Dalai Lama urges Buddhists to reject materialism

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2003

GAYA, India (AP) -- The Dalai Lama led Tibetan Buddhists' highest worship ceremony, calling for the rejection of materialism, greed and violence.

''Money breeds greed, jealousy and other social vices. It can never bring joy,'' the spiritual leader said Sunday, as he led 20,000 Tibetans from across the world in the prayer ceremony called Kalchakra, or Wheel of Time. It is the biggest annual gathering of Buddhism's Mahayana sect.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 with thousands of supporters after a failed uprising against China. Since then, he has headed a government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his nonviolent struggle against Chinese rule of his homeland.

The prayer ceremony is held in the eastern Indian city of Gaya, where the religion's founder is believed to have attained enlightenment.

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