By Tendar Tsering
The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama receiving the doctor of letters (Honoris Causa) from the Indira Gandhi National Open University on its 24th convocation day in New Delhi, September 5, 2011. (Photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor)
DHARAMSHALA, September 5: His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated the Centre for Tibetan Studies at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), India’s largest distant learning education centre in Delhi, today in the afternoon.
The Dalai Lama was also awarded the degree of doctor of letters (Honoris Causa) by the university on its 24th convocation day, making it the second Indian university after Jamia Millia Islamia University to honour the Nobel peace laureate.
His Holiness was amongst the one hundred thousand students who received their degrees from the University today.
While speaking to an audience of more than a thousand people, the Dalai Lama said that education based on morality is a must in today’s world.
"Education which you have got is like an instrument. Whether you use it constructively or destructively, it is in your hands," Dalai Lama said. "Education with brain is useful when utilised constructively with warm heart."
The Tibetan leader shared the latest scientific findings of the positive use of ancient Buddhist practices in our modern times and urged the University to emphasise more on Buddhist philosophy of mind, brain, and emotion beside language studies at the newly inaugurated centre.
The opening of the centre comes weeks after a bill was introduced in the Indian parliament seeking constitutional recognition to Bhoti (Tibetan) language.
The Centre for Tibetan Studies, first announced by IGNOU Vice Chancellor Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai in April last year is aimed at helping “preserve the endangered Tibetan culture in India and Nepal”.
The Centre for Tibetan Studies will develop and launch B.A./M.A./M.Phil/Ph.D. programmes on Tibetan studies, Buddhist Philosophy and Theology with IGNOU and the Varanasi based Central University for Tibetan Studies jointly issuing the degrees.