RELIGIONS of today have become instruments of exploitation and have failed to serve their main purpose of spreading peace and harmony.
And there is too much greed, anger, suspicious and lack of forgiveness in the world today.
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, made the observations during an academic conversation in an interfaith conference on 'Religions: Diversity, not Dissention' in New Delhi, India, on Saturday.
The conversation was among the Dalai Lama, Dr Karan Singh, the president of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, a noted Islamic scholar and peace activist, and Reverend Mpho Tutu, an ordained Anglican minister and daughter of Bishop Desmond Tutu.
The conversation, a first of its kind, was conceptualised and chaired by scholar Dr Anindita Balslev. It marked the end of a conference which commemorated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Swami Viveknanda.
The Dalai Lama, who shared his experience and view as a Buddhist, said he was a good example of a religion being an instrument of exploitation.
"Like me, I appear to be very holy," he said.
"Sometimes Buddhists emphasise on superficial things."
He said the same goes for Christians who mostly only go to church on Sunday.
"On Sundays, when you see them in church, they are very serious but right after that when they come outside, you will see them bullying, cheating," the Delai Lama said, adding this also applied to Hindus.
"Many Hindus worship Ganesh and Shiva in the morning with flowers and incense not knowing what it means.
"It's like they praying for their practice of corruption and hypocrisy to be successful."
The Dalai Lama said the Muslims were no different.
"You see the killings between the Sunnis and the Shiites, and they both worship Allah," he said, adding that religions of today were just about lip service.
Dr Singh, who shared his views as a Hindu, said the interfaith movement was still peripheral.
"We can spend thousands to build a gurudwara, a church, a mosque or a temple," he said.
"But we can't do that if we do not promote interfaith."
Rev Tutu, who spoke from her Christian point of view, said there could only be harmony if everyone agreed to work on issues that concerned us as humanity. Maulana Khan said there was a need for peace and freedom "without which you can't do anything".