'Serve humanity', urges Dalai Lama

UKPA, June 20, 2012

London, UK -- The Dalai Lama has urged religious people to work for the good of humanity and care for the environment in an address at Westminster Abbey.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said it was important that religious faith was not confined to holy books or buildings but that it had an impact upon lives.
"I think millions of people have a genuine sense of spirituality, we must work together to serve humanity," he said.

"We now also have responsibility for the care of the planet. "I am quite sure that religions still have an important role to make a better humanity," he added.

The 76-year-old was addressing representatives from different religious groups and denominations including Anglican, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Sikh, and Hindu leaders at the event described as a service of prayer and reflection.

The Dalai Lama, who shook hands with a row of schoolboys as he entered the abbey, was welcomed at the start of the service by the Dean of Westminster The Very Rev Dr John Hall.

The service heard a reading from the Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, head priest of the London Buddhist Vihara, and prayers read by Lord Singh of Wimbledon, representing the Sikh community and Anil Bhanot, of the Hindu faith.

The service was part of an eight-day UK tour by the Dalai Lama to promote his message of non-violence, dialogue and universal responsibility.

The address comes after the Dalai Lama's official website said he met Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi privately on Tuesday. According to his website, he told her: "I have real admiration for your courage. I am very happy we've been able to meet."