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H.H. The Dalai Lama's Message for the "Chant for Change" Event

By: for ISKCON News on Sept. 29, 2016

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., where the "Chant4Change" event will take place

On Saturday October 8th, at Washington’s famed Lincoln Memorial, at the site of one of America’s most famous landmarks and the historic place where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have A Dream Speech,” an event never seen before on this scale in Washington will take place.

Chant4Change will focus on the performances of dozens of musicians, from a variety of religious and spiritual traditions, who will join together for a day and evening of music calling out to the Divine in chant, prayer, and song. 

The event is organized by a team of Vaishnavas (devotees of Krishna) and friends who believe that in these times of great conflict and political rancor, the best way to help the world and to change the world, is to chant together in a genuine spirit of friendship, non-sectarianism, prayer, and devotion.

 To celebrate the event, H.H. The Dalai Lama sent the following message:  

Brothers and Sisters,

Although I’m unable to be with you in person, I am delighted to have this opportunity to send a message to those of you who come together at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to Chant for Change. The ideals to which President Abraham Lincoln devoted his life – equal entitlement to freedom and human rights for each and every one of is – resonate just as strongly with us today. As our human population continues to grow and we all become ever more interdependent, it’s crucial that we recognize our shared humanity, and with it, our mutual responsibilities. 

Today, it is vital that the younger generation, guardians of the future, develop a deep awareness of the futility of war. We can learn from the great achievements of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to recognize the on the long-term non-violence is the best approach to redressing injustice. If the twentieth century was a century of violence, let us make the twenty-first a century of dialogue. 

The challenges we face today call for an approach based on ethical awareness and inner values. Safeguarding the future is not just a matter of laws and government regulations; it also requires individual initiative. We need to change our way of thinking and recognize that we all belong to the same human family. Differences in faith, race or nationality are secondary in the context of our sameness as human beings. As social animals the best way to take care of ourselves is to take care of each other. This is the kind of recognition that gives rise to the trust and inner peace that is the basis for peace in the wider world. 

The Dalai Lama's signature at the bottom of his letter.

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[ buddhism ] [ chant4change ] [ dalai-lama ] [ washington-dc ]
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