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Foundation for Universal Responsibility

of His Holiness The Dalai Lama




Abridged Programme Brochure

An initiative to provide insight into religious diversity, build cross-cultural understanding and encourage spiritual growth Š FUR


"To meet the challenges of our times, I believe that humanity must develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for our own individual self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. Today we are so interdependent, so closely interconnected with each other, that without a sense of universal responsibility, a feeling of universal brotherhood and sisterhood, and an understanding and belief that we really are a part of one big human family, we cannot hope to overcome the dangers to our very existence – let alone bring about peace and happiness." - His Holiness The Dalai Lama




Programme Overview


Programme Highlights


About the Foundation


Join Us


Terms and Conditions


Write to us

This brochure will give you the main highlights of the Youth Interfaith Pilgrimage and Dialogue. We would be happy to hear from you, should you wish to know more about the programme. Please do email us at by mentioning ‘youth interfaith pilgrimage & dialogue’ in the subject line. 3


Programme Overview The Youth Interfaith Pilgrimage programme seeks to provide space for young participants to embrace religious diversity, build cross-cultural understanding and encourage spiritual growth through first-hand exploration of different faith traditions. The fifteen-day programme involves visits to religious centres across South India once a year. It will start from Bengaluru and move on to Mysore, Shravanbelagola and Bylakuppe. Two days will be spent at each centre. The first day will be dedicated to lectures/discussions on each faith and the second day will be spent in attending prayers. Sessions will be conducted and coordinated by the centres as per a pre-determined schedule after consultation with the Foundation. The centres may conduct guided tours of the place and visits to their respective places of worship. “In the Buddhist investigation of reality we traditionally employ four principles of reasoning: dependence, function, nature and evidence, hence both approaches seem to work in parallel,� said the Dalai Lama. Not a far stretch from the way scientists look for evidence. In line with that, we have also included sessions of interaction with neuroscientist and psychologist during our tour programme. Participants are requested to bring modest clothing and prepare themselves with a basic understanding of each faith prior to the commencement of the programme. As per the norms of the tour, participants are requested to read the application form very carefully and stick to the fundamental instructions. However, there are no rigid directives, and participants are requested to be understanding and open-hearted. Modest accommodation will be provided at each centre with vegetarian meals, unless otherwise arranged at nearby commercial areas. The group will travel together and use local transport, as the centres are within a relatively small geographical area. During the programme transportation, accommodation and meals will be arranged by the Foundation and the group will be escorted by a staff member. During the pilgrimage, some places require extensive walking to reach the destination, and we prefer applicants to be physically fit. Should the participants require further information, please do contact us.


Programme Highlights MEDITATION AND YOGA The main philosophy of yoga is simple: mind, body and spirit are one and cannot be clearly separated. Yet there is a multitude of philosophical ideas developed by looking into the deeper dimensions of the body, mind and spirit.

“ …..The best time for practicing meditation is in the morning, in a quiet place, when the mind is very clear and alert. It helps not to have eaten too much the night before nor to sleep too much; this makes the mind lighter and sharper the next morning. Gradually the mind will become more and more stable; mindfulness and memory will become clearer”. – His Holiness The Dalai Lama

SPIRITUAL FILM SCREENINGS During the course of journey each evening will be dedicated for watching select films on spirituality.



Programme Highlights

DIALOGUE WITH NEUROSCIENTISTS Topics: The neural substrates of learning and transformation; From Mind Training to Brain Plasticity; Cultivating the Inner conditions for happiness- Neural perspective; Concept of Cognitive Neuroscience

DIALOGUE WITH PSYCHOLOGISTS Topics: Perspectives in Modern Psychology; Cultivating the Inner conditions for happiness - psychological perspectives; System Theory Approach to the study of Mind; Mindfulness based stress Reduction program and Psychaitric illness

“With the ever growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things.� His Holiness the Dalai Lama


Programme Details ZOARASTRAISM

Topics: One God called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord). Not Fire-Worshippers. The Elements are Pure and that Fire Represents God's Light or Wisdom. Ahura Mazda revealed the truth through the Prophet, Zoroaster. Pray several times a day. Worship Communally in a Fire Temple or Agiary. Holy Scriptures is called The Avesta. The Tenets of the Mazdayasni Zarathushtri religion. Dualism, God, Zoroaster and Immortals, Humanity in Zoroastrianism. Festivals: The Six Gahanbars, Khordad Sal (Birthday of Zoroaster), Noruz. Rites and Rituals: Navjote, Weddings, Funerals.

“That which is good for all and any one, For whomsoever- that is good for me. . .What I hold good for self, I should for all. Only Law Universal is true law.� Zoroaster (c.628 - c.551)


Topics: Visit to health-care centre/hospital, tour of the facilities, interfaith sessions with patients and doctors, health & happiness, vision of modern health-care. 8

Programme Highlights *ISLAM

Topics: Background to Muslims in India, concept of God and purpose of life, Sharia Law – two sources of guidance, basic beliefs and practices, adhan (call to prayer), visit mosque and presentation, concept of Jihad and Islam and terrorism, video – ‘This is Islam’, worship in Islam – articles of faith, brotherhood and the concept of Ummah, women in Islam, Islam and science – video clipping, pillars of Islam, Shahadah, Salat, Saum, Zakat, Hajj, etiquette and manners, Muslims and environment, Islamic art and heritage, Islam in the West, Shia and Sunni sects among Muslims.

"O mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise one another). Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous." (Quran, 49:13)


Programme Highlights


Topics: What is Christianity and what do Christians beli eve, understanding the Trinity (the Son, the Father and the Holy Ghost), Jesus of Nazareth, Christian morality, Christianity and other religions, Church history and Christian denominations, Christianity basics, Christian beliefs, Christian books, Christianity charts, Christian history, Christian holidays, Christian people, Christian practices, Christian texts, Christian symbols, Christian social values, customs and practices, visit church and attend Sunday Mass.

"If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?" 1 John 3:17 (NLT)

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” The Bible (Mark 12:30-31) 10

Programme Highlights SIKHISM

Topics: Who and what is a Sikh, philosophy, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, history and practices, the significance as well as translations of various banis of the Gurus, the similarities and differences between Sikhism and other major religions in existence during the times of the Gurus, women in Sikhism, gurdwaras, the Khalsa, Rehat Maryada, religious emblems, ceremonies and festivals, visit to gurdwara and attend gathering, Golden Temple, Sikh way of life, Sikh youth, Sikh warriors, Sikh martyrs, Sikh women, famous Sikhs, Sikh ethics, Sikh prayers, Punjabi cuisine, Sikh matrimonial, Europeans in Sikh history.

“Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the common religious scripture of all…. Sikhs have been unsuccessful in making the world know about their religious scripture. Today, humanity is in dire need of Guru Granth Sahib’s peaceful and loving message.” Archer, author of the book, Sikh Faith

As fragrance abides in the flower As reflection is within the mirror, So does your Lord abide within you, Why search for him without ? Guru Nanak 11

Programme Highlights HINDUISM

Topics: Vedas, Upanishads, Purana, other primary texts, epics, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta, modern books, about Dharma, history, beliefs, concept of God, Devas and Avatars, Karma and Samsara, objectives of human life, Yoga, practices, rituals, pilgrimage, festivals, scriptures, shruti, smriti, ashrama, monasticism, varna, ahimsa, vegetarianism and other food customs

“Hinduism…..gave itself no name, because it set itself no sectarian limits; it claimed no universal adhesion, asserted no sole infallible dogma, set up no single narrow path or gate of salvation; it was less a creed or cult than a continuously enlarging tradition of the God ward endeavor of the human spirit. An immense many-sided and many staged provision for a spiritual self-building and self-finding, it had some right to speak of itself by the only name it knew, the eternal religion, Santana Dharma….” Sri Aurobindo

“The present Hindu society is organised only for spiritual men, and hopelessly crushes out everybody else. Why? Where shall they go who want to enjoy the world a little with its frivolities? Just as our religion takes in all, so should our society. This is to be worked out by first understanding the true principles of our religion and then applying them to society. This is the slow but sure work to be done. Swami Vivekananda 12

Programme Highlights



Topics: Is it possible to live an orderly life in this chaotic world? Do I know myself? Harmony in relationship, to listen, to look, to learn! What is right action? Why do I resist change? Freedom from Fear. What are you doing with your Life? Silence, stillness, meditation, ending of conflict, freedom, responsibility and discipline. What is a religious mind? Nature walk. Care for environment.

"To be clear in one’s intentions is quite an arduous task; intention is as a flame, ceaselessly urging one to understand. Be clear in your intentions and you will see, things will work out. To be clear in the present is all that one needs, but it is not quite so easy as it sounds. One has to clear the field for the new seed and once the seed is planted, its own vitality and strength creates the fruit and the seed." - Pupul Jayakar’s Biography, Chapter 23

“Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.” J. Krishnamurti


Programme Highlights JAINISM*

Topics: Concept of karma, ten virtues of monks, twelve reflections or bhavnas, twelve vows of laypersons, fourteen auspicious dreams, five bodies and eight vargnas, five great vows (Maha-vratas), six universal substances (Dravyas), meaning of Ashta Prakari Puja, nine tattvas (principles), Prakrit script, Jain texts, main principles, core beliefs, nonviolence in thought and practice, shedding of past karmas (nirjara), tirthankaras, cosmology, customs and practices, meditation, monasticism, vegetarianism, fasting, Dev Shastra Guru Puja, festivals, history, culture, contributions to Indian culture, guided pilgrimage of Shravanbelagola temples and caves.

“Dharma has been the foundation of the Indian culture�. Sri Swasthishree Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji 14

Programme Highlights

TOUR OF A TIBETAN SETTLEMENT A day will be spent on a day long tour of Tibetan settlement exploring its habitat, people and culture. An extensive engagement with people from monasteries, nunneries, schools and old peoples home will provide a platform to converse and understand people who have lived more than five decades in exile.


Topics: Introduction to Buddhism in general, introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, relevance and role of religion (interfaith) in 21st century, introduction to meditation on equanimity, concept of Shunyata (emptiness), Tibetan monastic system, four noble truths, eight-fold paths, affliction and destructive Emotions, concept of reincarnation, Buddhism and science, tour to debate session, tour around Sera Monastery.

“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.� His Holiness The Dalai


About the Foundation

"This Foundation will implement projects to benefit people everywhere, focusing especially on assisting nonviolent methods, on improving communications between religion and science, on securing human rights and democratic freedoms, and on conserving and restoring our precious Mother Earth." – His Holiness The Dalai Lama VISION     

    

Foster the celebration of diversity, the spirit of universal responsibility and the understanding of interdependence across faiths, creeds and religions. Support personal transformation in ways that facilitate larger processes of social change. Develop and sustain peace building and coexistence initiatives in regions of violent conflict and social unrest. Encourage and cultivate Ahimsa (nonviolence) as a guiding principle for interaction among human beings and with their environments. Offer inclusive and holistic paradigms of education that prioritize experiential learning, cross-cultural dialogue, and a global ethic of peace and justice. Build capacity for conflict transformation, human rights and democratic freedom through partnerships with civil society groups across the globe. Explore new frontiers on understanding of the mind by building bridges between science and spirituality. Support the professional development of future leaders and decisionmakers through scholarships and fellowships. Create media products and educational materials that promote the objectives of the Foundation. Nurture an understanding of the relevance and value of Tibetan civilisational heritage to contemporary issues and predicaments. 16

About the Foundation MISSION 

To promote universal responsibility in a manner that respects difference and encourages a diversity of beliefs, practices and approaches.


To build a global ethic of nonviolence, coexistence, gender equity and peace by facilitating secular processes that cultivate personal and social ethical values.


To enrich educational paradigms that tap the transformative potential of the human mind.

The Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a not for profit, non-sectarian, non-denominational organization established with the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to His Holiness in 1989 . In the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, the Foundation brings together men and women of different faiths, professions and nationalities, through a range of initiatives and mutually sustaining collaborations.


Join Us ONLINE RESOURCES Website Email Alerts Sign up by sending an email at Facebook Facebook page Twitter

SUPPORT US! The Foundation works with a modest corpus. There are no charges or tickets for our events. DONATIONS are welcome to meet expenses towards organizing secular events like this one. These are tax exempt under Sec 80G in India. Contributions are accepted preferably by cheque or draft payable to: ‘Foundation for Universal Responsibility of HH The Dalai Lama’ and send to: Core 4A, UGF, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110003, India For other modes of payments, please visit, 18

Terms & Conditions

ACCOMMODATION & TRANSPORTATION: We will be happy to welcome you as our guest and to meet your basic expenses on travel, food and lodging during the programme. As you know the Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that sustains itself from donations and the support of the community. Hence, food and lodging will be basic in nature and may have to accommodate in groups while staying in hostels and ashrams. The Foundation WILL NOT cover travel expenses to and from Bangalore for participants outside Bangalore. We welcome donations and contributions. These will help cover the costs of the ongoing Interfaith programmes, the Gurukul and other projects. Please do not feel pressured to make a contribution, particularly if you are still a student or have recently graduated. What is most important for us is to be able to welcome you amidst us. PARTICIPATION: The programme will be conducted over the minimum period of 15 days. The selected participant must abide the rules and regulations of the programme. Participant will not hold organizers responsible for any mishap. The programme organisers decision will be final and binding. Participant will register for the programme willingly and should possess genuine interest in such endeavour. In case of any emergency he/she will inform the authority and sort out the situation. The participants will abide by the rules and regulations of their host organisations. Since water is scarce and littering is a concern for envionmental reasons, we request each one to be mindful during the programme. ORIENTATION SESSION: Orientation Session will be held on reporting day in Bangalore. It is the responsibility of each participants to inform their fellow mates and gather for the meeting. During the session each participant will be provided with reading materials as well as instructions to make the journey meaningful.


WRITE TO US! Youth Interfaith Pilgrimage Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness The Dalai Lama Core 4A, UGF, India Habitat Centre Lodi Road, New Delhi - 110003 Tel: (91) (11) 24648450 Fax: (91) (11) 24648451


Should you have any queries regarding the Youth Interfaith Pilgrimage Programme, or would like to participate in future, we will be glad to hear from you.

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Youth interfaith pilgrimage brochur  
Youth interfaith pilgrimage brochur