During the ongoing 28 day visit to ladakh by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness took a 300 meters pilgrimage by walk which the world will remember for the many years to come. The pilgrimage was to three temples of different beliefs but warmly welcomed equally by all of them with just same love and affection.
The 300 meters pilgrimage His Holiness made in Ladakh on 27th of July, 2016 is an example of a true religious leader and an inspiration to the development inter-religious harmony across the world.
The first venue of visit during that pilgrimage was to the Buddhist Jokhang Temple, where he reached by walking around 50 meters from his vehicle. He blessed the thousands of people gathered across the street while he was walking through and particularly, he met a tourist who was from Nice, France where a recent terror occurred. “We need to work to promote the sense of concern for well being of others on the basis of oneness of humanity. That’s the only way.” His Holiness told the tourist with respect to the tragedy.
While he made his important prayers and sought the blessings from the Temple, His Holiness addressed the buddhists gathered at the temple and emphasised that they should ensure to make the Jokhang Temple become a centre of learning by introducing philosophy and teachings of the Buddha.
The second venue of visit was the Sunni Mosque which was further 50 meters walk. The mosque was built around 1666-67 under an agreement by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and local Ladakhi King Deldan Namgyal. His Holiness was received the leaders of the community and he witnessed their prayers in the mosque.
The third and the last venue was the visit to the Shia Mosque which was further 200 meters down. His Holiness was received by the leaders of the community and the President of Shia community informed the gathering in the prayer hall that comprised of representatives of Shia, Sunni and Buddhist communities that it was His Holiness’s third visit to the Mosque.
His Holiness addressed the gathering that “Religion should not be a source of division and conflict. It is important to remember the concept of one truth, one religion on the level of an individual. And several truths, several religions on the level of the community.”
“Different philosophies are necessary. For well over two thousand years, different ways of life developed. Great teachers appeared and taught the message of love. But because of different environment, there were different ways of life. So there are different mental dispositions. Therefore it is necessary to have different philosophical views” His Holiness explained the gathering about the importance of religious diversity.
His Holiness also expressed his sadness that there are conflict between the Shia and Sunni communities of Muslims and told that despite their difference in philosophies, their goals are same and therefore they should put aside their small differences. He also emphasised that it is totally wrong to title a terrorist by their religion. “Once a believer commits an act of terror he or she is no longer a true practitioner of their faith.” said His Holiness.
This pilgrimage is an example of building mutual respect between the different religions around the world. It is clear from this pilgrimage that the differences in the philosophies among all the religions are not matters of concern to harm others and all the tragic incidents of terrorism that is plaguing the peace of the world can be stopped from mutual respect. This pilgrimage from His Holiness the Dalai Lama is an clear signal to the world that it is possible!