Tashi Jong —His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated Khamgar Druk Dharmakara College in Tashi Jong Village on Wednesday and he said," Today, the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, which has been restricted by communist Chinese forces in Tibet, is flourishing because of the strong faith of the Tibetan people. There is growing interest in our knowledge and traditions among Buddhists in China as well as scholars and scientists in other parts of the world. Scientists in particular are interested in what we have to say about the workings of the mind and emotions and the nature of reality."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama left his residence in Dharamshala in the morning to travel to the Tashi Jong village, Baijnath, Kangra, HP, India, on September 27, 2023, to inaugurate the Khamgar Druk Dharmakara College, which aims to teach Buddhism to students from the Himalayan region. Tibetan monks, nuns, students and lay people lined the roads to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama and receive his blessing.
When he arrived at Tashi Jong, the whole community was waiting for him in their best clothes, smiling joyfully to welcome him. His Holiness was able to drive up to the steps of the new assembly hall. At the door, he cut the ribbon to symbolically open the main building of the new Khamgar Druk Dharmakara College. At the head of the hall he lit an inaugural lamp before a large statue of the Buddha.
Khamtrul Rinpoché addressed in Tibetan and said that His Holiness as master of the entire teaching of the Buddha and champion of peace throughout the world. He thanked him for accepting the invitation to inaugurate this new centre of learning.
Rinpoché explained that the first Khamapagar Monastery was founded by the first Khamtrul Rinpoché with branches in Dergé and other parts of Kham. The great Fifth Dalai Lama encouraged him. Subsequent Dalai Lamas, including the Seventh, wrote to the Khamtrul Rinpochés to acknowledge their work to preserve the Dharma. Later, the 13th Dalai Lama also encouraged the Khamtrul Rinpoché who was his contemporary to continue to serve the Dharma and sentient beings. "Just as previous Dalai Lamas looked after the Khampagar Monasteries," Rinpoché requested, "I appeal to Your Holiness to look after us too."
Kishori Lal, the local Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) described the inauguration of the Institute as a very special occasion. He recalled in the 1960s Tibetans began to live in Chauntra, Bir and Tashi Jong. Since then, the Government of India and of Himachal Pradesh has given them what help they could. Indeed, the present Chief Minister has recently repeated this offer of assistance.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering, President of the Central Tibetan Administration, praised His Holiness’s inauguration of the Khamgar Druk Dharmakara College. He noted that some of the past students who become Khenpos have taught at the monastery, others have dedicated their lives to practice, while yet others have gone back to Tibet to teach. He mentioned a conference that the CTA is organizing next year, which he hopes teachers and students from Khampagar will attend. He also remarked that in south India several scholars who have received Geshé degrees are now working towards PhDs at the Dalai Lama Institute of Higher Studies under the auspices of the University of Bangalore.
Speaker Khenpo Tenphel of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile offered praise and gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the establishment of this college. He cited Vasubandhu’s advice that the proper way to preserve the Buddha’s teachings is through study and practice. He acknowledged the great contribution that the past and present Khamtrul Rinpochés have made to this venture.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the gathering and he said," “My dear Dharma friends, I am happy to be able to address you all. Today, the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, which has been restricted by communist Chinese forces in Tibet, is flourishing because of the strong faith of the Tibetan people. This Dharma tradition has neither declined, nor become diluted, because you have all worked hard. Today, there is growing interest in our knowledge and traditions among Buddhists in China as well as scholars and scientists in other parts of the world. Scientists in particular are interested in what we have to say about the workings of the mind and emotions and the nature of reality."
"I have studied Buddhist scriptures since I was a child and worked to integrate what I learned within. As Buddhists liberation and enlightenment are our goal. People readily talk about peace in the world, but it will only be established when we develop peace of mind within. When we gain a clearer understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions, we learn how much we need love and compassion in the world. More and more people are coming to appreciate this," His Holiness explained.
"Our mothers give birth to us. They shower us with love and affection—something we should not forget. As we grow up, we should remember the love and affection we’ve learned from our mothers and employ them in relation to others. If you cultivate love and compassion, when you leave this life, not only will you be able to go peacefully, but it will have a positive effect on your next life. This too is something to keep in mind," His Holiness said.
The inauguration ceremony ended with thanks from Khenpo Lobsang Sangpo. Addressing His Holiness once more as master of the entire teaching of the Buddha and champion of peace in the world, he thanked him for inaugurating the college and for the teaching he had provided.