Dalai Lama awarded 2012 Templeton Prize

March 29, 2012

New York (ENInews)--The Dalai Lama, already a Nobel Peace Prize laureate,
is the recipient of the 2012 Templeton Prize, often called the most
prestigious award in religion.

The announcement, made on March 29 by the John Templeton Foundation, based
in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, cited the Tibetan leader's
"incomparable global voice for universal ethics, nonviolence, and harmony among world

Though beloved by many in the world for his spiritual teachings and
admired for championing the cause of Tibetan autonomy from China, the 76-year-old
Buddhist leader won the Templeton honor for his public support of the
intersection of science and religion -- specifically the "investigative
traditions of science and Buddhism as a way to better understand and advance what
both disciplines might offer the world," the foundation said.

The prominent Buddhist leader has encouraged "serious scientific
investigative reviews of the power of compassion and its broad potential to address
the world’s fundamental problems -- a theme at the core of his teachings
and a cornerstone of his immense popularity," the foundation said in its

In a video statement that accompanied the announcement, and which was
webcast live today, the Dalai Lama said the award was "another sign of
recognition about my little service to humanity, mainly, nonviolence and unity
around different religious traditions. I totally dedicated my life to bring a
more close understanding among these different religious traditions."

But as was the case when he won the Nobel Prize in 1989, the Buddhist
leader said: "I am no more, no less, just a simple Buddhist monk. So still, I
am a simple Buddhist monk, no less, no more, after receiving this award."

Dr. John M. Templeton Jr., the president and chairman of the John
Templeton Foundation and son of the late founder of the prize, said the Dalai Lama
has "encouraged serious scientific investigative review of the power of
compassion and its potential to address fundamental problems of the world.
This search is at the core of his teachings."

"His Holiness has fostered the inclusion of careful scientific methods to
the study of spiritual perspectives, which in turn fosters the spiritual
progress that the prize has recognized for the past 40 years," he said of the
prize instituted by his father, Sir John Templeton.

"With an increasing reliance on technological advances to solve the
world's problems, humanity seeks the reassurance that only a spiritual quest can
answer," Templeton said. "His Holiness the Dalai Lama offers a universal
voice of compassion underpinned by a love and respect for a spiritually
relevant scientific research that centers on every single human being."

The award will be presented at a May 14 ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral
in London. The Templeton Prize is valued at US$1.7 million and is the
world's largest annual monetary award given to a single individual. The prize
honors a living person who has made "exceptional contributions to affirming
life’s spiritual dimension," the foundation said.

Though initially the Templeton Prize was awarded to well-known religious
figures like the Rev. Billy Graham, in recent years the Templeton Prize has
been awarded to prominent scientists or theologians whose work reflects the
burgeoning interest in the intersection of science and religion.

The Dalai Lama is the second Templeton Prize laureate who has also been
awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The late Mother Teresa was the first Templeton
Prize winner, in 1973, and won that honor six years before receiving the
Nobel Peace Prize.