Mumbai: His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated the International Conference on the Concept of Maitri in Buddhism at the University of Mumbai earlier today where he announced that “meetings on Secular Ethics Curriculum at international and national levels will take place soon.”
Outlining the purpose for a secular curriculum, His Holiness said education as a universal medium could serve in fostering oneness of human experiences and strengthening the basic human values of warmheartedness and loving kindness. “Relying on religious tradition won’t appeal to everyone.”
“We need to make efforts to promote basic human values not through religious teachings but through education,” he remarked.
Stressing his commitment to this endeavour, His Holiness said one of his main commitments is to try to revive the ancient Indian knowledge in modern India strictly through secular way.
He noted that Secular in the Indian context means respecting not only religious believers but also those who do not believe in religion.
“Whether we have any religious belief or not, the ancient Indian tradition can equip us to deal with our destructive emotions and bring about a transformation of the mind. The ancient Indian traditions that deal with concentration and insight, shamatha and vipassana, have a profound knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions. “You Indians have the ability to combine modern education about physical development and the ancient Indian knowledge about inner peace.”
Once it is revived at home, then India can share it with neighbouring Buddhist countries including China. “If China follows this altruistic dharma then genuine socialism can develop.”
“Each year, we have better facilities in every aspect, but look around the world, same human beings as us are facing starvation, killings and too much violence.”
“Why?” he asked. Because we neglect the suffering of other human beings as we continue to lead our materialistic lives.
His Holiness observed that violence is fed by too much emphasis on the secondary level of differences and self-centred attitudes. “Today we are mainly facing human-made problems that are based on the secondary level of differences. In the name of national interest, religious interest, we create too many distinctions.”
He thanked the organisers as he spoke on the importance of the concept of Maitri and Karuna. “I really appreciate it. We need this kind of discussions to take place. Although these are derived from the religious text, we should consider including these in academic subjects.”
His Holiness also suggested that women are biologically more able to practice and promote love and compassion. “With regard to the promotion of love and compassion, female are biologically more sensitive to other’s pain.” He said they have far more potential to promote these values on practical grounds.
“I always say that my mother was my first teacher of loving kindness. She was so kind. The real seed of my loving kindness, I received from my mother.
“So at a time when we are making special effort for the promotion of these deeper values, biologically female have more potential.”
“We need a more universal approach based on common experience, common sense and scientific findings”.
Prof Suhas Pednekar, Vice Chancellor of the University of Mumbai presented His Holiness with a token of gratitude. Shri Ram Kumar, Vice Chancellor of Pune University, Registrar, Professor of the University of Pune, teaching faculties and members of the Institute sought blessings from His Holiness.
Tomorrow His Holiness will speak on “The Compassion and the Need for Universal Responsibility” at the 11th Silver Lecture at the Guru Nanak College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Sion, Mumbai.