His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on science

“With the ever growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things.”

— His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

“I wanted to understand science because it gave me a new area to explore in my personal quest to understand the nature of reality. I also wanted to learn about it because I recognized in it a compelling way to communicate insights gleaned from my own spiritual tradition.”

— His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama


HHDaliLama_ScienceExhibition320“It is most important for the traditions of western science and eastern mental development to work together. At some stage people gained the impression that these two traditions are very different and incompatible. In recent years, however, it has become clear that this is not exactly the case. This kind of dialogue is therefore extremely important, as a means of contributing something to future humanity, by enabling each tradition to benefit from the other. So this is one goal. I also think that it is very important for Buddhists to understand the latest scientific findings concerning the nature of mind, the relationship between mind and brain, and the nature of consciousness, these sorts of things. Whether consciousness does or does not exist as a discrete entity, for example. So I would like to introduce some of these western explanations to Buddhists in general, and to Tibetan Buddhists in particular.”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
(October, 1987)


“Our community shall not remain as it is. There will be changes… The knowledge of science will be instrumental in the preservation, promotion, and introduction of Buddhism to the new generation of Tibetans. Hence, it is very necessary to begin the study of science.”

— His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

“Since many years I have been interested in modern science, which has made great contributions to the improvement of the quality of life. I have personally been engaged in dialogues with scientist for many years and have found it extremely useful and enriching. I also believe that modern science can benefit from Buddhist perspectives. Today, science means a valid method of explaining the observed reality. The well-founded disciplines of modern science are in a way related to Buddhism since Buddhist philosophy also searches and established truth through rational analysis, similar to that of science.”

— His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
(January 5, 2002)

“We are all in this together. May each of us, as a member of the human family, respond to the moral obligation to make collaboration of science and spiritual possible. This is my heartfelt plea.”

— His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
from Universe in Single Atom

“Scientist have a special responsibility a moral responsibility, in ensuring that science serves the interest of humanity in the best possible way.”

— His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
from Universe in Single Atom

“To a Mahayana Buddhist exposed to Nagarjuna’s thought, there is an unmistakable resonance between the notion of emptiness and the new physics.”

— His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
from Universe in Single Atom

“I have argued the need for and possibility of a worldview grounded in science, yet one that does not deny the richness of human nature and the validity of modes of knowing other than the scientific.”

— His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama


Statements by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on science

Science at the Crossroads
November 12, 2005
A talk given by the Dalai Lama in Washington DC at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
Read the Statement..

The Need and Significance of Modern Science
January, 2000
In the presence of the abbots from the major monastic centers of learning and hundreds of key monastic scholars and leaders, His Holiness announced that he would like to introduce science education to the monastic curriculum and his request for the Tibetan Library to shoulder this historic undertaking.
Read the Statement..