The first conference of young Indian scholars on Tibetan studies

Young Indian scholars who presented their papers on Tibetan studies with H.H. the Dalai Lama

The first conference of young Indian scholars on Tibetan studies was held at the Sarah College for Higher Tibetan Studies. The three-day conference was organized by the Tibet Policy Institute, Central Tibetan Administration on “Guru-Chela Relationship Bonds between India and Tibet.”

The three day conference commenced on 22 January, 2019.

The inaugural ceremony was held on 22 January, 2019. The ceremony was attended by Kalon for the Department of Education, Central Tibetan Administration; Prof Kuldip Chand Agnihotri, Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Himachal Pradesh; Geshe Samten Gyatso, Director, Sarah College for Higher Tibeatn Studies and Mr Passang Tsering, Principal, Sarah College for Higher Tibetan Studies.

A ceremonial butter lamp was lit by the chief and special guests at the conference.

Ms Tsering Yangkey, director of the Tibet Policy Institute welcomed the guests and participants of the conference.

The inaugural address was given by Prof Kuldip Chand Agnihotri, Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh. In his address he welcomed the initiative of the Tibet Policy Institute to encourage Indian scholarship on Tibetan studies. He said: ““Tibetans have a different concept of nationality drawn from Dalai Lama’s vision. It does not depict with territorial dispute but solely associate with Dalai Lama. If Dalai Lama is safe, Tibet is safe.”

Dr Pema Yangchen gave the keynote address during which she discussed her research approach for her doctoral studies.  She began her address by stressing on the importance of education. She said: “We all gathered in this conference hall should feel grateful for the opportunity to study and further be able to carry out research studies. Hence, we should take the responsibility of encouraging education for our family members, neighbors and beyond.”

Ms Priyangka Chakraborty, a research scholar from the Department of English of the Banaras Hindu University gave a paper presentation on modern Tibetan literature. On the sideline of the conference, speaking to TPI, she said: “It is a great opportunity for us to come to a place like this and discuss with scholars who are interested in Tibetan studies. At the same time to be around senior scholars who could guide us in our research.”

Ms Ranita Paul, who gave her paper presentation in the first panel of conference said: “It helps us broaden our horizon and our own knowledge on Tibet. It would be helpful if we could interact with more Tibetan scholars who could present their papers along with us.”

The conference was attended by over 22 research scholars affiliated to various universities including, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Madras University and the Indian institute of Technology, Madras.

On the second day of conference on 23, January 2019, Prof Hira Paul Gangnegi from the Department of Buddhist Studies, University of Delhi gave a special lecture on the theme of the conference. He later took questions from the participants of the conference.

On the third day of the conference, participants who presented their papers were accorded a special audience with H.H. the Dalai Lama. The audience with H.H. the Dalai Lama lasted over one and half hour.

In the afternoon of the day, after the final panel which was over the theme of Tibetan literature in exile, the valedictory ceremony was held.

Geshe Lhakdor la of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives giving valedictory address on the final day of the conference

Geshe Lhakdor la, Director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives gave the valedictory address. In his address he spoke about the commitments of H.H. the Dalai Lama and the importance of secular ethics in modern times. He further spoke on the nature of relationship between India and Tibet. He said: “It is essentially the Guru-Chela relationship which His Holiness the Dalai Lama very fondly talks about. The Sanskrit word Gu means ignorance and Ru means remover of the ignorance. Thereby India is the remover of ignorance for Tibetan people. So you can clearly see the depth of the relationship.”

Mr Tenzin Lekshay, Deputy Director of the Tibet Policy Institute offered the vote of thanks. He said that this conference was successful and suggested the participants to offer feedback about the conference.

The audience with H.H. the Dalai Lama with young Indian scholars could be watched here:

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