Leh: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has consecrated the newly constructed Thiksey Library and Learning Centre, a project here for which he conducted the ground-breaking ceremony in July 2018.
In his welcoming address, Thiksey Rinpoche paid his respects to His Holiness, the other distinguished guests and 3,000 students from 15 schools and colleges around Leh.
He lauded the Nobel Peace Laureate’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 and interest in ancient Indian knowledge.
He described these efforts as beneficial and relevant to today’s world.
Rinpoche 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 Rinpoche for the facilities that have been provided at the Library and the Learning Centre.
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 the old, and thanked them all.
“I very much appreciate the harmony that pervades the Ladakhi community,” the spiritual leader said.
“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.
“Whether we have faith in religion or not, the benefits of warm-heartedness can be taught as part of a training in secular ethics. Wherever I go I adopt a friendly attitude –I smile and other people smile in return.
“For thousands of years India has maintained the traditions of doing no harm — ‘ahimsa’ and compassion — ‘karuna’, which are a source of happiness engendering peace within individuals and contributing to the creation of a happier world. Warm-heartedness is a key factor to living a happy life because we all have to live together,” he added.
His Holiness conceded that Tibet may presently be under Chinese Communist control, but in the long run Tibetans will be able to help the growing number of Chinese who take an interest in Buddhism by vouchsafing the means to achieve peace of mind.