Dalaï Lama's visit
The Dalaï-Lama visits the Alice Project School in India, a project that Friends of Humanity has been supporting for several years.
January 14th 2013
The founder of the school, Valentino Giacomin, an Italian, welcomed His Holiness at the gate and escorted him to his seat on the dais. Children and teachers were waiting for him, smiling with excitement.
Valentino Giacomin made his report in which he said,
“Today, we can show that a combination of traditional curriculum and ethics can help students both live more happily and achieve high marks in their studies.”
Children from the Alice Project Universal Education School singing the school song for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India, on Janaury 13, 2013. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDLThe children then sang the school song, swaying joyfully and clapping their hands in rhythm with the tune. They were followed by a group of girls from the Chakma community, refugees the school supports, who sang a song from their own tradition.
Smiling warmly, His Holiness addressed everyone assembled in front of him,
“Students, teachers, staff and patrons, thank you for inviting me here. I would like to express my admiration for what you are all doing.
“The technical and scientific developments of the twentieth century were wonderful, but sometimes it seems that the existing modern education system creates problems, just as the modern economic system has created huge problems of poverty, not only on the individual level, but on the level of countries too. We can see that education is contributing to the problem. This is serious.
“Unfortunately, religion at both an individual and community level has become corrupt. Religion is supposed to provide the inspiration for compassion, giving service to others, but sometimes it is used to exploit and divide people. It becomes a source of conflict. Does this mean religion is wrong? I don’t think so. All the major religious traditions teach about the practice of compassion and tolerance, they foster a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. The trouble is that religious people are not sincere in their practice; they don’t relate their religion to their hearts. This is why we now need a more universal way of promoting moral principles in society. We need a method we can employ everywhere; a secular system of ethics.”
He went on to praise India for its secular approach and its secular constitution that provides for respect for all religions and even the right of non-believers to their views. India is the only country where all the world’s major religions, both those developed at home and those that came from abroad, live side by side in harmony. This is an example for the world.
He said that for the last two years, people have been giving serious attention to the problem of ethical values in modern education.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Alice Project Universal Education School in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India, on January 13, 2013. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL“This school already emphasises moral principles. The facilities are quite basic, but the education you are giving here is wonderful, wonderful.”
“As human beings we are all the same, whether we believe in religion or not. Our future is related to that of all other beings, so taking care of others is the best way to take care of ourselves. It brings inner strength and self-confidence. That enables you to act more openly, without stress or mistrust. As a result, as individuals, in families and communities, you will be happier.”
“I’d like to say how much I appreciate everyone who has contributed to this great project, teachers, staff and donors. Thank you, please keep it up.”