Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave an address on ‘The need for Universal Ethics in Modern Education’ at the inaugural ceremony of the 11th Global week at Chitkara University on 14 October.
Five Tibetan students of Chitkara University accorded a traditional welcome to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his arrival. His Holiness was then ushered into the auditorium by the Chancellor Dr Ashok K Chitkara and Vice-Chancellor Madhu Chitkara of Chitkara University.
A troupe of Tibetan students presented a cultural performance followed by Indian classical dance performance from students of Chitkara.
At the august gathering, dignitaries from all around the world including professors, scholars and professionals from varied fields were present to listen to the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Students of Chitkara University showed up in large numbers.
In His Holiness’ inaugural address, His Holiness greeted everyone as his “brothers and sisters”. Speaking on the topic ‘The need for Universal Ethics in Modern Education’, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said the modern education system, which was introduced in India by the British tends to have a materialistic orientation whereas the concept of Ahimsa and Karuna, Shamatha and Virpasana were born in India over 3000 years ago.
Such knowledge, he observed, should be incorporated in the current education system. If the ancient Indian knowledge with its thorough understanding of the workings of our mind and emotions is combined with modern education, we could learn how to tackle our destructive emotions and achieve peace of mind, His Holiness said.
His Holiness said personally, he found the ancient Indian collections of wisdom very helpful in realizing that afflictive emotions are not grounded in reality and compassion can be cultivated on the basis of reason.
Since relying on religious tradition won’t appeal to everyone, His Holiness was of the view that education as a universal medium could serve in fostering oneness of human experiences and strengthening the basic human values of warmheartedness and loving-kindness.
And therefore one of his principal commitments is to try to revive the ancient Indian knowledge in modern India strictly through secular way.
His Holiness noted that Secular in the Indian context means respecting not only religious believers but also those who do not believe in religion.
“Whether one is a believer or not, the ancient Indian traditions can equip us with the logic and reason to tackle our destructive emotions and fully realise the potentials of our intelligence and emotional wellbeing. Although instructions about these things are to be found in religious texts they can be regarded as a means to better health and studied objectively in an academic way.”
His Holiness expressed his confidence that India will take the lead to integrate its scientific ancient wisdom with modern education. If we can train teachers to promote ‘ahimsa’ and ‘karuna’, we can make a significant contribution to a more peaceful world. They can also learn that it’s possible to cultivate love and compassion through the application of intelligence based on scientific findings and common sense.
Unlike other countries, India already has an inspiration in Mahatma Gandhi when it comes to the practice of Ahimsa and Karuna. “India can make a significant contribution for inner peace,” said His Holiness.
His Holiness then answered questions from the students on a varied range of topics including peace of mind, environment, religion and others.
Speaking on environment, His Holiness lauded Swedish Girl Greta Thunberg for taking the initiative and leading a global movement on climate change.
His Holiness was presented Honorary Doctor of Literature Degree by Chitkara University after which His Holiness officially declared the 11th Global Week open.
The Vice-Chancellor Madhu Chitkara of Chitkara university delivered the vote of thanks in which she also pronounced opening of a center for student happiness which will work towards enhancing the quality of the student’s experience at Chitkara University.
Followed by a tree-planting ceremony and curtain-raising of the Center for student happiness, His Holiness then departed from the campus.
Speaking with Tibet.net, the Vice-Chancellor Madhu Chitkara expressed profound gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for enriching the campus with his invaluable words of wisdom.