DHARAMSHALA: In a teleconference meeting with devotees from three Vietnamese cities, and a group of Vietnamese at his residence, His Holiness the Dalai Lama underlined the responsibility of “education institutions to nurture both physical and inner wellbeing”.
His Holiness was speaking with a group of 80 Vietnamese people from all over Vietnam and Vietnamese group from three cities in Vietnam Ha Noi, Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh through a live teleconference. Also among the group was Venerable Thich Duc Thien, General Secretary of Vietnamese Sangha and a Padma Shri.
Describing the “reality of today’s world”, His Holiness said, “The poor are suffering incessantly, children are dying in various parts of the world due to lack of basic facilities. The people with riches are not necessarily happy or peaceful”.
He argued that education system—as the source of intellectual nourishment–have neglected basic human nature and its needs.
“Our existing education system is very much oriented towards materialistic goals, and as a result, our way of life have been materialistic”.
He said through paying attention to our inner well-being, we can bring peace in our individual lives as well as in communities and can be extended to the world.
“21st century should eventually become a century of peace, not through prayers but through training of the mind,” he noted. “Education is universal; through education, we can introduce knowledge of inner values and ethics”.
His Holiness iterated his commitment to introduce universal ethics in the education system based on India’s secular tradition.
He said, “India celebrates secular values, which accords respect for all religion and respects non-believer. According to my view, I am trying to introduce in existing education system some teaching of moral ethics based on scientific values, not based on religious beliefs”.
Referring to the alarming suicide rate in cities in comparison to rural, he said, “The answer is, in countryside farmers have a strong sense of community. They come together during farming and always have the sense of belonging to a community. Therefore they experience much less loneliness.
“In big cities, neighbours greet each other in morning and in social gatherings, but people to people connection are not necessarily very sincere. It is only at face level; artificial”.
The reality, he said, is human beings are social animals. “At birth, we survive with the love and care of our mother and family. Even during the time of death, we are surrounded by loved ones and even the dying person feels much happier in presence of people and the compassionate atmosphere. As social animal, from birth to death, human loving kindness is essential”.
He added that “technology is only for gathering information, but warmth and affection comes from human beings”.
“Therefore if we cultivate the sense of oneness of humanity with the conviction that at the fundamental level, we are same human beings with same physical and emotional needs, we will be able to reduce the existing problems”.
“Tibetans also suffer under Chinese tight control, but we never encourage that as Tibetans, we should look negatively at Chinese. Chinese are also human brothers and sisters. Over 1000 years, we have lived side by side, so in future, if we keep that spirit then the problems we are facing can easily resolve,” he said.
The Tibetan spiritual leader also spoke about his commitment to promoting religious harmony and understanding.
“All major religious traditions are religion of human beings. naturally basic human nature is compassion. therefore all carry teaching of loving kindness. different religion, different method but same goal.
He averred that tolerance, compassion and sense of concern for others are basic human values that ennoble our individual lives and brings inner peace.
The meeting will conclude on 22 May. This is His Holiness’ fourth meeting with the group at his residence.