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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetans crowd roads for a glimpse of Dalai Lama

January 14, 2011

TNN, Jan 10, 2011, 11.13pm IST

VARANASI: It was a revered moment for the Tibetans living in exile to
see their supreme spiritual leader — the 14th Dalai Lama — in Sarnath on
Monday. From Buddhist monks to common people including women and
children, a large number of Tibetans queued up along the road leading to
the Central University of Tibetan Studies (CUTS), Sarnath to have a
glimpse of His Holiness.

The Dalai Lama, along with the officials of the Tibetan
government-in-exile, reached Sarnath around 1 pm on Monday. He was
accorded a ceremonial welcome in Tibetan style at the CUTS. A group of
Tibetans played on traditional instrument 'Gyaling Raktum' on his
arrival while a number of monks and other distinguished persons,
including vice-chancellor Ngawang Samten, offered traditional 'Khata'
(stole) to him. Then the Dalai Lama went inside the guesthouse on the
campus for some rest.

Thousands of Tibetans from across the world assembled in Sarnath to see
the Dalami Lama and listen to his teachings during his nine-day stay.
The entire area around the university was buzzing with the Tibetans. A
number of temporary shops of a variety of articles also came into
existence along the road. During his stay, the Dalai Lama will take part
in the valedictory function of the four-day 'Tenggyur Translation
Conference: In the tradition of the 17 Pandits of Nalanda', organised by
the CUTS and American Institute of Buddhist Studies at Columbia
University on Tuesday. He will deliver his teachings to Buddhist
followers from January 12 to 17. He will leave on January 19.

CUTS has special significance for the Dalai Lama

VARANASI: Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his first sermon, has always
been one of the favoured destinations of the Dalai Lama. He has been
regularly visiting the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies
(CIHTS), now Central University of Tibetan Studies (CUTS), Sarnath.

The institution, a centre of higher education for the Tibetans, holds a
special importance for the Dalai Lama. In 1959, a mass exodus of the
Tibetan emigrants left their country and took political asylum in India.
Under joint efforts of the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso and India's
then prim minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the CIHTS was established in
1967 with a view to educating the youth of Tibet and the students on the
Indian border who had lost the opportunity of living in Tibet for
advanced studies and religious discourses in Buddhism that had been
their natural milieu.

The institution has a specific purpose based on four cardinal aims, viz.
preservation of Tibetan culture and traditions, restoration of ancient
learning and implementation of multi-dimensional Tibetan studies, to
afford alternate arrangements for instruction to border areas students
who were left bereft of vital knowledge and spiritual training under
altered circumstances, and revival of traditional education under modern
university system. One of the reasons for the establishment of the
institute was to resuscitate the past glory which lies ensconced in the
precious Buddhist scriptures on religion and philosophy, art and
architecture and science and technology including astronomy and
medicine, a substantial volume of which is preserved by the Tibetan
exiles despite their sudden and terrific calamity. Initially the
institute was established on the premises of the Sanskrit University and
later it moved to its own premises in Sarnath and was granted autonomy
under the department of culture. In 1988, the institute got status of
`deemed to be a university' with financial support from the Union
ministry of human resource development. In 2009, the CIHTS became the
Central University of Tibetan Studies. The Dalai Lama dedicated the new
name of the institution during his visit to Sarnath in January 2009.

The CUTS is not only an academic institution but it also produces good
statesmen. Earlier, when it was CIHTS, it gave the first elected prime
minister to the Tibetan government-in-exile. Samdhong Rinpoche, the
former director of CIHTS, was elected the first PM of the Tibetan
government-in- exile in 2001. As a young monk, Rinpoche moved to India
in 1959 after Chinese aggression. In his book 'Tibet: A Future Vision',
he firmly believes that Tibet will once again become a zone of
non-violence. He writes that the Tibetan struggle is neither a political
movement nor an anti-Chinese activity. It is also not a struggle between
two nations or ethnic groups nor is there a conflict of political
ideology. It is simply the country's spiritual longing to restore the
space and freedom to perform the duties. He writes that the future of
Tibet will be determined by the will and vision of the majority of
Tibetans. His future vision covers aspects of Tibet including polity,
society, economy, education, health and family welfare, religion,
culture, international relations and environment.

Read more: Tibetans crowd roads for a glimpse of Dalai Lama - The Times
of India

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