On 11 December 2016, Nalandians observed Nalanda ‘Education Day’, which marked the anniversary of the launching of our “Education Philosophy”. In conjunction with this important occasion, the Director of Nalanda Institute Achariya Tan Siang Chye gave a Dhamma talk expounding the purpose and importance of Buddhist education, highlighting its pivotal role in modern times.
Buddhist education is ‘an enlightening experience’; it aims to develop wisdom within us to live righteously in a world clouded with ignorance. Achariya said that learning must come together with practical experience; otherwise the lesson is easily forgotten. The Buddha provided this sort of experiential learning where the ‘head’ and the ‘heart’ meet.
Achariya then spoke about the dangers of ‘unworthy teachers’ as stated in the Anagata-bhayani Sutta of the Anguttara Nikaya. When a teacher is not developed in the Dhamma, yet expounds the doctrine to his students, it will lead to the corruption of the ‘teachings’ as the teacher would be unable to fully discipline his students due to his own deficiency.
Achariya shared that good teachers uphold morality (‘sīla’), truth (‘sacca’) and faith (‘saddhā’). A good teacher is therefore a rare and precious gem in the world, and we should associate with such wise persons and learn Dhamma well.
On this Nalanda ‘Education Day’, we express our gratitude and appreciation to all Dhamma teachers and practitioners around the world for striving to provide holistic and experiential education for the benefit of many beings. With such efforts to preserve and propagate the precious teachings, may the Buddha-Sāsana long endure!