BYLAKUPPE ( Karnataka )- Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu today launched the BA Honours programme at Sera Jey Monastic University for Advanced Buddhist Studies and Practice, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, one of the premier and largest learning institutes for traditional Buddhist philosophy and culture.
The Mysore University has accorded recognition and approval to the Sera Jey Monastic University, under its Specialised Programme, for instituting BA Honours in Ancient Tibetan Language, Ancient Philosophy and Ancient Psychology.
As a member of the Buddhist community, Khandu expressed special gratitude to the Mysore University for the gesture.
“It is a matter of rare honour and luck that aspiring monks from across the world will be acquiring quality education about Buddhism through the BA Honours programme at Sera Jey Monastic University,” he observed.
He termed it a bold step that will help in synchronising the ancient wisdom of Buddhist texts with modern alignment of thought. Khandu felt that this is much required in the present time when the globe has become just a village.
“At the same time, I strongly feel that the ancient knowledge mastered in famous Nalanda University and practiced till today in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries should have been incorporated as a discipline in modern Indian University long before,” Khandu expressed.
He claimed that this recognition by the Mysore University will help in preserving the rich Buddhist culture, tradition and language.
“When we lose a language, we lose the worldview, culture and knowledge of the people who spoke it, constituting a loss to all humanity. I take this opportunity to urge this august gathering here to preserve our identity, our culture and our tradition through preservation of our mother tongue. I feel that the introduction of BA Honours in Buddhist Philosophy and Studies will further our initiative of preserving and documenting our age-old languages of Himalayan region as well,” Khandu said.
Delving on the history of the Sera Jey Monastery, Khandu informed that it was founded in the 15th century by Jetsun Kunkhen Lodroe Rinchen Senge in Tibet and was one of the major Buddhist learning centres receiving monks from many neighbouring Buddhist countries as far as Japan.
Destroyed during the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Sera Monastery was re-established here at Bylakuppe of Mysore district in the 1970s. The Institute now caters to about 3500 monks from Tibet and all around the world in imparting advanced Buddhist philosophy and traditional monastic curriculum in line with knowledge and practice of ancient Nalanda University.
“I personally feel that this development will especially benefit the people of Himalayan region, including Arunachal Pradesh, who come all the way down to Sera monastery to master the ancient knowledge Buddhist philosophy,” Khandu said.
He congratulated Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsethar, Abbot and Chairman of the Sera Jey University, Geshe Ngawang Jangchup, Chief Secretary, Administration, and all the members of the University on this historic occasion.