Ladakh: His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrated the newly constructed Thiksey Library and Learning Centre on 25th July 2022, a project for which he conducted the ground-breaking ceremony in July 2018.
In his welcoming address, Thiksey Rinpoché paid his respects to His Holiness, the other distinguished guests and 3000 students from 15 schools and colleges around Leh. He lauded His Holiness’s commitment to promoting human values, encouraging inter-religious harmony, preserving Tibetan religion and culture and protecting Tibet’s natural environment, as well as his efforts to create a greater awareness of and interest in ancient Indian knowledge. He described these efforts as beneficial and relevant to today’s world.
Rinpoché also reported that since the Library and the Learning Centre became operational in 2020, more than 350 students have been trained for periods of six weeks in secular ethics through the Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning) program. The Learning Centre has also provided free tuition to many students during the winter when their schools are generally closed. Besides these achievements, many school students and undergraduates have been using the Centre’s facilities to their advantage.
One female student speaking in Ladakhi on behalf of all the students present welcomed His Holiness to Thiksey and thanked Thiksey Rinpoché for the facilities that have been provided at the Library and the Learning Centre.
Another student, speaking in English, expressed gratitude to Thiksey Rinpoché for the hard work he has put in to establish this centre where young people can study and prepare for life. She noted that the centre not only affords opportunities to learn but also provides nourishing food to eat. She thanked Thiksey Rinpoché and his staff for their generosity and wished His Holiness a long life.
His Holiness opened his remarks by observing how pleased he was to be able to visit Ladakh again. He noted how touched he has been by the genuine love and affection shown to him by Ladakhis young and old, and thanked them all.
“I very much appreciate the harmony that pervades the Ladakhi community,” His Holiness declared. “Whether we belong to one ethnic group or another, and whether we practise this religion or that, we are all essentially the same as human beings. From the moment of birth, when our mothers take care of us until we breathe our last, we are all the same. Therefore, it’s in the interest of us all to live in peace and harmony.
His Holiness explained that the more than 300 volumes of the Kangyur and Tengyur deal with a wide range of religious, philosophical and scientific ideas and that today Tibetan remains the most accurate language in which to study them. Western neuroscientists and psychologists are showing a growing interest in what Buddhism has to say about the workings of the mind and emotions. Moreover, Chinese translations of selective scientific and philosophical materials derived from Buddhist literature have prompted professors in Chinese Universities to acknowledge that Tibetan Buddhism preserves the rational traditions of Nalanda.
“Whether we have faith in religion or not, the benefits of warm-heartedness can be taught as part of training in secular ethics. Wherever I go I adopt a friendly attitude—I smile and other people smile in return.
By Team TRC