Dharamshala — “With this curriculum, we hope to bring about a positive transformation in the minds of children who are the future of the world,” said Professor Avinash C Pandey, Director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at University of Allahabad, said of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Universal Ethics Curriculum at the CJ DAV Public School.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama traveled to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh on October 16, arriving at the CJ DAV Public School to grace the crowd of 1500 for the curriculum's official launch. The curriculum was formally released by His Holiness and presented to Principals and representatives of 9 schools from Delhi, Ghaziabad, Jhansi, Kanpur, Meerut and Pilibhit who have made a commitment to teach it.
In his introductory remarks, Professor Pandey explained, “With this curriculum, we hope to bring about a positive transformation in the minds of children who are the future of the world.”
His Holiness delivered an inaugural address, saying: “Since I was born in 1935, I’ve witnessed great violence, including the Second World War. Historians estimate that more than 200 million people died as a result of war in the 20th century. Great suffering resulted from the misguided thought that the way to resolve problems was a resort to the use of force, based on seeing our human brothers and sisters in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’.
“This way of thinking began to change during the latter part of the 20th century as people developed a desire for peace. The indiscriminate suffering that is the result of war had helped open their minds. In this 21st century, at an individual, family and national level we need to understand that the use of force to settle disputes is out of date. We must make efforts to resolve our problems through dialogue conducted on the basis of mutual respect.”
His Holiness stressed his conviction that education is the key to changing people’s way of thinking.
“Modern education tends to be oriented towards material goals and the achievement of physical comfort. It encourages people to seek happiness only on a sensory level of consciousness. The mistake is not to pay more attention to our mental consciousness. Entire generations have been brought up with a materialistic outlook, in a materialistic culture and way of life. Although they want to live in peace, they don't know how to tackle their destructive emotions, which are its biggest obstacle.
“We need to improve the current education system by introducing instructions on ways to cultivate positive emotions like warm-heartedness. Relying on religious tradition won’t appeal to everyone. We need a more universal approach based on common experience, common sense and scientific findings”.
His Holiness expressed his appreciation of the efforts that are being made to ensure that this 21st century becomes an era of peace and happiness, contributing to the greater joy of all 7 billion human beings alive today.
In reply to a student’s question about whether he missed Tibet, His Holiness replied,
“I was born in Tibet so of course I miss my homeland, but today I consider myself a citizen of the world. In my life I have four commitments. The first is the promotion of basic human values; the second is to foster greater harmony among our religious traditions; the third is to contribute to the preservation of Tibet’s unique language and culture, as well as the protection of the natural environment of the Land of Snow—and the fourth is to encourage a revival of ancient Indian knowledge in this country”.
His Holiness is scheduled to travel to make his first trip to the north-eastern state of Manipur, where he will participate in an international conference on peace and harmony.