Bhubaneswar: The KISS Humanitarian Award 2017 was presented to His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar on 21 November 2017. Smt. Saswati Bal, President, KIIT & KISS and Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Founder presented the award before an audience of 27,000 indigenous students of the institute and a host of dignitaries.
The award citation recognized his “concern for the oppressed human beings from all over the world in need of compassion”. He is a beacon of hope, aspiration and inspiration for the millions of people across the world, it mentioned, while noting his struggles and sacrifices for the people and universal compassion.
In his acceptance speech, the Dalai Lama called for making this century a century of compassion and peace. “Previous century was marred by violence – There were world wars in which atom bombs were also used. Brains of brilliant scientists were utilized for destruction. Let the 21st century be the century of compassion and peace. Peace does not come from outside, rather it comes from inside. We need to destroy our anger, aggression and jealousy. Anger and violence always bring disaster and creates a fearful atmosphere. World peace can be achieved only by inner peace”, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner said.
“Past is past, but future is in our hand. Your generation is the custodian of 21st century. You are the people who can create new shape of future. You have the opportunity and responsibility to create a new world”, he told the students.
“Compassion is intrinsic in human nature. All seven billion people of the world have come from mothers. Our lives start with mothers’ love. So we all must share love. All human beings are same – mentally, physically and emotionally. Division of people on the basis of caste, colour, etc. is totally wrong. Underprivileged people should not have inferiority complex. You should be self confident and work hard”, the Dalai Lama said.
Deliberating on the role of education, he stated, “Existing modern education is inadequate as it focuses on material value and fame. Secular education should include moral education. Research is now going on to figure out how best to do it”. He suggested KISS to carry out experiments to include moral education.
“India is the most populated democratic country and an ancient civilization. This country has produced most brilliant people, including Buddhist masters. Buddhism has come from India. Modern world lacks moral principles and knowledge to tackle our destructive emotions. Ancient Indian psychology was very advanced and still very relevant to deal with this problem. You should feel proud of your rich history, heritage and traditions”, he told the students.
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism and recognized worldwide for his advocacy of compassion, peace and interreligious dialogue. The literal meaning of the title Dalai Lama is ‘ocean monk’ and he is regarded as “the ocean of compassion”, said Prof. Achyuta Samanta introducing the recipient in his presentation speech. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be the manifestations of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, he informed. We feel fortunate to get the blessings of His Holiness and his acceptance of the award has enhanced its stature”, Prof. Samanta added.
In 1989, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless efforts promoting peace throughout the world. He has received many other awards, numbering over 150, in recognition of his message of peace, compassion, non-violence, inter-religious understanding and universal responsibility.
KISS Humanitarian Award is a prestigious international award given to someone who has made exceptional contribution to the society in various fields relating to social issues and who has distinguished himself or herself as a true humanitarian. Instituted by Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar in 2008, the award is presented annually and its recipient is chosen by a high-level jury.
His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama is the tenth KISS Humanitarian Laureate. Previous recipients of the award are: Ms. Ashley Judd, Hollywood Actor & Activist (2016); Dr. Alejandro Toledo, Former President of Peru (2015); Ms. Anne F. Stenhammer, Former Regional Programme Director, UN Women, South Asia Regional Office (2014); Madam Albina Du Boisrouvray, Founder, FXB International, Switzerland (2013); His Excellency Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Hon’ble Prime Minister, The Royal Government of Bhutan (2012); Rt. Hon. Lord Nicholas Addison Phillips, President (Chief Justice) of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2011); Rt. Hon. Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Eminent Social Worker & His Excellency the President of Mauritius (2010); Dr. Ham Kee-Sun, Eminent Educationist & Physician and Hon’ble President & Founder, Hanseo University, South Korea (2009); Ms. Edna Bomo Molewa, Noted Social Worker & Hon’ble Cabinet Minister, Social Development, South Africa National Assembly, South Africa (2008).
The Dalai Lama also delivered a talk at ‘KIIT Knowledge Tree’ Lecture Series at KIIT University and addressed thousands of Tibetan settlers from Chandragiri who had come to KIIT to seek his blessings.