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The Dalai Lama speaks on education


14 June 2013


Huda Kassim Mahnood of Bass High School meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama after asking him her question, "I wonder why education doesn't seem to matter to so many young people. Do you think people in poorer countries see education as survival and those in richer countries see it as just an obstacle to having fun?"


With his customary red robes enfolding him, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, spoke with great humour to a group of about 800 students at the Seymour Centre on Thursday 13 June, about the purpose of education in creating meaningful lives.

He said the purpose of education was to not only develop knowledge but also to recognise the importance of human emotion and its interrelationship with the mind. Emotions such as fear and jealousy, His Holiness said, biased the mind against reality.

And yet when education and emotional understanding are brought together, it allows us to go to a deeper level, and to penetrate reality, enabling us to reduce the gap between reality and appearances, which is education's true purpose.

This unique student event was hosted by the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (IDHR) at the University of Sydney. It included in the audience about 180 high school students from the University's Compass program.

After an introduction by Professor John Keane from the IDHR, His Holiness urged that it is the responsibility of the next generation to build a happier world. The 20th century was marred by violence and war, he said, naming the Sino-Japanese war, the Second World War and the sorrow of Hiroshima, the Korean War and the Cold War.

Claiming the world is facing a moral crisis, His Holiness said that while a large proportion of the world's 7 billion claimed to be religious, many had no moral conviction when living outside their temples and churches.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the Templeton Prize in May 2012, which was awarded for his commitment to interfaith relations and in 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet.

He has always advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognised for his concern for global environmental problems.

The talk is part of the 'Beyond Religion: the benefits of living ethically' tour of Australia from 13 to 23 June.

Media enquiries: Zoe Morrison, zoe.morrison@sydney.edu.au