Laying emphasis on the universal relevance of the ideals of Sree Narayana Guru “who propagated the religion of oneness for humanity,” Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, made a fervent call to make the 21st century strife-free and peaceful.

Proclaiming the message of the 80th Sivagiri pilgrimage at the Sivagiri Math on Saturday, the Dalai Lama reminded that violence and war had claimed 200 million lives in the previous century. Scientific and technological advancements had contributed their share in instigating violence. This was in spite of their significant role in reducing the incidence of disease and tackling other major achievements for the benefit of humanity. The century saw the use of nuclear arms in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Peace should reign supreme in the remaining 88 years of the current century and this can be attained by accepting compassion as a religion. “Peace will not fall from the skies or emanate from the earth. No resolution of the United Nations or science and technology can bring peace. It should originate from the heart of man. A healthy mind creates a healthy man.” There should be a genuine concern for the well-being of fellow beings. Compassion should develop as a universal religion. Relations between nations should be founded on this religion. The 3,000-year-old secular ethics of India comprises such principles and it should be emulated.

Non-violence was the best option to get rid of corruption and violence, he said. Mischievous elements were there in all religions and communities and hence it was understandable. Rather than trying to confine themselves to temples reciting Sanskrit slokas and performing pujas, sanyasis should go out to the masses and strive to cultivate core values for creating a better society, the Dalai Lama said.

Speaker G.Karthikeyan, who was the chief guest, said the Sivagiri pilgrimage stood out among other pilgrimages as one that discussed all issues, including politics, women’s rights, environmental issues and industries. The Guru had devised it with foresight, he said.

Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Metropolitan Bishop of Mar Thoma Church, who the guest of honour at the function described the Guru as one who travelled from “eternity to maya.” Not many, including his disciples had understood the real depth of his teachings. The Guru gave an antidote to degenerating morality and human values. When Lord Buddha relinquished his luxurious living to imbibe the sufferings of humanity, the Guru travelled from his hut to the palace and ordained a community that was until then deprived of its due position in society. He advised Mr. Karthikeyan to hold a session of the Assembly at the Math and also distribute copies of the biography of the Guru to the MLAs so that the House can be conducted in a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.

Sree Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust president Swami Prakasananda presided. The Dalai Lama released the logo of an exhibition to be held in connection with the pilgrimage by presenting a copy to the Metropolitan. He planted a jackfruit sapling to mark his visit to the Math. The Yoga Kshema Sabha and the Prajapita Brahmakumaris felicitated the Dalai Lama. Trust general secretary Swamy Rithambarananda gave the welcome address. Swamy Guru Prasad proposed a vote of thanks.