To encourage the instant analyzing and debating skills,Socially Engaged Buddhist of Ladakh (SEBOL) organised a day-long debate on ‘What makes you not a Buddhist’ in Chowkhang Vihara on 23rd May.
The debate competition aims to provide all round training to improve students' language, debating, analytical and organisational skills, as well as evoking their interest in Buddhism and understanding Buddhism from in-depth. The students discussed the teachings of Buddha, misconceptions and challenges in Buddhism.
With wit and irony, speakers urge people to move beyond the superficial trappings of Buddhism & focussed on what the Buddha taught. Ten students from five different schools of Leh took part in the debate competition for and against the motion.
President, Ladakh Buddhist Association, Youth wing Rinchen Namgyal was the guest of honour. The judges for the debate were Prof Jamyang Gyaltson, Geshes Thupstan Phuljung, Principal, Lamdon Model School, Diskit, Nubra Angchuk.
Rinchen Namgyal said that this kind of debate is the need of the hour. He expressed his heartfelt thanks to the President and volunteers of SEBOL to organise this discussion.
President, Socially Engaged Buddhist of Ladakh, Advocate, Otsal Wangdus said that the main aim is to bring change in the education system. We have a very narrow thinking, and our education system is limited to syllabus oriented. “It is something that we need to think beyond our bread and butter & should work for the betterment of the society & lead a meaningful life.”
Over the years, the education system is still the same, its one-way traffic where teacher teach, and the student listens without discussion and interaction session. Alternative education is what we are focussing, said Otsal & this is one of the visions of HH The 14th Dalai Lama.
Ithok, a student of Krishnamurthy Foundation in Pune, talked about alternative education.
Tsering Lhazes, CIBS, Choglamsar got the first position & awarded ₹ 10,000 cash, Tsewang Dolma , CIBS, Choglamsar got the 2nd position & was awarded ₹ 6000 & third won by Stanzin Tharchin, Boys Higher Secondary School, Leh with ₹4000.
“The perspective and points of view we gain from listening to these young students in the debates is both inspiring and thought-provoking,” said Jamyang Gyaltson, one of the Judges of the competition. Looking at the students I can assure that our culture is in safe hands.Looking forward to seeing some more debates like this, said Prof & Scholar Jamyang Gyaltson.
In the book ‘What Makes You a Buddhist?’ quoted that "It’s not the clothes you wear, the ceremonies you perform, or the meditation you do, says Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse. It’s not what you eat, whether you drink or not. It’s whether you agree with the four fundamental discoveries the Buddha made under the Bodhi tree, and if you do, you can call yourself a Buddhist."
Prof Lobzang Tsewang said, “It is very important for everyone to understand how & why we are Buddhist & what are the do’s and don't's of Buddhism. If one understands it through logic, reason and research then that is great. In today’s situation, teachings are the need of the hour. And in every village they should organise teaching.
The four noble truths are meant to be understood literally, not metaphorically or mystically, but they are not edicts or commandments. They are secular truths based on wisdom, quoted Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse.