The Russian Federal State Education Institute ‘Tuva State University’ awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama yesterday, here in town.
“Russian Academic Council of the Tuva State University has decided to confer the Honorary Degree to His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama of Tibet for his outstanding contribution to the development of science, and his personal contributions towards solving pressing issues such as protection of human rights, promotion of religious harmony, conservation of environment, strengthening of moral and ethical principals in the society,” said Telo Rinpoche, the spiritual leader of Kalmykia.
Telo Rinpoche along with officials of the university awarded the Honorary Degree to the Dalai Lama at the end of his three-day teachings at the main temple Tsug-la Khang.
“For the past many years, we made every possible effort to prepare His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Russia but unfortunately we have faced many difficulties,” said the spiritual leader of the Kalmyk people.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Dalai Lama paid his first and only visit to Kalmykia and Tuva in 1992, regions whose once-rich Buddhist heritage was destroyed in the 1930s by the dual Soviet policies of collectivization and atheism.
“I have visited Tuva once and learnt of the Tuva people’s great interest in Buddhism. Tuva has a long-standing strong cultural ties linked to Tibet for the past hundreds of years,” said the 76-year old Tibetan leader.
“However, in recent years due to political reasons, I couldn’t visit Tuva,” added the Dalai Lama.
Thousands of Buddhists from Russia have regularly visited Dharamshala, the exile seat of the Dalai Lama to receive teachings and listen to him.
From December 19 – 21, at the request of the Russian devotees, the Dalai Lama gave a three-day teaching on Tsongkhapa’s “Destiny Fulfilled” (Tokjo Dunlekma) and Geshe Langri Thangpa’s “Eight Verses of Training the Mind (Lojong Tsikgyema).
Thousands of devotees, including more than 1300 Russians, over one thousand Tibetans from Tibet, and hundreds of devotees from across the world and India attended the teachings.