Goa: His Holiness the Dalai Lama led a symposium on the ‘Relevance of Ancient Nalanda Teachings in our Modern Times’ to the students and faculty of Goa University today at Kala Academy Auditorium in Goa.
On the same occasion, His Holiness also launched the Dalai Lama Chair for Nalanda Studies at Goa University which is funded by the Foundation for Universal Responsibility.
Earlier this morning, His Holiness had an hour-long discussion with esteemed members involved in the launch of a new chair at the university.
Vice-Chancellor of Goa University, Prof. Varun Sahni in his welcome address remarked, “Yesterday was a very special day for Goa University as the university signed a memorandum of understanding with a foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The day also coincided with the 30th anniversary of Nobel Peace Prize Conferment to His Holiness the Dalai Lama”. He observed that it was a hallowed day in more ways than one.
Prof. Sahni explained that the new chair at the university will focus on the study of wisdom and aspects of ancient Indian tradition under the umbrella of modern Indian University. Apart from the study of Nalanda texts, he said that the course will encompass meditation and training of mind, logic, and debate. Furthermore, Buddhist’s metaphysics, conflict resolution, peace, and gender study will be incorporated into the knowledge domains.
“If the Indian education system is to ever emerge as a fountain of creativity and innovations, we must emulate, incorporate and recreate the Nalanda tradition in our institution of learning,” said the Vice-Chancellor.
“The entire tradition of scholarship would have been lost forever had it not been transplanted north of the Himalayas in the great Buddhist monasteries of Tibet. Now the time is ripe for the Nalanda tradition to once again be transplanted this time from the Tibetan monasteries to Indian universities”, he added.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama began his talk with an explanation of his constant emphasis on the word ‘brothers and sister’. He reiterated his conviction that the entire 7 billion human beings are a part of one big human community.
“So long we are alive we have to exude warm-heartedness that in itself brings inner strength and inner peace, the potential to create a peaceful community”, said the Tibetan spiritual leader.
His Holiness said that in today’s world where happiness is largely measured by material things, it is important that humans should realise that the true source of happiness already exists within themselves.
His Holiness asserted that if any, manmade distinctions like nationality, religious faith, and race should be the least concern of humans.
He noted that cultivating a compassionate heart is the most crucial and went on to explain his four major commitments.
His Holiness mentioned the promotion of basic human values on the basis of scientific findings is his first commitment.
“Over the years scientists have claimed that constant anger and fear degenerates the immune system. The existing education system lacks heavily when it comes to promoting human values. In order to retain warm-heartedness human intelligence must be utilised to its optimum potential. Mere faith won’t do anyone good” noted His Holiness.
His Holiness alleged that the education should include training of the mind which he remarked isn’t so new in India as this country has already developed the concept of ahimsa and Karuna many years ago.
His Holiness then affirmed his commitment to promoting religious harmony as his second commitment, preservation of Tibetan culture and the protection of the environment of Tibet as the third commitment, and finally revival of ancient Indian knowledge in India.
“Most people are aware of sensory experience but pay little attention to their mental experience. And yet powerful emotions like anger and compassion both involve mental experience” said His Holiness and urged members of Goa university to reap the maximum benefit of the newly introduced Nalanda studies at the university.
His Holiness stated that the introduction of the Dalai Lama Chair for Nalanda Studies at Goa University was his way of contributing to his commitment to restoring interest in ancient Indian knowledge.