By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, December 21: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated the new debate courtyard of Sera Mey Monastery in the Tibetan settlement of Bylakupee.
The Dalai Lama thanked everyone involved in the establishment of the new courtyard under leadership of the monastery’s Abbot. The Dalai Lama said, “We have a saying in Tibetan ‘Magnificent from outside and hollow from inside’. It is possible that it could happen. Hence, along with the facilities and exterior development, we must, without fail, concentrate on the studies based on Nalanda tradition.”
The Dalai Lama also stressed that the knowledge of Nalanda tradition has become very valuable in today’s world and that Tibet holds the key to its preservation since it has declined in its own birth country India.
“Our Monastic universities have this great opportunity and ability to study modern science and not just Buddhist philosophy and psychology. If we put our efforts in the right direction, as Buddhist we would be able to become a 21st century Buddhist with proper understanding of our own tradition and modern science,” His Holiness said.
Ven. Ngawang Jorden Rinpoche, Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery on the occasion thanked the Tibetan spiritual leader for the seed money of the project’ involving a new courtyard, homes and new science center.
“The reason for building such a large courtyard is because during the one-month winter debate on logic related studies thousands of students from Gaden, Drepung, Tashi Lhunpo and Rato monasteries come and reside here,” Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery said.
Jagadguru Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji, the 24th pontiff of Sri Suttur Math, in his keynote speech rejoiced the relationship Tibetans have had with the local people of the state and the harmony between the two communities.
The President of Central Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay and Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile Khenpo Sonam Tenphel in their addresses congratulated the monastery and also urged the monastic staff to take further steps to improve the quality of education in the coming times.
“Buddha’s Teachings have great potential to benefit everyone in the world and it can be a service that we could offer to the rest of the world,” said Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, “As a Tibetan, we must bear in mind that it is one of our responsibilities along with its preservation.”
Sikyong Sangay urged the monks to become a 21st century monks, reminding them that the joint project between Sera Jey Monastery and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to open a new Special Study Centre presents a great opportunity for them.
The 82-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader also gave a teaching on Je Tsongkhapa’s ‘In Praise of Dependent Origination’ following the inaugural ceremony.