Disclaimer :
This is a personal blog. Views and opinions expressed here are of author's and not intended to disgrace any religion, institution or individual. The writer(author) also admits that his views may not be necessarily same as those of others.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sherig Century: Reminder of the greater role of education

On 2 May this year, the nation launched and celebrated ‘Sherig Century’ across the country. This is indeed an indication of support that the education as an inevitable sector has from the government and the people. Hundred years ago, the modern education had just begun, but since then the education system has been improving consistently to come to its present stage. Thus, the celebration of the Sherig Century not only gives an opportunity to look back, all together, into those foundational days and rejoice moments with satisfaction, but also gives to anticipate the future visions at the same time.

Today, the nation has its own university; the Royal University of Bhutan was instituted in June 2003. There are community primary schools reaching every corner of the country and almost enough High schools for our youth. The literacy rate of the nation has increased by many folds. This means that education in Bhutan has come long way. Going by this standard of development, it is only agreeable that our own education system can contribute towards national development through the production and distribution of knowledge. Undeniably, the mandate and the objective of the Royal University of Bhutan, the highest learning institution, is also to: develop and provide programmes of study at tertiary education level, of relevance and good quality which will fulfill the needs of the country for an educated and skilled population, and to promote and conduct research, to contribute to the creation of knowledge in an international context and to promote the transfer of knowledge of relevance to Bhutan. Thus, these lines explicitly define our university and the educational goal.

As the nation continues to celebrate its year-long Sherig Century, Gaeddu College of Business Studies has taken initiative, just in right time, to commemorate the occasion on its own small way. The Inter College Debate Competition held on 23 May at Gaeddu College has been participated by at least four nearby colleges of the university. The participants from the participating colleges debated on current issues of ‘Rupee shortage’ and the ‘necessity of the corporal punishment in our education system’. While the result, winning or losing, matters least in such kind of academic activity, what really matters most is how we could engage ourselves and disseminate our knowledge to the people. Prior to this, the college also organized international conference on Gross Nation Happiness in collaboration with Lyolla College, India. This kind of reasoned public discourse is just one of the many ways a university can share information with the public.

This is how Gaeddu College came up with its intention to celebrate the occasion. This is how we as a member of institution of higher learning continue to improve and move forward. This is how a university as a whole develops.    

By Karma Yezer
Lecturer, Gaeddu College

Note: This article was already published in Gaeddu Voice-IssueII, a bi-monthly Newsletter of the college

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Is Buddha under my feet?

Well!,  you know what?... Today I had a class(=period) with first year students from 2:15-3:15 (afternoon).  We were discussing on types of question; actually I was introducing them some basics on "Approaching and understanding written assignments". Everything went well, until everyone in the class was fully awakened in the last five minutes. Oh! I am not saying that my students reached Buddhahood...lol. I mean they were simply unusually active.

While discussing concepts, Suddenly, I remembered a statement:  "Buddha is under my feet" which I heard when I was a Student from one of the (national) teachers. So I said to the students: " Buddha can be under our feet. Justify." (I mentioned this just to arouse their curiosity and make the class lively while they can also start to analyze and understand the concept at the same time.)

All students seemed to be SURPRISED upon hearing my statement. I could understand that;even I had the same thought when I heard for the first time. I felt that the teacher was insulting religion, and the statement blasphemous. ERRRRRRRR.... this time, it was actually me who repeated that statement(though adapted). As expected, one student even stood and said "Sir, it might be insulting to the Buddha". But any way I explained, not to take the statement otherwise. I suppose they are all convinced not to take it negatively.

Now, let me get straight to the point. These days, who walks without wearing any shoes or slippers(there may be a few exceptions in the remote corners)?. Do You wear shoes? I do. Well, you know, almost all the insoles are leather. And leather actually is the modification of animal skins. And now, if that shoes serve to keep us safe from hurting our feet, they(shoes) do more than providing security especially if one is suppose to take a dangerous, thorny path. Even Buddhas have the intention and prayers for every being not to be in suffering. Also, it is said that every being has the Buddha nature deep within. Definitely, even that particular animal, who provided insoles for our shoes would have had Buddha-nature. So, don't you now feel that, a part of Buddha (=symbolic though) is under your feet?

Or do you believe Buddha exists everywhere? above; in front; behind; besides; within yourself or so? If it is everywhere, definitely Buddha (might) can also be under our feet.
Well, my explanation would not have been very convincing. Not necessary to believe me!

Anyway, when I say these sentences, please do not read me wrong. I don't intend, in anyway, to disgrace any particular Buddhas who have already enlightened. Do not sue me for "blasphemy". If you are hurt, it would only mean that you didn't get me right. My only point is, the way shoes serve basic purpose is somehow similar to the intentions every saviour (you think your own saviour) would have.

Oh yes! Just like Osho, who wrote Zorba the Buddha replied:  "perhaps you don't understand that Buddha is no body's personal property; and Buddha is not necessarily the Gautam Buddha who you have been worshipping for thousands of years in your temples. Buddha simply means 'the awakened one'. It is an adjective; it is not a personal name. Jesus can be called the Budhha; Mahavira was called, in Jaina scriptures, the buddha; Lao Tzu can be called a Buddha-anybody who is enlightened is a Buddha. The word Buddha simply means 'the awakened one" to the Sri Lankan ambassador  to the states(who condemned Osho for writing that Book and equating Buddha with Zorba), I would also apologize if you are hurt reading this. 
By the way I am a devout Buddhist myself. I have utter faith in Gautam Buddha and his teachings. 

(You might read my " Disclaimer sentences" at the top of my blog for more apology.)
note: this was written on Friday (August 10)