Varanasi — The President of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr Lobsang Sangay addressed the students and faculty at the Central University for Tibetan Studies, Varanasi (CUTS) on Friday, July 14th. The University is a premier institute for Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, sciences and language that was founded by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Addressing the audience of students and faculties, the President said, “His Holiness the great 14th Dalai Lama’s visionary leadership has triumphed Cultural Revolution and China’s successive efforts to erase Tibet. The traditions of the Nalanda Mahavihara that were destroyed in Tibet continue to flourish in exile.”
“In destroying monasteries and religious institutions in Tibet, as the late Panchen Rinpoche declared in his 70,000 character petition, the Chinese Communists tried to eliminate the Tibetan identity, culture and its Buddhist traditions and they thought they had succeeded,” Dr Sangay said.
“But His Holiness had a vision backed by a strategic plan: steps A, B, C D and E.
"Step A was to rebuild Nalanda based monasteries and nunneries in India. Therefore the Tibetan Buddhist lamas in Buxar worked really hard and settled all over India, especially in Karnataka, to rebuilt monasteries. Sixty years thence, you will see Nalanda based monasteries all over India; people call it Tibetan monasteries but these are Nalanda based mahaviras that we have rebuilt.”
“In exile, we succeeded in rebuilding and reviving all the major monasteries and nunneries that were destroyed in Tibet. Now we have 265 monastic institutes (monasteries and nunneries) and a total of 42,000 monks and nuns."
Step B was to revive monasteries and nunneries in all Himalayan regions. “The Himayalan region, given its historical, cultural and geographical proximity to Tibet, can help revive Buddhism in Tibet in the worst case scenario.”
Explaining that Step C was reaching wider audiences, Dr. Sangay said “now we have around 2000 Buddhist centers around the world. The dharma centers around the world can take continental airlines and fly over Beijing to Lhasa and revive Buddhism in Tibet even if us from the region cannot.”
Step D, according to the President included: “Geshes from Tibetan exile communities have gone to Tibet and those inside Tibet have all worked hard in rebuilding monasteries. They have rebuilt monasteries and nunneries to the extent that their monasteries, for example Larung Gar have strength of over 10,000 monks and nuns, of which more than 2000 are Chinese. Yarchen Gar alone had five to six thousand nuns.”
Dr. Sangay said with conviction that we have succeeded in the implementation of all four steps: A in exile, B in Himalayan region, C in West, plan D inside Tibet.
“Our step E; to revive Buddhism inside China has also succeeded. The Communist party membership is only 82 million, where as there are between 300 to 400 million Buddhists in China. Instead of Communist China succeeding in destroying Buddhism in Tibet, Chinese people have embraced Buddhism in China. This is one reason why the Chinese government is afraid of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
President Dr Sangay enunciated that Tibetan culture and identity is alive and is here to stay. “Buddhism lasted for 2500 years and will last for another 2500 years. As long as Buddhism is there, there will be Tibetan civilization, Tibet and Tibetan people. This success story of revival of Nalanda tradition reflects the rugged determination, hardwork and the resilience of the Tibetan people.”
“This is the success story and the fulfilment of the vision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama."
President Dr Sangay, who was on a two-day visit to the University.