The real meaning of ‘jihad’ was not harming others, but to use “constructive emotion” to combat destructive emotions, the Dalai Lama today said as he used his appearance at famed Glastonbury music festival to describe Islamic State’s violence as “unthinkable”.
In a 30-minute speech before hundreds of rain-soaked campers, the Tibetan spiritual leader stressed the importance of the oneness of the planet’s seven billion people, and made a rare comment on the conflict in the Middle East and days after the Islamic State militants launched terror attacks in Kuwait and Tunisia.
The 79-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, did not explicitly refer to ISIS terror group, but told an audience of hundreds: “In this very moment, in some part of the world, like Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and some other places they’re killing, human to human being. Unthinkable. And the worst thing [is] conflict, killing each other, in the name of their faith. Unthinkable.”
He said all major religions carried a message of “love and tolerance and fairness” but that those values were being used by some to create division, The Guardian reported.
The Dalai said the real meaning of jihad was not harming others, but to use “constructive emotion” to combat destructive emotions.
“I daily use it in my five hours of meditation, this kind of jihad,” he said in his address to festival-goers from a modest wooden stage.
“There is nothing wrong with religious beliefs, but the people who are supposed to be following the religion have a lack of moral principle, lack of conviction.
“There is no basis to kill. I love my own life. Everyone loves their own life. Everyone has the right to live happily. Once you have a firm conviction in that then suddenly man-made problems will reduce,” the top Tibetan monk said amid China’s objections to his trip to the UK.
China had on Friday warned organisers of the Glastonbury Festival that inviting the Dalai Lama to visit one of Europe’s largest music festivals was tantamount to giving him a platform to engage in anti-China activities.
Asked later whether music made him happy, the Dalai Lama said “not much” and went on challenge the view that music could bring inner peace.
“If music really brings inner peace, then this Syria and Iraq killing each other then through some strong music can they reduce their anger? I don’t think so.”
His three tips for living a health and fulfilled life were for people to keep their inner strength and hope, get plenty of sleep he has nine hours a night and meditate for five hours every morning, waking up at between 2.30 and 3 am.
In his speech, he also called for the “demilitarisation of the world”. He said the billions spent on arms would be better used to address the “huge gap between the rich and the poor”.
Growing inequality was a “very very serious matter”, not just for certain nations but around the world, he said. “It’s not just morally wrong but also it’s a practical problem,” he added.