Not In God's Name
mahatma gandhi dalai lama tolerance in scripture



From: “Messages/World Peace” -

“There are many different religions to bring comfort and happiness to humanity in much the same way as there are particular treatments for different diseases.”

“We must promote better interfaith understanding so as to create a workable degree of unity among all religions. This may be achieved in part by respecting each other's beliefs and by emphasizing our common concern for human well-being.”

“I welcome efforts being made in various parts of the world for better understanding among religions. The need for this is particularly urgent now. If all religions make the betterment of humanity their main concern, then they can easily work together in harmony for world peace.”

From: “Messages/Buddhism And Democracy (#16)” -

“I believe that to meet the challenge of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for his or her own self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable use of natural resources, and the proper care of the environment.”


The Dalai Lama’s Heart of Wisdom Teachings


“Through interfaith and interpersonal communication, sharing, and respect, we can learn to appreciate the valuable qualities taught by all religions, and the ways in which all religions can benefit humanity.” (p.10)

“Clearly, all traditions have the power to bring out the best in human potential. Yet different traditions use different approaches.” (p. 10)

“In this diverse world, with its varied religious traditions, it's enormously valuable for practitioners of different religions to cultivate a genuine respect for each other's tradition based on dialogue. At the beginning of such a dialogue, it's important that all the participants fully recognize not only the many areas of convergence between each other’s faith traditions, but more crucially, that they recognize and respect the differences between the traditions.”  (p.14-15)

“Thus there are grounds for promoting dialogue and harmony between religions, and there are methods. Establishing and maintaining this harmony is vitally important because without it people can become alienated from one another quite easily. In the worst case, conflict and hostility arise, leading to bloodshed and even war. Often some kind of religious difference or religious intolerance is at the root of many such conflicts. And yet, religion is supposed to cool hostility down, to ease conflict and bring peace. It is tragic when religion itself becomes just another basis for creating strife.” (p.16)


Collected Statements, Interviews & Articles


From: “Spiritual Contribution to Social Progress” -

“At this time of easy communication, we must increase our efforts to learn each other's systems. This does not mean that we should make all religions into one, but that we should recognize the common purpose of the many religions and value the different techniques that they have developed for internal improvement.” (p.211) 

From: “Compassion in Global Politics” -

“If we put too much emphasis on the superficial differences - culture, ideology, faith, race, color, wealth, and education - if we make small rigid discriminations, we cannot avoid making additional suffering for human society. A troublesome atmosphere will be created from the exaggerated but very small differences.” (p.224)

“Also in world politics such small discriminations create uncomfortable problems. For instance, in Asia, the Middle East, Africa or Latin America, strife sometimes comes from religious feelings, sometimes from race, sometimes from ideology.” (p.224)

“However, it is much more beneficial to try to implement in daily life the shared precepts for goodness taught by all religions rather than to argue about minor differences in approach.” (p.230)


Memoirs Of The Dalai Lama Of Tibet


From: “The Quest For Enlightenment” -

“By whatever name religion may be known, its understanding and practice are the essence of a peaceful mind and therefore of a peaceful world. If there is no peace in one’s own mind, there can be no peace in one's approach to others, and thus no peaceful relations between individuals or between nations.” (p.50)

From: Appendix I: “One of the Many Religions of the World: Buddhism and Its Founder” -

“Different doctrines have been introduced by different exponents at different periods and in different ways. But I believe they all fundamentally aim at the same noble goal, in teaching moral precepts to mould the functions of the mind, body, and speech.” (p.237)

“Therefore, it would be better if disunity among the followers of different religions could come to an end. Unity among religions is not an impossible idea. It is possible, and in the present state of the world, it is equally important.” (p.237)

“To this end, the followers of each religion should know something of other religions, and that is why I try to explain a little of the Buddhism of Tibet.” (p.237)


by Joan Liepman


His Holiness The Dalai Lama has worked tirelessly to promote tolerance, acceptance, and peace in the world. He offers specific methods to help us cultivate these qualities for ourselves and our communities, and assures us with confidence that we can create the kind of world we all want, a world with less suffering and more happiness.  

He is a man of peace, which we can see not only in his teachings but also in the way he conducts his own life. His life has taken him from being a “simple monk” in Tibet to being a globally-recognized scholar and moral authority. His commitment to non-violence is evident in his ongoing efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Tibet and China.  Yet his influence reaches far beyond the concerns of his own religious tradition and  political difficulties.  His teachings touch all of us and help us become, in the most basic sense, better people. He is admired and loved for his wisdom, kindness, and humor.

His Holiness travels extensively to teach and meet with world leaders and scholars of all kinds to discuss ways to resolve the many problems facing our world today.  He has received numerous honors and awards for his work, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

In his acceptance speech, he addressed several topics including the issue of religious diversity:

“I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might appear different the ends are the same. ( - “Messages/ Acceptance Speeches”)

This illustrates one of his central themes: we must develop tolerance and acceptance of the diverse religions and cultures that have developed throughout the world. If we do not, we are doomed to escalating conflict and suffering.

For more information about The Dalai Lama’s life and work, go to The Official Website of His Holiness The Dalai Lama at The site provides his biography and teaching schedule, transcripts, videos, webcasts, and news updates about his current activities. The many books by and about The Dalai Lama are widely available at libraries, bookstores, and online book sites.

SOURCES - Official Website of the Dalai Lama

Essence of the Heart Sutra: The Dalai Lama’s Heart of Wisdom Teachings. by Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Translated and edited by Geshe Thupten Jinpa. (Wisdom Publications, 2005)

His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama: Collected Statements, Interviews & Articles (Potala Publications, 1982)

My Land and My People: Memoirs of the Dalai Lama of Tibet (McGraw Hill,1962)




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