The Dalai Lama addresses the crowd
The Dalai Lama addresses the crowd at the Glastonbury FestivalGetty Images

Speaking at Glastonbury Festival today, the Dalai Lama criticised Islamic State's violence, describing the group's campaign of murder in the name of religion as "unthinkable".

"A lot of problems we are experiencing are our own creations," remarked the 79-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, appearing at the Stone Circle before a crowd of more than 1,000 festival goers on a wooden stage bedecked with the Tibetan flag.

"Violence is being created this very moment in Syria, Iraq and Nigeria. Humans killing each other in the name of religious faith. Unthinkable. Carry the message of love and tolerance and forgiveness," he remarked, in a rare address on the religious violence that has engulfed regions of the world.

He said that the real meaning of jihad, which means "struggle" in Arabic, was not waging violence, but using constructive emotions to combat destructive emotions.

"I daily use it in my five hours of meditation, this kind of jihad," he said.

"There is nothing wrong with religious beliefs but some supporters of religions have a lack of moral principle and conviction.

"There is no basis to kill. I love my own life. Everyone loves their own life. Everyone has the right to live happily. Once you have a firm conviction in that then suddenly man-made problems will reduce."

Though he said he took no great pleasure from music, he was enjoying the festival.

"Brothers and sisters, I noticed when I came in the car so many people, old and young, full of joy. My friend asked me to come to this festival of people, not necessarily a festival of government or politicians. This is about people.

"The very purpose of our life is a happy life. Nobody knows what will happen but hope is the basis of our life. Some individuals have lost hope, but this mental attitude will shorten their life.

He called for a greater emphasis on human values in education, and for the gap between rich and poor to be lessened, adding that the billions spent on armaments could be spent on alleviating poverty.

"Long-term solution to problems is introducing into education the message of warm-heartedness and care," he remarked.

"Whether you agree or not, I think the modern education system – and many scientists all have the same view – is very orientated around material values and external wealth.

"The gap between rich and poor is not only morally wrong but also the source of all problems. We need more money, so if the world demilitarised, the money freed up could be used to reduce this gap, as well as freeing up funds to help the environment.

"These things will not be achieved in my lifetime, perhaps not yours either, but the younger generation of the 21st century could make this a more peaceful world," he said.