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His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama arrived at Chitkara University Punjab campus amidst rapturous welcome through a sea of students & staff waving, on October 14, 2019. His Holiness was received by Chitkara University Chancellor Dr. Ashok K Chitkara and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Madhu Chitkara and offered a traditional welcomed by Tibetan students studying at Chitkara University.
Chitkara University presented His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama with an Honorary Doctorate, Doctor of Literature (D.Litt.) Honoris Causa, in honour of his unparalleled and invaluable contribution to Humanity, World Peace and Education, and in recognition of his outstanding achievements in promoting peace globally and for inspirational spiritual guidance and leadership. His Holiness also opened Chitkara University’s Global Week 2019, and inaugurated the “Centre for Student Happiness” which will work towards increasing the quality of the students’ experience at Chitkara University.
Dignitaries & senior officials present at the occasion included, Ms. Mia Yen, Canada’s Consul General in Chandigarh; Dr. Niyati Chitkara, Principal, Chitkara International School; Mr. Kumar Anil, IAS, DC-Patiala; Ms. Nazuk Kumar, SDM (Central) Chandigarh Administration; International Delegates; and Senior Government Officials from UT & Punjab.
Following a traditional lamp lighting ceremony to open the Global Week 2019, His Holiness addressed the gathering on “The Need for Universal Ethics in Education”. His Holiness stated that “Modern education is oriented towards material goals with little scope for inner values. When modern education began to emerge about 200 years ago religious institutions ensured a sense of inner values, but as the influence of those institutions has declined. We need our education establishments to take responsibility for fostering values like compassion, kindness and concern for others.” His Holiness believes that the shape of the future is in our hands – the 21st-century teachers & learners. “You, who belong to the present century, can create a world that will be happier and more peaceful.”
After the insightful talk, His Holiness left the floor open for students & delegates to interact with him, ask questions, and even welcomed suggestions. Taking questions, His Holiness could be easily caught chuckling as he heard some questions and glanced at the expressions on some of the students’ faces and, answered them with a smile. Talking about preserving the mental health for a joyful life, His Holiness said, “Since kindergarten, physical hygiene is commonly encouraged to preserve physical health, but we need a sense of ‘emotional hygiene’ – the means to tackle destructive emotions like anger, jealousy and fear. The ancient Indian culture was replete with knowledge of how to do this, and we must find a way to inculcate this back into the modern education system,” encouraging everyone to delve into further details for insights. “We are social animals; we depend on others for our very survival. Kindness and affection bring us together – anger drives us apart.”
Answering students’ questions on how he deals with challenges, His Holiness told them his mantra. “When faced with a challenge or problem, I try to look at them from a wider perspective.” He recommended that young people pay more attention to inner values and the means to achieve peace of mind.
Following the interaction with students & delegates, His Holiness proceeded for personal interaction with Hon’ble Dr. Ashok K Chitkara, Chancellor; and Hon’ble Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice-Chancellor, Chitkara University, where a deep and meaningful discussion ensued.
Describing the visit an absolute privilege and a deeply humbling experience, Hon’ble Dr. Madhu Chitkara said, “We are honoured to have His Holiness The Dalai Lama amidst us today – one of the world’s most revered teacher, thinker and peace messenger. We believe that the values of His Holiness are the same as ours, and we aspire to inculcate and deeply imbibe his teachings not only with our students but also with our international partners in 34 countries, across 6 continents.” Many in the audience returned his wave as His Holiness left the stage. On his way to take a tour of the University, he stopped to plant a sapling at the campus to commemorate his visit.
Also present at the occasion were 55 International Delegates from 39 Universities in 22 Countries across 6 Continents, who were deeply moved by His Holiness’s words.