By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, JAN 2: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has graced the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies(CIHTS) at Sarnath, Varanasi on Monday.
The golden jubilee celebration of the CIHTS was attended by, among others the Vice-Chancellor of CIHTS Geshe Ngawang Samten, the Ganden Tripa, Thrangu Rinpoche, Central Tibetan Administration’s President Dr Lobsang Sangay, and Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, Khenpo Sonam Tenpel and over 250 alumni of the Institute.
The Tibetan spiritual leader began his address by congratulating everyone on the CIHTS’ 50th anniversary.
“First of all as we celebrate this golden jubilee, we are reflecting back on the great achievement of this institute. When we talk about the great achievement of this institute, we are talking about achievement over long period of time. Many of the key people who are part of the great achievement are no longer with us. As we celebrate, we must remember their contribution as well,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama said.
“Today happens to be the first day of 2018 and although the date is only a human convention, it prompts us to think about how we use our time. We should approach the New Year in a fresh spirit, not just carrying on as before. We should change. A new year offers a new opportunity. Recognising this is something only human beings can do, because of our intelligence. We need to come up with a fresh response to changing times,” The Dalai Lama added.
“Another important point, since this is a centre of learning, is to take the opportunity to shake up our brains without getting fixated on a single point of view. We must take different angles into account. We need to combine the skilful means of intelligence with the warm heart of compassion,” His Holiness concluded.
The Dalai Lama also released CIHTS’ Golden Jubilee Souvenir book and a shelf-full of the Institute’s other publications.
The Institute and its Alumni offered symbols of gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Government of India, the Ministry of Culture, the Kashag, Prof Samdhong Rinpoche and Dr Smt Kapila Vatsyayan and a group of its retired teachers during the event.
The CIHTS was established in 1967, on the joint initiative of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and His Holiness the Dalai Lama with an objective to take care of the cultural and educational needs of the youth among the Tibetan diaspora in India, and those of the Himalayan regions of India, who earlier had the opportunity of being educated in Tibet before the Chinese occupation of Tibet.