The case for Tibet

Saving the software of Nalanda

This passage from the Dalai Lama’s speech at Dharmasala yesterday is interesting. Although he intends this for China, it is really applicable to the international community.

The (People’s Republic of China, PRC) is a country comprising many nationalities, enriched by a diversity of languages and cultures. Protection of the language and culture of each nationality is a policy of the PRC, which is clearly spelt out in its constitution. Tibetan is the only language to preserve the entire range of the Buddha’s teachings, including the texts on logic and theories of knowledge (epistemology), which we inherited from India’s Nalanda University. This is a system of knowledge governed by reason and logic that has the potential to contribute to the peace and happiness of all beings. Therefore, the policy of undermining such a culture, instead of protecting and developing it, will in the long run amount to the destruction of humanity’s common heritage. [Dalai Lama’s official website]

If the hardware of Nalanda was destroyed many centuries ago, the software lives on in Tibetan culture. This is an important reason for Indian society to support the preservation of Tibetan culture.