Only India has the ability to combine modern Indian education and traditional Indian knowledge to train the mind and control emotions”
– The Dalai Lama
It was indeed a proud day for GIM as we hosted His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama as a part of collaboration between GIM and The Dalai Lama Centre for Ethics and Transformative at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The event started off with a welcome address by Prof Ashok Chandra, Chairman of GIM who welcomed His Holiness and stated that it’s a matter of pride for the whole college that a person who believes in the power of ethics and human values had come to enlighten the students of an institution whose core principles are the same too. This was followed by Dr Ajit Parulekar, Director of GIM breaking the news of the partnership between GIM and MIT.
Father Romuald D’Souza then welcomed all the dignitaries present in the crowd and emphasized on the fact that the presence of such honorable men in the institution facilitates quality education and makes us more humane in nature.
His Holiness The Dalai Lama found the tagline of GIM ‘Learning never stops’ quite intriguing and he started off by saying that “Always keep learning, even if it’s the end, learn something because it will create some impact on you”. He reverted to the main topic of the day ‘Today’s relevance of India’s ancient knowledge’ and spoke heartily on it. He said that we people have been running behind materialistic life due to which moral education has dropped drastically. Ancient Gurukuls which were the learning centres of yesteryears had the motto of serving the student in every aspect of the life which is absent in today’s world. He reasoned that humans are social animals and there should be gratitude amongst them, but the lack of this gratitude leads to emotional crisis and the present-day educational institutions do not teach us how to tackle this crisis. This is because it can only be learned through Indian traditions which comprise of secular moral principles and attaining peace of mind using methods like Samadhi and Vipassana as according to His Holiness, “Your tradition is your knowledge, it is now your duty to make it your own”.
Speaking further on the topic of Indian tradition he touched upon the subject of Ahimsa and how it is the basis of dealing with religious intolerance. He said that, “Take some effort to reduce contradiction and eventually eliminate intolerance to show rest of the world that harmony is possible”. Existing education according to him should include ancient Indian knowledge as well as the extensive logical approach called Nalanda tradition so that this learning would be the base of dialogues and fulfill the aim of a peaceful and compassionate sanctuary where all the dialogues are solved through sensible talk. His holiness stressed that holistic learning is an integral aspect of problem solving and said that “Sometimes a problem might appear unbreakable but when the same problem is looked upon from a wider perspective, it starts to look smaller and easier”.
He emphasised on the fact that always being ready to be on the affirmative side of something is not a healthy habit to nurture and the person should analyse and experiment with conviction and then realize the true solution for something. This conviction will provide you with the power of knowledge and can only be attained through determination and truth because according to his holiness, “Power comes from the gun, but in the long run the power of truth is stronger than the power of gun”.
This divulging talk of his was followed by a Q&A round where the students interacted with him and asked questions on varied topics like inner peace, positivity, dealing with negative emotions and his experiences of being the chosen one at such a young age. His holiness answered all the questions with much glee and enthusiasm without a speck of inhibition leading to cheers and applause from the guests, faculty and students throughout the event.
GIMites embraced this chance of interaction with The Dalai Lama and really hope to inculcate his lessons and teachings throughout their life to become a better person and attain the peace of mind to prosper their careers.