Mental peace and satisfaction

The relevance of religion in modern times: Mental peace and satisfaction

“Someone with lots of stress, worry, competitiveness, jealousy, hate, attachment—these bring mental unhappiness. Therefore, there are limitations to physical and material welfare.” – The 14th Dalai Lama
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I would like to speak about the relevance of religion in modern times. Everyone, by nature, has a feeling of self and, with that, experiences knowable phenomena with a painful, joyful, or neutral feeling. These are facts, without any need to investigate why. Animals have this too. By nature, we all like happiness and dislike unhappiness and pain. There is no need to prove this either. On this basis, we can speak of everyone’s right to have a happy life and to overcome suffering.

Now, there are two categories of pain and pleasure. One is linked with physical sensory experience and one with the mental level. The sensorial level is common to all species of mammals having five senses. As for the mental level, some animals have that. But, because humans have sophisticated intelligence, they have longer term memory as well as thoughts of the future. This is more than animals have. Therefore, humans have mental pleasure and satisfaction or pain – hope, expectations, fear. So physical happiness and unhappiness and mental happiness and unhappiness are separate things. We can experience physical pain, but with mental happiness, and at other times, our physical level is OK, but our mental level is filled with worry and dissatisfaction.

Religion is an instrument to bring mental peace and satisfaction, mental comfort with certain faith

The physical level is related to physical facilities—food, clothing, shelter, nice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, physical sensations, material facilities. Some people are very wealthy. They have fame, education, respect, many friends. But still, as persons, they are very unhappy persons. This is because material facilities fail to bring mental satisfaction or comfort. Someone with lots of stress, worry, competitiveness, jealousy, hate, attachment—these bring mental unhappiness. Therefore, there are limitations to physical and material welfare. If we ignore the inner level, life may not be happy. Affluent societies have material comfort, but they can’t guarantee that people there have happy, peaceful, comfortable minds. Therefore, we need a mechanism to bring peace of mind.

Generally, religion is an instrument to bring mental peace and satisfaction, mental comfort with certain faith. Many agree that there needs to be a secular way to bring peace of mind, but that I’ll discuss in my public talk. But if we speak about a way to bring peace of mind based on faith, then there are two categories of religion—faith without philosophy and faith with philosophy.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso is the spiritual leader of Tibet. Since taking asylum in India in 1959, His Holiness has become a global advocator of peace, compassion and happiness. He is the first Nobel Laureate to be recognised for his concern for global environmental problems.

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