The Principal Commitments of His Holiness

Although he presents himself as a simple monk, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is not only the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people (and until recently also the temporal leader), but also a charismatic ambassador for peace. In his lectures and during his visits everywhere in the world, he teaches on fundamental human values such as compassion, mutual respect and non-violence, thus referring to the principal goals to which he has actively committed himself:

1. Fundamental Human Values

Firstly, on the level of a human being, His Holiness’ commitment is the promotion of human values such as compassion, forgiveness, respect towards other religions, contentment and self-discipline. In his view, all human beings are of the same precious value. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. As His Holiness has experienced, even people who do not believe in religion very often recognize the importance of these human values in making their life happier. He therefore puts these human values in the centre of what he calls secular ethics. He is eager to talk about the importance of these values and reflect on them with everyone he meets.

2. Religious Harmony

Secondly, on the level of a religious practitioner, His Holiness is committed to promote religious harmony and mutual understanding among the world’s major religious traditions. Despite many philosophical and ritual differences, all major religions have a potential to promote ethical behavior and peace. It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and to recognize the value of each other’s traditions. While it is important for any human being to remain faithful towards his/her genuine religious experience, it is equally important for the society to recognize the diversity of such experiences.

3. Tibet's Buddhist Culture

Thirdly, His Holiness is a Tibetan, and he carries the name of the ‘Dalai Lama’. Therefore, he strives to enliven the potential of peace and non-violence contained in his culture and to make it an effective force in the present world.