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- Speech given to the Inter-Religious Assembly -
   The Vatican. Rome, 25th. October 1999

- The Lineage of Tibetan Buddhist Tradition -
   Second World Conference for the Propagation of Buddhism.
Thailand, 9th. November 2000
Speech by Eminence the Eighth Kyabje Dorzong Rinpoche to the Inter-Religious Assembly,
The Vatican, Rome, 25th. October 1999

Distinguished representatives of world Religions...

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my greetings to all gathered here at the Vatican. It is a great pleasure for me to be at this important Assembly, which has been organized by the Roman Catholic Church, with the aim to promote inter-religious harmony and understanding as we approach the New Millenium.

It goes without saying that everyone longs for a more meaningful life and a better future. In the New Millenium most people would like to see a world with sound economies, greater peace and better human relations. However, as the Calendar janges to the year 2000, this transformation will not automatically come about. It can only happen if people jange their way of thinking and their conduct. Simply hoping for peace, mouthing slogans and distributing leaflets promoting world harmony will not make the New Millenium a Golden Era. Even though there are differences of race, religion and nations, we should all dedicate ourselves to work for peace and harmony. Only then will there be a firm foundation for world peace.

In this world there are two kinds of peace and happiness: one that is commonly known as temporary peace and happiness and the other which is taught in the world religions where it is described as ultimate peace and happiness. Ultimate peace and happiness can only come about through the realization of the wisdom of ultimate reality. Therefore, ultimate peace and happiness is to be achieved by following the footsteps of the great Masters who have the realization of Absolute Truth. Ultimate peace and happiness is not possible as long as we discriminate by attachment to oneself and by rejection of others due to overpowering negative emotions are. This is the root of disharmony. If our view and actions remain like this, then none of the world's great Masters would have seen any possibility of gaining ultimate peace and happiness.

I believe that temporary peace and happiness could be established in many ways. Among these, a vital force would be joint effort by all world religions.

At this critical time it is very important to have good inter-religious relations. In my opinion there are a few factors which are necessary to bring this about:

Firstly, whoever one may be, whether a religious leader or a follower, if one grasps only one's own faith in an extreme fanatical way and has disrespect for others, disharmony is created among mankind. All religions are like medicines. There are varieties of medicines, as there are varieties of diseases to be cured. The same logic should applied to the religions. In the Buddhist Sutra teachings, it says one may not understand or have the wish to enter another path, but one should never lack respect for and criticize other faiths. Such action or deed is considered very sinful. Also in the Buddhist Tantric teachings, there are fourteen extremely serious causes of downfall of which the sixth is to condemn other faiths.


We should not focus on contradictions between faiths. We must make efforts to understand the heart of all religions and their similarities. It is essential to develop respect and confidence among all faiths without creating sectarian disharmony.


All religions have deep and profound explanations, views and theories. In practice, all Great Masters have taught unselfishness, benefit to others, honesty, justice, contentment, patience, the development of love and compassion, high moral and ethical standards, generosity and the importance of not harming others. Every religion has taught these concerns as the foundations of its faith, like the foundations of a house. People regularly visit their places of worship, such as temples, viharas, churches, synagogues, mosques, etc., to pray and make offerings. However, what is important is that people truly live with and cultivate the above-mentioned virtues, for without these they are not genuinely practicing their religion. The Great World Teachers have given us their thoughts and practices. Their intention was to show us the right path by which we could subdue our untamed minds and cultivate altruism. We all understand that their teaching is not for their own benefit but for the sake of others, and in no way for creating an extra headache for the world.

However, history has shown that sometimes mistaken people, such as powerful leaders or fanatics, have attacked or destroyed other religious communities in the name of their own beliefs, because they were narrow-minded and too attached to their own faith. Instead of bringing harmony among mankind they created distrust and disharmony among faiths. This did no good service to their own faith and we can all clearly understand that these were unwise actions. Anger, discord, money and military power will not bring peace and happiness. Instead, love, compassion, wisdom and understanding are some of the qualities which can bring about inter-religious, inter-racial and international harmony.

In conclusion, distinguished guests, I would like to emphasize that religions are not confined within national boundaries. They reside within the hearts and minds of people. Peace and happiness would be certain if everyone, disregarding power and position, began to adhere to the fundamental principles of their own religions in their everyday lives. I believe all religious paths are based on love and compassion. In Buddhism these two virtues are supreme throughout one's practice ... in the beginning, in the middle and at the end. They are important in the beginning because they are like seeds in fertile ground. They are important in the middle because they are like the life-giving properties which make the seeds grow. They are important in the end because they are like the enjoyment of the ripened fruit.

As His Holiness The Dalai Lama says, "compassion is the pillar of world peace" and "one should travel from a limited compassion to the one which is limitless".

When love and compassion based on altruism flower in this world, then this world will be full of good outcomes. Let us begin here and now, and agree that we, the representatives of world religions, will undertake to meet regularly and work towards greater mutual understanding, with the hope that the new Millenium will see love and compassion in the heart of every living being.



Kyabje Dorzong Rinpoche In Tibet
In Tibet
Kyabje Dorzong Rinpoche In Pilgrimage
In Pilgrimage
Kyabje Dorzong Rinpoche Main Temple
Main Temple
Kyabje Dorzong Rinpoche Stupas
Kyabje Dorzong Rinpoche Standing Buddha
Standing Buddha
Kyabje Dorzong Rinpoche Jangchub Jong
Jangchub Jong