Dalai Lama: Progress comes from education, ‘not through prayer or religious teaching’

Dalai Lama: Progress comes from education, ‘not through prayer or religious teaching’

The Dalai Lama tweeted something out that may resonate with the world at large in the 21st century. A change towards focusing on education instead of teaching religion is a very important development from one of the foremost thinkers in the world. Admitting that focusing on education will result in prosperity is a marked shift from those that believe that proselytizing is the way to educate people, that focusing on religion would be the gateway towards opening up people’s minds and creating inroads in the world. As prayer and religious teaching focuses on a narrow subset of knowledge, namely those having to do with old tales and potential consequences for not following the right path, education in general is a wide range of knowledge that may exist to provide a more practical education for those that may not have an idea of how the world works.

As the Dalai Lama lamented last week about violence being a big problem in the world, it may have been a reference to the recent troubles that stem from religious fanaticism and extremism, resulting in a revelation that possibly focusing away from religion would net a positive impact in the world. Having to focus on something else entirely such as learning about the world in general, and learning about different cultures and subjects of study, learning about different virtues may make people realize that extremism would not be the way forward.

By classifying prayer and religion outside the world of education, it is a very bold step from a very spiritual man. Most of the world holds religion in the same respect as education, and separating the two may be admitting that a simple religious education may not open a pupil’s mind enough in order to take in perspectives from different types of people, and that this conflict only escalates when different types of narrow-minded people encounter each other, which that Dalai Lama also referred to. If religious education has not yet worked in anyone’s favor, causing violence and hatred, then learning about other people and what they believe in order to be more open-minded seems to be what the Dalai Lama wants.

As someone who preaches around the world, his words hold a lot of weight and if people listen, he may get what he wants from a certain segment of the population.