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All religions are not the same

by Visakha Kawasaki, Kandy, Sri Lanka, The Buddhist Channel, Nov 27, 2005

I refer to the article on "Dalai lama urges Christians not to convert to Buddhism". There is something extremely disheartening about the Dalai Lama, or any other religious leader, saying that all religions are the same.  They are not. 

Furthermore, not all religions teach tolerance, compassion, self-discipline, and kindliness in equal measure; nor do all extend it universally. Many make distinctions between ?us? and ?them? (of course, to the disadvantage of the ?them?).

The teaching of the Buddha is unique in having no creator god and in recognizing the Three Characteristics of "dukkha" (unsatisfactoriness), "anicca" (impermanence) and "anatta' (non-self or no-soul). Only Buddha?s doctrine contains the Four Noble Truths by which we are offered a way to end all suffering.

I have no idea why the Dalai Lama urges Christians not to convert to Buddhism. Is there some sort of racism involved here, whereby we should all just stay in the religion into which we were born?-the faith of our fathers, so to speak? Shouldn?t we instead question and probe every belief system in order to discover what is true?

Wrong view has serious consequences, while right view is the first step on the Noble Eightfold Path. I can?t understand why the Dalai Lama wants to encourage people to be lazy and to take the path of least resistence, sticking to the traditions of their ancestors, especially since those traditions have so often resulted in persecution, discrimination, the Crusades, the Inquisition, subjugation of caste and sex, and war.


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