Panaji: The Goa University has signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) with the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Vice-Chancellor of Goa University (GU) Varun Sahni said:
“Our formal relation of cooperation and friendship with the Foundation for
Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is intended to support
us in establishing programmes of advanced study in the Nalanda tradition.
Specifically, we have agreed to establish the Dalai Lama Chair for Nalanda
Studies at our university under our Visiting Research Professors Programme
(VRPP).” The Dalai Lama Chair in Nalanda Studies at the GU will focus on the
study of wisdom of sutra and method of practice aspects of an ancient tradition
under the umbrella of a modern Indian university.
“Apart from didactic studies of the Nalanda text, our
initial phase of cooperation will also feature meditation and training of the
mind, logic and debate, Buddhist metaphysics, conflict resolution and peace
studies, and gender studies. We are looking forward to hosting distinguished
scholars who would enhance our understanding and skills in these extremely
important knowledge domains,” said Sahni.
Explaining why the Nalanda tradition is so important
today, Sahni said that for seven glorious centuries from the fifth century of
the Common Era, the Mahavihara at Nalanda was not only a repository of ancient
wisdom but also the site of a unique method of teaching in learning that we
desperately need in India today.
“The Nalanda method was about cooperative argumentative
dialogue between the teacher and the learner based on asking and answering
questions in order to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas,
underlying presuppositions, and inherent contradictions,” he said, adding that
if the Indian education system is to ever emerge as the fount of creativity and
innovation, we must emulate, incorporate and repatriate the Nalanda tradition
in our institutions of learnings.
Source:: The Navhind Times