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Bhubaneswar, Odisha — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Tuesday received KISS Humanitarian Award 2017 given by the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar, Odisha state of India.

Tibet-India-Kiss-Humanitarian-Award-2017Bhubaneswar, Odisha — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Tuesday received KISS Humanitarian Award 2017 given by the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar, Odisha state of India.

Saswati Bal, president, KIIT University KISS and Professor Achyuta Samanta, founder of KIIT University and KISS, presented the 14th KISS Humanitarian Award before an audience of 27,000 indigenous students of the institute and a host of dignitaries. The award citation recognised his "concern for the oppressed human beings from all over the world in need of compassion".

In his acceptance speech, the Dalai Lama called for making this Century a Century of compassion and peace. "Previous Century was marred by violence — There were world wars in which atom bombs were also used. Brains of brilliant scientists were utilised for destruction. Let the 21st Century be the Century of compassion and peace. Peace does not come from outside, rather it comes from inside. We need to destroy our anger, aggression and jealousy. Anger and violence always bring disaster and creates a fearful atmosphere. World peace can be achieved only by inner peace," the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

"I always consider that the shape of the future is in our hands," he observed. "The past is past and can't be changed, but the future has not yet arrived. Young people like you have the opportunity and responsibility to shape it by creating a better world. Despite many remarkable developments, the 20th century was an era of violence, a time when, sadly, scientists' brilliant brains were put to destructive use. For example, they participated in the design and manufacture of nuclear weapons that were used twice against Japan.

"Although killing has continued since the beginning of the 21st century, steps should be taken to make this a century of peace. Since peace is destroyed by negative emotions like anger and jealousy, we have to find ways to develop inner peace if we are to create peace in the world. It's worth asking yourself whether you feel happy when you're angry. Anger and extreme irritation all too easily lead to violence. So, how are we to reduce anger? By increasing our sense of love and compassion.

"Scientists have evidence that basic human nature is compassionate. If it were not, there would be no hope. However, our common experience is that we are all born from a mother and survive in her care. Common sense tells us that even if our neighbours are poor, if they shows signs of affection, we think of them as good neighbours. What's more, anger and violence bring disaster. They make you lose your peace of mind. They spoil the atmosphere wherever you are.

"When we are young we appreciate love and compassion, but as we grow up we become more interested in money and status. One of the reasons for this is that modern education is inadequate because it tends only to have material goals with little scope for inner values.

Tibet-India-Bhubaneswar-KISS-Award-2017"It's worth reminding ourselves that all 7 billion human beings are physically, mentally and emotionally the same. But if we allow ourselves to think in terms of being privileged or under-privileged, belonging to higher, lower or no caste, it will only fortify division. This is unhelpful, out of date and undemocratic. Reminding ourselves of the oneness of humanity, that we are all the same in being human, is, on the other hand, a great source of confidence.

"The modern world lacks moral principles and doesn't understand how to tackle negative emotions. Because of this, what we can learn from ancient Indian knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions can be very relevant today. Many Indians today neglect this knowledge, but I am encouraging young Indians I meet, like you, to pay attention to it because it's on the basis of this kind of understanding that we can build a more compassionate society."

In the auditorium of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) nearby, His Holiness mentioned to a capacity crowd of 1600 that he considers the Buddha to have been a great thinker and something of a scientist. He remarked that he thinks of himself too as half a monk and half a scientist.

He highlighted one of the unique aspects of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition—that, in addition to revealing profound philosophy and psychology, it embraces reason and logic. It is this that makes it of interest to scientists. He reported that the Buddha's own advice to his followers not to rely on blind faith, but to subject his teaching to reasoned investigation, has allowed him to reject traditional Buddhist cosmology.

Reverting to the shortcomings of modern education by itself, His Holiness repeated how important and more realistic it is to incorporate a secular approach to universal values.

In his answers to several questions from the audience, His Holiness noted that all human beings wish to be happy and that happiness is their right. He mentioned the recent publication of two volumes, the 'Compendium of Science' and the 'Compendium of Philosophy', derived from material extracted from the Kangyur and Tengyur, the collections of translations of largely Sanskrit Buddhist literature. They focus on the science of the mind and correct views based on reconciling the gap between appearance and reality.