Making Interfaith Dialogue Work | Telo Rinpoche

His Holiness Dalai Lama speaks about inter-religious harmony or inter-religious dialogue, Making Interfaith Dialogue Work and I think it is very important for us to have this open communication, open dialogue. When I say “dialogue,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to sit down officially, formally and have some kind of a dialogue.

But a human-to-human level dialogue, understanding, friendship, exchange of thoughts, exchange of ideas. And also getting to know each other, getting to know different backgrounds, getting to know them as individuals, I think this is one of the key methods in maintaining stability, harmony and friendship.

In Kalmykia, for example, we have what we call the “Inter-religious Council,” where the Muslims, the Christian Orthodox and Buddhists, the three of them are represented in this religious council. And we have very frequent gatherings. Of course, we have differences, different views on religious traditions,

Different views on political issues, and different views on social issues as well. But nevertheless, if we remained isolated from each other because he or she has a certain belief, spiritually, politically, economically and socially, then there’s no way that we can develop and work together.

So it is important for us to sit down together, have tea, have a basic conversation and exchange these different views. And through these –you would be surprised by it – sincere dialogues and communication, how much we have been able to achieve, it is unbelievable.

And I think, as you mentioned, Kalmykia has no Buddhist neighbors. To the North, East and West it is all Christian Orthodox, to the South we have the Muslims. So, we have been able to maintain stability, harmony, and friendship through this open dialogue between people, between governments, between administrations.

And mainly between the religious leaders or the religious communities. So, I think we have set a good example to the people as well. And as a matter of fact, I think it was about five or six years ago, Kalmykia was praised by the Russian Federation’s President

As being one of the most harmonious communities spiritually. That was a very big statement for us. And a big achievement for us as well.

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