(TibetanReview.net, Mar26, 2015) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who has articulated a vision to include secular ethics in the common education system, was on Mar 24 invited to give the inaugural address at a two-day conference on science, ethics and education at Delhi University. The venue was the DS Kothari Centre for Science, Ethics and Education, set up in memory of an outstanding teacher and great educationist who had worked relentlessly to achieve a synthesis of science, education and moral values.
The Dalai Lama explained that many of the problems we face today were related to an imbalance in the way we develop our brains and hearts; that the emphasis tends to be more often on developing a powerful brain while the fact that human beings also have the potential to develop warm-heartedness is neglected.
He said there was a need to employ a secular approach to ethics which respects all religious traditions and also the views of non-believers in an unbiased way. He added that secular ethics rooted in scientific findings, common experience and common sense could easily be introduced into the secular education system. Such an approach, he said, will help make the 21st century an era of peace and compassion.
Others who spoke on the inaugural day included the first session’s moderator Prof Meenakshi Thapan; Hindi Professor and Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Sudhish Pachauri; Gananath Obeyesekere, a Sri Lankan and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Princeton University; Dr Radhika Herzberger, Director of the Rishi Valley Education Centre established by Jiddu Krishnamurthy; the second session’s moderator and leading Japanese neuroscientist Manabu Honda; Dr Bataa Mishigish who after his monastic education in Ulaanbaatar had continued his academic education in Hawaii and Japan, and Ha Vinh Tho who shared his experience of implementing a compassion based curriculum in Bhutan and Vietnam.