His Holiness the Dalai Lama set the foundation stone for the forthcoming Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan and Ancient Indian Wisdom on Tuesday. During the ceremony for the occasion, the interim project director, Tempa Tsering, said that the center would fulfill the Dalai Lama’s vision of examining psychology and philosophy from many viewpoints with the aim of creating a more peaceful and compassionate world.
Representatives from the Indian government and the state government of Bihar were on hand. Tsering thanked them for their support for the project and promised that the new center would be open to all who wished to learn about Tibetan and ancient Indian thought.
Also speaking at the event, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoché noted that Indian schools of thought historically mutually enriched one another as they exchanged ideas. He noted that Tibetan traditions had continued this approach and would bring the practice back to India in the new center.
Indian minister for law and justice Kiren Rijiju reflected on the fact that 2,500 years ago, the Buddha was in this very area for his awakening. Rijiju suggested that just as the Buddha had presented the path to awakening then, the Dalai Lama had shown the world how to attain enlightenment today:
His Holiness has made India his home and has committed himself to helping to revive awareness of ancient Indian wisdom. People from around the world come to India to pay their respects to him. His Holiness refers to India as the guru and Tibetans as the students, but I say that it is he, an apostle of peace, who is the guru to [the] world. On behalf of the people and government of India I express gratitude to him. It’s a privilege for us to have him among us here in India.
I’m honored to have been able to take part in laying the foundation stone for this Centre for Tibetan and Ancient Indian Wisdom. His Holiness states that the wisdom of Nalanda nurtured by such masters as Nagarjuna, Aryadeva and Chandrakirti, a tradition grounded in reason and logic, was kept alive in Tibet. It was concerned less with religion and more with a science of the mind. A centre to study along these lines is being established and people from around the world will be able to come and study here.(His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama)
The Dalai Lama then addressed those in attendance:
Today, we’re all gathered here out of our admiration for the Buddha’s teaching. We all wish for peace, so we need to cultivate compassion and the practice of doing no harm. The Buddhadharma not only reveals peace and happiness to the world, it shows us how to overcome suffering.
Indulging in wishful thinking is not enough, we have to look at the causes of suffering, which are rooted in our self-cherishing attitudes and destructive emotions, and put an end to them. Peace in the world depends on individuals achieving peace of mind.
Shantideva has made the situation abundantly clear in his work, Entering into the Way of a Bodhisattva. . . If you’re warm-hearted and determined to help others, it will make you happy. Therefore, we can be grateful to the Buddha for his teaching.(His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama)
According to promotional material for the center, the institution is intended serve as a multinational headquarters for education, research, and associated programs that promulgate ancient Indian and Tibetan thought and practice.
In practice, this will include:
• Promoting the human values of loving-kindness and compassion, without touching on religion.
• Promoting a global sense of universal responsibility.
• Promoting inter-religious harmony among the world’s religious traditions.
• Finding peaceful and non-violent means of conflict resolution—local, regional and international—to create a peaceful, harmonious society.
The Dalai Lama met with several political leaders before the event, including Indian member of parliament Vinay Shahsrabuddhe.
On social media, Sahasrabuddhe stated: “Ancient knowledge is a precious part of heritage of India and Tibet. Not many countries have such knowledge traditions. Was privileged to join foundation stone laying of the Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan and Indian Ancient Wisdom at the hands of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya today!” (Hindustan Times)
Laying Foundation Stone of Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama)
The Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan & Indian Ancient Wisdom Brochure (Tibetan Buddhism in the West)
BJP leaders meet Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya after 3-day Buddhist teachings (Hindustan Times)
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