not qualified to teach Buddhism in the country, Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, told the Global Times.

Some 105 monks in Tibet have been awarded the Chinese Buddhist version of the degree since 2004, the Xinhua news agency reported. (IANS)