Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama Friday said Buddhist tradition is very liberal, having equal rights for both genders, and that there could be a "female Dalai Lama" in the future.
The Dalai Lama was addressing an audience at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay.
The Dalai Lama, whose real name is Tenzin Gyatso, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and is feted worldwide for his advocacy of independence for Tibet and other causes.
When asked if in the future, there could be a female Dalai Lama, he said Buddha has given equal rights to both genders and that both Tibetan and Indian masters of the highest ordination have been females as well.
"Around 15 years ago, the editor of a French magazine for ladies had come to interview me. She asked me if there could be a female Dalai Lama in future. I had said yes. If in future, the female body is more effective, then certainly yes. The Buddhist tradition is very liberal," the Dalai Lama said.
The Dalai Lama said education from kindergarten should imbibe the importance of emotional hygiene because for physical health, the mind must be at peace.
"Physical hygiene is about keeping the body healthy, which is very important. A healthy mind is important as well. In India, the knowledge about mind and emotions is over 3,000 years old. Bharat is the only civilisation, which as early as 3,000 years back, developed concepts like Vipassana. These are techniques to bring peace of mind," he said.
The Dalai Lama said other countries accept the concept of God but only pray, while India has developed the technique for mental peace.
"Happiness is very much related with peace. There was too much violence and suffering in the 20th century. The 21st century should not repeat it and there should be peace. But without inner peace, you cannot develop genuine peace. Human intelligence must combine with warm-heartedness," the Dalai Lama said.