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DALAI LAMA EMPHASIZES NEED FOR UNIVERSAL ETHICS IN MODERN EDUCATION, CHITKARA UNIV AWARDS HONORARY DOCTORATE

October 14, 2019 10:42 PM

Chandigarh/Banur(Patiala)/Dharamshala (Vijyender Sharma)

Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama  on Monday said that 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. He was addressing the students of Chitkara University.

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, Dalai Lama 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.

Dalai Lama 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.

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.

Dalai Lama 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.”

Dalai Lama 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. 

He 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.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama awarded Honorary Doctorate by Chitkara University, opens 11th Season of Global Week

His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama arrived at Chitkara University Punjab campus amidst rapturous welcome through a sea of students & staff waving, on October 14, 2019. His Holiness was received by Chitkara University Chancellor Dr. Ashok K Chitkara and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Madhu Chitkara, and offered a traditional welcome by Tibetan students studying at Chitkara University.

Chitkara University presented His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama with an Honorary Doctorate, Doctor of Literature (D.Litt.) HonorisCausa, in honour of his unparalleled and invaluable contribution to Humanity, World Peace and Education, and in recognition of his outstanding achievements in promoting peace globally and for inspirational spiritual guidance and leadership. His Holiness also opened Chitkara University’s Global Week 2019, and inaugurated the “Centre for Student Happiness” which will work towards increasing the quality of the students’ experience at Chitkara University.

Dignitaries & senior officials present at the occasionincluded, Ms. Mia Yen, Canada's Consul General in Chandigarh; Dr. Niyati Chitkara, Principal, Chitkara International School; Mr. Kumar Anil, IAS, DC-Patiala;Ms. Nazuk Kumar, SDM (Central) Chandigarh Administration; International Delegates; and Senior Government Officials from UT & Punjab.

Following a traditional lamp lighting ceremony to open the Global Week 2019, His Holiness addressed the gathering on “The Need for Universal Ethics in Education”. His Holiness stated that “Modern education is oriented towards material goals with little scope for inner values. When modern education began to emerge about 200 years ago religious institutions ensured a sense of inner values, but as the influence of those institutions has declined. We need our education establishments to take responsibility for fostering values like compassion, kindness and concern for others.” His Holiness believes that the shape of the future is in our hands – the 21st century teachers & learners.“You, who belong to the present century, can create a world that will be happier and more peaceful.”

After the insightful talk, His Holiness left the floor open for students & delegates to interact with him, ask questions, and even welcomed suggestions. Taking questions, His Holiness could be easily caught chuckling as he heard some questions and glanced at the expressions on some of the students’ faces and, answered them with a smile. Talking about preserving the mental health for a joyful life, His Holiness said, “Since kindergarten, physical hygiene is commonly encouraged to preserve physical health, but we need a sense of ‘emotional hygiene’ - the means to tackle destructive emotions like anger, jealousy and fear. The ancient Indian culture was replete with knowledge of how to do this, and we must find a way to inculcate this back into the modern education system,” encouraging everyone to delve into further details for insights.“We are social animals; we depend on others for our very survival. Kindness and affection bring us together - anger drives us apart.”

Answering students’ questions on how he deals with challenges, His Holiness told them his mantra.“When faced with a challenge or problem, I try to look at them from a wider perspective.” He recommended that young people pay more attention to inner values and the means to achieve peace of mind.

Following the interaction with students& delegates, His Holiness proceeded for a personal interaction with Hon’ble Dr. Ashok K Chitkara, Chancellor; and Hon’ble Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University, where a deep and meaningful discussion ensued.

Describing the visit an absolute privilege anda deeply humbling experience, Hon’ble Dr. Madhu Chitkara said, “We are honoured to have His Holiness The Dalai Lama amidst us today - one of the world's most revered teacher, thinker and peace messenger. We believe that the values of His Holiness are the same as ours, and we aspire to inculcate and deeply imbibe his teachings not only with our students, but also with our International partners in 34 countries, across 6 continents.”Many in the audience returned his wave as His Holiness left the stage. On his way to take a tour of the University, he stopped to plant a sapling at the campus to commemorate his visit.

Also present at the occasion were 55 International Delegates from 39 Universities in 22 Countries across 6 Continents, who were deeply moved by His Holiness’swords.

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