By Phuntsok Yangchen
The Central University of Himachal Pradesh conferring the Dalai Lama with Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy near Dharamshala on February 28, 2013. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
DHARAMSHALA, February 28: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama was today conferred with Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy by the Central University of Himachal Pradesh.
The first ever convocation ceremony of the University, located at Shahpur, (around 27kms from Dharamshala) was attended by various Indian and Tibetan dignitaries, including the Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners, Deputy Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, and Kalon Tsering Dhondup.
In his address, the Dalai Lama congratulated the students and thanked the University of his home state for conferring the honorary degree.
The Tibetan spiritual leader mooted the idea for “a wholesome internal development” of the younger generation to prepare them for the complexities of today’s world.
“This would require incorporating within the education curriculum, the appreciation of the importance of generating warm heartedness or compassion. I believe that such inner ethical development will lead to a better family and better society at large,” the Dalai Lama said.
Speaking about human being’s equal wish for peace and happiness despite the diversity of race, religion, and ideology, His Holiness said: “Such goals will not be achieved by merely talking or thinking about them, nor by waiting for someone else to do something about them. We each have to take responsibility as best as we can within our own sphere of activity.”
“As free human beings we can use our unique intelligence to try to understand our world and ourselves. If we fail to use our creative potential then we will be foregoing one of our basic characteristics.”
The Dalai Lama further stressed on the importance of compassion and explained how it is independent of as well as innate to all religions.
“As a Buddhist, I believe religion reflects the fundamental nature of our minds. Religion actually strengthens and increases the positive aspects of our nature. But it is compassion rather than religion that is important to us. Religion involves compassion, but compassion does not necessarily involve religion.”
While lauding the long and rich tradition of India, the Tibetan leader, who has lived for more than five decades in India, noted that talking admiringly about these qualities without applying them was not enough.
“We must incorporate them into our daily lives. We must apply them to our relations within our own families and communities. If we look forward to greater peace, justice and honesty in society, we must start by applying these values ourselves.”
Established under the Central Universities Act 2009, the Central University of Himachal Pradesh is headquartered in Dharamshala and became functional in January 2010. Presently, there are over 600 students in the University.
Six Gold Medals and 115 degrees were awarded on the day.