At a function where the Indian chapter of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was launched, the Dalai Lama said that he was willing to be compassionate to China until the time of his death.
He said, “It is no use nurturing or flaunting hatred [towards China]. A compassionate attitude is more effective. Things in China have changed over the last 30 to 40 years; there’s a new reality there. The totalitarian system is ending and China will have to follow the democratic trend and the rule of law like the rest of the world.”
On the occasion of ‘World Compassion Day 2012’ celebrated by HSUS to mark the launch of its animal protection chapter here, the fourteenth Dalai Lama spoke at length about the virtue of compassion. While the spiritual head negated the connection between a non-vegetarian lifestyle and violence, he said that Buddhist monks the world over follow a non-vegetarian diet and that the prolific breeding and killing of animals in farms and for sport was unnecessary and should be avoided at all costs.
He also pointed out that compassion is a virtue that could be revealed in every human being and should not be based on any one religious doctrine. “Every individual should be educated with secular values. Only through this can humane values truly manifest,” he said.
“We need to educate people to respect the sanctity of life, know others’ pain. Not just animals, but one must respect the lives of even insects and birds. The only way this can come about is by nurturing compassion without bias and not instinctive compassion based on issues such as friendship.”
He concluded by saying that compassion could be cultivated even towards one’s enemy and only then can it extend to animals and other living beings.
Others who spoke at the function included actor Anil Kapoor and Pritish Nandy. Kapoor said he had gone from a self-obsessed viewpoint which made him unhappy, to embracing a Gandhian philosophy that led him to produce Gandhi My Father. Nandy, who organised the event, said the aim of the launch was to tell people to eat less non-vegetarian food.
President and CEO of HSUS Wayne Pacelle also spoke at the event.
A live painting by artist Paresh Maity was auctioned at the event as well.