(TibetanReview.net, Aug15, 2017) – The Dalai Lama on Aug 14 launched a course on “Secular Ethics for Higher Education” in the Convention Centre of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in India’s commercial capital Mumbai. The course on Secular Ethics aims to foster critical thinking and an inquiring mind. The Dalai Lama has long emphasized secular ethics as a tool to transform the existing education system in response to the complex challenges of race, religious and economic divides faced by humanity today.
The course is designed by Dr Monica Sharma, Tata Chair Professor and retired Director of Leadership and Capacity Building United Nations. “The course on Secular Ethics aims to provide a common foundation for multi-cultural diversity based on universal values of dignity, equity and compassion,” said a press release issued by the institute. It “embodies universal values individually and collectively, and helps unleash one’s full potential to shift disempowering systems and norms in order to create new patterns for equitable and sustainable results.”
In his address the Dalai Lama said, “The existing education system is oriented more towards materialistic development. But if we can incorporate secular ethics such as compassion and warmheartedness into our education system, we can bring about a huge change.” He lauded the institute for its foresight and initiative in introducing the special programme.
“Despite our common desire for happiness and the innate potential for love and compassion, we are facing a wave of violence perpetrated in the name of religion and greed. In light of these, the future doesn’t look promising,” the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, noted.
He also emphasized the need to cultivate emotional hygiene at par with physical hygiene, calling anger a destructive emotion that can ruin the self as well as the other.
The new course will be offered to 2nd year Master’s degree students and M Phil and PhD scholars beginning Aug 19, 2017.