The U.K.’s five-day Glastonbury Festival drew dozens of performers, musicians and celebrities in all walks of life, but none with quite the same reputation as the Dalai Lama, the high priest of Lamaism. The 80-year-old exiled spiritual leader of Tibet used his time in front of the crowd of concertgoers to implicitly condemn the actions of terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State group in the Middle East and Boko Haram in West Africa, and instead urge love and tolerance.
“A lot of problems we are experiencing are our own creations. Violence is being created this very moment in Syria, Iraq and Nigeria. Humans killing each other in the name of religious faith. Unthinkable. Carry the message of love and tolerance and forgiveness,” he told a crowd of more than 1,000 people at Glastonbury’s Stone Circle venue, according to the Telegraph in the U.K. “There is nothing wrong with religious beliefs, but some supporters of religions have a lack of moral principle and conviction. Yes, I’m Buddhist and Asian, and I am his holiness the Dalai Lama, but we are the same human being.”
Dalai Lama arrives in the drizzle at the Stone Circle at Glastonbury, complete with festival t-shirt on his head pic.twitter.com/BuxiJKs88k
— Kaya Burgess (@kayaburgess) June 28, 2015
The Dalai Lama delivered his address Sunday morning, when he spoke on multiple topics, including education and the environment:
“Brothers and sisters, I noticed when I came in the car so many people, old and young, full of joy. My friend asked me to come to this festival of people, not necessarily a festival of government or politicians. This is about people.
“The very purpose of our life is a happy life. Nobody knows what will happen, but hope is the basis of our life. Some individuals have lost hope, but this mental attitude will shorten their life.
“Whether you agree or not, I think the modern education system -- and many scientists all have the same view -- is very orientated around material values and external wealth.
“The gap between rich and poor is not only morally wrong but also the source of all problems. We need more money, so if the world demilitarized, the money freed up could be used to reduce this gap, as well as freeing up funds to help the environment.
“These things will not be achieved in my lifetime, perhaps not yours either, but the younger generation of the 21st century could make this a more peaceful world.”
The Dalai Lama was not the only one at the festival whose so-called performance entered political territory. According to BBC News, two members of the previously persecuted feminist punk-band Pussy Riot made appearances to give talks about their ongoing campaign targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.