May 14, 2012

Tibet: Dalai Lama Receives Templeton Prize for Advancing Spirituality

The Dalai Lama receives the accolade at St Paul’s Cathedral in front of an audience of more than 2000 and reveals secret recipient of his award.

The article below is published by Daily Mail:

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader will be handed the accolade at St Paul’s Cathedral in front of an audience of more than 2,000, broadcast live online. He will then disclose the secret recipient of his generosity. The Templeton Prize is the world’s largest annual monetary award, and is given to someone who has made exceptional contributions to advancing the world’s understanding of spirituality. Among the guests will be actress Joanna Lumley, who encouraged Britons to take the opportunity to celebrate the spiritual leader’s unique contribution to the planet.

She said: 'The example set by the Dalai Lama, by advocating non-violent means, the search for peaceful solutions, the need for forgiveness and optimism, is humbling and inspiring. 

'He has long been regarded as one of the most important figures in world religions and politics: and the award of the Templeton Prize, which recognizes the work of a truly great man so publicly and so generously, is a cause for celebration and hope for a brighter future for his beloved country, Tibet.'

People have been urged to show their respect for the Dalai Lama ahead of his visit to St Paul’s by wearing something orange, however small. The ceremony on Monday, which will be broadcast free on Monday from 1.30pm at, will mark the Dalai Lama’s long-standing engagement with science and people far beyond his own religious traditions, which made him a global voice for non-violence and harmony. It will also feature music from the multi-Grammy Award-winning vocalist Jessye Norman, who will perform one of her signature pieces, Amazing Grace. 

The St Paul’s Cathedral Choir will sing works by Patrick Hadley and Benjamin Britten and there will be traditional chanting by Buddhist monks from the Dalai Lama’s personal entourage.

The Dalai Lama, who will be visiting St Paul’s for the first time, will be presented with the prize by Dr John M. Templeton Jr, president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation and son of the late Prize founder. The Dalai Lama said: 'When I heard your decision to give me this quite famous award, I really felt this is another sign of recognition about my little service to humanity, mainly non-violence and unity around different religious traditions.' 

Established in 1972 by the late global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the prize is a cornerstone of the John Templeton Foundation’s international efforts to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the questions of human purpose and reality. 

Its monetary value is set always to exceed the Nobel Prizes, to underscore Sir John’s belief that benefits from discoveries that illuminate spiritual questions are bigger than those from other worthy human endeavours.