Why the Dalai Lama says we don’t need to pray for Paris

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, a German newspaper interviewed the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, asking what

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, a German newspaper interviewed the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, asking what he thought of the trending hashtag #prayforparis.

His response was surprising. He said.

“People want to lead a peaceful lives. The terrorists are short-sighted, and this is one of the causes of rampant suicide bombings.

We cannot solve this problem only through prayers. I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.

We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest.

So let us work for peace within our families and society, and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments.”

The 80-year-old Dalai Lama said most of the world’s problems were caused by “superficial differences” of religion and nationality and that we must remember, “We are one people”.

Since the attacks, many commentators has reminded us that the modus operandi of terror is to divide people down these “superficial” lines and have them turn against one another.

In the UK today, the Muslim Council of Britain has published this ad in national newspapers:

advert Muslims


What do you think? Can unity, rather than prayers, defeat the terrorists? Share your thoughts.  

  1. “We are one people.” Something we must all accept and work towards. We (people) caused the problem and we have to work to solve it. Simply going on killing each other is not a solution.

  2. The Dalai Lama is a such a beautiful man, I am an Atheist but if I had to have any religion I would take his because it such a religion of peace

  3. If you don’t believe in a God, what’s the use of praying. If you do believe in a God prayer for the strength and courage to get on and do something about the situation. If we can’t do anything directly then support those who can and do. There is nothing to be gained by sitting on folded hands and mouthing platitudes.

  4. Love one another as I have loved you …. Sounds like a very good idea . Love your neighbour …even better . I agree prayers are wasted actions much better

  5. There is so much wisdom in the Dalai Lama’s words. Terrorists want to divide the communities of the world, we do not need to help them in this quest. Accept each others’ differences and fight those that would divide.

    • We also need to give prayer “legs”, we need to be actively working toward showing our acceptance of all people- not sitting idly by, waiting for someone else to fix everything.

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