VARANASI: President of the Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay highlighted the unparalleled contribution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Tibetan freedom struggle, and expressed his deep gratitude for the same. President Dr Sangay was speaking at the 50th founding anniversary of Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS) at Sarnath, Varanasi on 1 January 2018.
“The Chinese government has destroyed almost 98% of the Tibetan monasteries during its brutal occupation of Tibet in 1959. It was an attempt to completely annihilate Tibetan Buddhism. However, after coming into exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has successfully revived Tibet’s Buddhist heritage from the ashes of China’s destruction,” President Dr Lobsang Sangay said.
“Not only did His Holiness revive Tibetan Buddhism in exile, he also made sure that this tradition is strengthened in the lower Himalayan regions who share the Tibetan Buddhist culture. Today, Tibetan Buddhism is flourishing all over the world and this is an undisputed legacy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” Dr Sangay remarked.
“Even inside China, it is estimated that there are at least 300 – 400 million Buddhists, making it one of the largest Buddhist countries in the world. India in contrast is the birthplace of Buddhism but has only a miniscule population of Buddhists,” he added.
“Therefore, to revive the rich Nalanda Tradition of ancient India on which Tibetan Buddhism is based is one of the four main commitments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This ancient Indian knowledge has the potential to bring peace and tackle the destructive emotions of the modern world,” he said.
Dr Sangay also highlighted the rich achievements of CIHTS and lauded the institute for producing distinguished students who has contributed significantly to the Tibetan cause in various capacities. He particularly expressed gratitude to former Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, who has dedicated over 30 years of his life at the institute and Geshe Ngawang Samten, the current Vice Chancellor of the institute.
President Dr Sangay said the past 50 years of CIHTS is a glorious one, but added that it is now a time to revitalize the institution with a fresh approach for the next 50 years. He underscored the Kashag’s 5/50 vision and said that this institute can contribute significantly in making the 5/50 vision a success by strengthening Tibetan language, reviving Tibetan Buddhist culture, and sustaining the Tibetan movement in the long run.