You can't buy friendship in malls: Dalai Lama

February 21st 2011

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 19 February 2011 (By Manoj R Nair, DNA) - Mumbai has super markets that sell everything money can purchase, but you cannot buy friendship and compassion in the glitzy malls, said Buddhist spiritual head and Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, on the second day of his visit to the city.

“If you walk into a shop and asked for friendship and compassion, the attendant will look at you as if you are mad,” he told thousands of his admirers who had gathered at Parel’s St Xavier’s Football Ground on Saturday afternoon to listen to him speak about the search for happiness and the role of religion in the 21st century.

The function was organised by the Bihar Foundation, a group set to primarily involve the Bihari diaspora in the state’s development.

Later, while answering questions from members of the audience, he was asked what was needed for Bihar, the birthplace of Buddhism, to prosper.

The Dalai Lama said that he had visited the state last year on the invitation of the chief minister. The chief minister told him that the state was developing because of Buddha’s blessings. “I replied that Bihar would have prospered earlier as the Buddha’s blessings were always there. For the blessings to work, it needs able chief ministers. If work is less corrupt, Bihar will be prosperous.”

He also spoke about how one can keep one’s religion and learn the traditions of another. “When I give lectures on Buddhism in America and Europe to what are basically Judaeo-Christian societies, and also Muslims, I tell them to keep their tradition rather than change it. But you can learn another tradition to enrich your tradition,” he said.


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