Our Hearts Go Out to All Those Killed at the Hajj

Hajj 2015Our hearts and prayers go out to all those killed at the Hajj and to their families and loved ones.

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His Holiness, The Dalai Lama talks on Ahimsa – India’s Contribution to the World

H-H-Dalai-Lama-Arriving-on-StageThe AIA would like to thank its member organisation, the Institute of Jainology (IoJ) for organising a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama talk on Ahimsa – India’s Contribution to the World.

            On 20th September 2015, His Holiness addressed a packed audience at the London Coliseum.  This was part of a UK tour in which he addressed audiences at the O2 in London and at venues in Oxford and Cambridge.

His Holiness talked about the three main commitments in his life.  First on the level of a human being, second on the level of a religious practitioner and third as a Tibetan who carries the name of the Dalai Lama.

First, on the level of a human being, he promotes human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline.  All human beings are the same in wanting happiness and not wanting suffering.  Even people who do not believe in religion recognise the importance of these human values in making their lives happier.  His Holiness refered to these human values as secular ethics.  He remains committed to talking about the importance of these human values and sharing them with everyone he meets.

His Holiness’ second commitment, on the level of a religious practitioner, is the promotion of religious harmony and understanding among the world’s major religious traditions.  Despite philosophical differences, all major world religious traditions have the same potential to create good human beings.  It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognise the value of each other’s respective traditions.  As far as ‘one truth, one religion’ is concerned, this is relevant on an individual level; however, for the community at large ‘several truths, several religions’ are necessary.

Thirdly, His Holiness is a Tibetan and carries the name of ‘Dalai Lama’.  Therefore, his third commitment is to work to preserve Tibet’s Buddhist culture, a culture of peace and non-violence.

His Holiness praised the Indian community, who had given refuge to the people of Tibet following the invasion by the Chinese in 1959.  He praised them also for their tolerance of the many religions living within India.  He praised Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankar, who had taught about ahimsa and compassion to all sentient beings including animals, only a few decades before Buddha had taught about these things, and he praised Mahavira and the Jains for their vegetarianism.

APGAW holds a Review of The Hunting Act

tortured foxOn 15th September 2015 APGAW {The All Party Group on Animal Welfare} debated the success of The Hunting Act 2004.  In attendance from AIA were chair, Rev. Fergus O’Connor, directors Barbara Gardner and Chris Fegan {also representing Catholic Concern for Animals} and patron Dr Richard Ryder {also representing the RSPCA}.

Two questions were asked: ‘Has the Hunting Act been effective?’ and ‘How could the Hunting Act be improved?’

Arguing in support of the Hunting Act were RSPCA’s David Bowles {Head of Public Affairs} and the League Against Cruel Sports’ Dr Toni Shepherd.  Arguing against the Hunting Act were Jim Barrington of the Countryside Alliance and vet, Jeremy Naylor.

A major part of the debate revolved around whether better statistics were needed to prove the efficacy of hunting and whether this impaired animal welfare.  AIA thinks that it would be outrageous to ask for statistical evidence that an abused person had their welfare impaired, so why was statistical evidence required when the subject of abuse is a fox?

Another argument  put forward by the pro-hunters was that shooting and snaring were far more cruel than hunting with dogs and that all the Hunting Act had achieved was an increase in cruelty as, with hunting now banned, these worse alternatives were having to be used.  AIA does not believe that it should be a question of either hunting or shooting and snaring, but that neither are necessary.  Foxes should simply be left alone. A farmer from Devon stood up and confirmed that he farmed free-range chickens and dairy cows and that he protected them with fences and had no need to control foxes.

Vet, Jeremy Naylor argued that that a study he had been involved in had proved that flushing out a fox with a pack of hounds was quicker than flushing out a fox with two hounds {hence the need to amend the Act}.  That’s probably a no-brainer but it was argued by the League that this caused more suffering. The pro-hunters argued that fewer injured deer were found and shot and put out of their misery with two dogs than with a pack.  I wonder whether a sheep dog, which can round up a whole flock of sheep single-handedly, without attacking hem, would be more effective?

The majority of the people attending to watch the debate were anti-hunters and, with both this strength of support and the most convincing arguments, the anti-hunt debaters won the day.

Invitation to Bhagavad Gita Conference

Bhagavad Gita Conf

Dear friends,

You are most cordially invited to the International Conference on Bhagavad Gita to be held at The Nehru Centre on 24-25 September 2015 – a fine venture of ICCR in collaboration with SOAS-London University, the programme is enclosed.

I look forward to meeting you at the inauguration of the conference specially and its deliberations too.​

Best regards,

Divya Mathur FRSA Vatayan Poetry on South Bank

Mobile : 07770775314

Talk by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to see His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

20th September 2015

13.30 to 15.00

London Coliseum, Trafalgar Square, London WC2

AHIMSA – INDIA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD

Talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the UK Indian Communities followed by Questions and Answers.

Tickets on sale 3rd July.

For further information and to book www.eno.org/whats-on/other.dalai-lama

Tickets can be booked through this dedicated website or by phoning the Box Office on 020 7845 9300 quoting ‘Tibet House’.

Please book early: tickets not sold by 1st September will go on public sale.  This will be a sign language interpreted talk – see webpage to book designated seats.

Hosted by Tibet House with support from Nemu Chandria OBE, Chairman of the Institute of Jainology and Vinod B Tailor

For latest news about the Dalai Lama’s visit: http://www.dalailama2015.uk