The following is a brief dialogue between Brazilian Theologian Leonardo Boff and the Dalai Lama:
Leonardo is one of the renovators of the Theology of Freedom. The following conversation took place in a round table discussion about religion and freedom in which the Dalai Lama was the main guest.
Leonardo maliciously, but also with interest, asked the Dalai Lama: “Your holiness, what is the best religion?” Leonardo thought he would say:
“The Tibetan Buddhism” or “The oriental religions, which are much older than Christianity.”
Dalai Lama paused, smiled and looked him in the eyes. It surprised Leonardo because he knew of the malice contained in his question.
The Dalai Lama answered: “The best religion is the one that gets you closest to God. It is the one that makes you a better person.”
To get out of his embarrassment with such a wise answer, Leonardo asked: “What is it that makes me better?”
The Dalai Lama responded: “Whatever makes you more Compassionate, more Sensible, more Detached, more Loving, more Humanitarian, more Responsible, more Ethical.” “The religion that will do that for you is the best religion.”
Leonardo was silent for a moment, marvelling and even today thinking of his wise and irrefutable response: “I am not interested, my friend, about your religion or if you are religious or not. “What really is important to me is your behaviour in front of your peers, family, work, community, and in front of the world. “Remember, the universe is the echo of our actions and our thoughts. “The law of action and reaction is not exclusively for physics. It is also of human relations. If I act with goodness, I will receive goodness. If I act with eviI, I will get evil. “What our grandparents told us is the pure truth. You will always have what you desire for others. Being happy is not a matter of destiny. It is a matter of options.”
Finally he said:
“Take care of your Thoughts because they become Words.
Take care of your Words because they will become Actions.
Take care of your Actions because they will become Habits.
Take care of your Habits because they will form your Character.
Take care of your Character because it will form your Destiny,
and your Destiny will be your Life
… and … “There is no religion higher than the Truth.”