muni wrote: Will wrote:
Before the Dalai Lama left Tibet he thought Buddhism was the "only true religion". But his attitude changed when he visited India in 1956. What happened in India?
My visit to the Theosophical Society in Chennai (then Madras) left a powerful impression. There I was directly exposed to people, and to a movement, that attempted to bring together the wisdom of the world's spiritual traditions, as well as science... After more than three months in what was a most amazing country ... I was a changed man. I could no longer live in the comfort of an exclusivist standpoint that takes Buddhism to be the only true religion.
From Toward a True Kinship of Faiths
Many Western Buddhists have scorn for the Theosophical Society, founded by Upasika Blavatsky. The Presence looked a little deeper.
In understanding is unconditioned love. Was so reflecting: If I am considering myself to be a buddhist and reject others approach to peace, what kind of narrow understanding I than have other than grasping to correct philosophical ideas, my opion?
"Harmony among the major faiths has become an essential ingredient of peaceful coexistence in our world. From this perspective, mutual understanding among these traditions is not merely the business of religious believers - it matters for the welfare of humanity as a whole".
http://dalailamacenter.org/blog-post/ma ... dalai-lama
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What HHDL means is that among religions there is no shared authority, no central committee deciding for everyone what is true and what is false. Recognizing the subjective nature of religious opinion, HHDL offers a more secular view. This is correct. To protect everyone's liberty, it is necessary to subordinate religious views to secular law i.e. insist on separation of church and state.
Since there can be no agreement among various religions around which is the "true" religion -- tolerance is required. This however does not mean that if you are a Buddhist you are required to think that Christianity makes truths claims that are as valid as Buddhist truth claims. All that needs to be recognized is that all religions make truth claims that cannot be verified by any mutually agreed upon standard.
So, I know for a fact that HHDL feels that Buddhism is the best religion. He also recognizes that this is just an opinion and insisting on this opinion to someone who does not share the same idea leads to strife and war. So rather than insisting that Buddhism is the best religion for everyone, he merely asserts it is the best religion for himself.
Then, when we cross that divide, we try to look at people from the point of view of their goodness. We try to meet people at that point.
Since we cannot make all religions the same, we need to recognize where it is that people are the same. Where they are the same is that they want happiness and freedom from suffering -- and religions evolve to provide those answers, differently for different people.