GOA: Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay spoke on ‘Mother Earth, Mother Nature – The Eastern Wisdom’ on 16 November during a panel discussion at the three-day 2nd India Ideas Conclave in Goa.
The theme of the conclave was ‘Learnings From Civilisation’ – an ode to understanding contemporary India and its global context through a civilisational lens of a society on the forward move.
Over 350 intellectuals including Union Ministers, professionals, journalists, politicians and social activists are participating in the prestigious three-day conclave. Prominent personalities include Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Goa’s Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, Rajya Sabha MP M J Akbar and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the spiritual leader and founder of Isha Foundation.
In his remarks, Sikyong spoke on the importance of the fragile Tibetan plateau and the global impact of Tibet’s ecological destruction. He implored the world to commit to a strong climate change agreement at the upcoming COP21 summit for the health and sustainability of the entire world.
“The Tibetan plateau is going through a disastrous experience of illegal mining, deforestation, damming of rivers, etc. This is harming the environmental health of not only Tibet but also of its neighbors, particularly the countries lying downstream,” Sikyong said.
“Tibetans, as Buddhists, are peaceful and maintain harmony with nature. So much so that mountains and the soil are considered sacred and revered as the abode of gods and deities. We are governed by a concept of Mahakaruna: that you need to have Karuna for everything including nature as well as sentient beings,” Sikyong explained.
However, Sikyong explained that the modern man with science as a weapon is moving on a self-destructive mode. “The modern man thinks he can dominate everything including Mother Nature. They say they want to win the battle with nature. But if you think carefully, if humans win the battle with nature, they are actually on the losing side because if nature loses, you lose,” he said, underlining the need for harmony between nature and the survival of humanity.
“Most of the natural calamities including tsunami and global warming are created in part by man. The recent heat wave across Europe, for instance, was caused by melting of glaciers in Tibet according to some environmental experts from China,” Sikyong noted.
Emphasising the need for recognition of the Tibetan plateau’s global significance, Sikyong said: “Tibet is not only the largest and highest plateau in the world; it is home to the third-largest store of ice and the largest source of accessible fresh water on the planet. It is also the head source of Asia’s six largest rivers, flowing into the 10 most-densely populated nations. Therefore, Tibet should be central to the environmental discussions.”
Sikyong’s remarks were preceded by Dr. Subhash Kashyap. Chief Guest at the Inaugural session was Bhutan Prime Minister and keynote Speaker was Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. Chair of the valedictory session was Hon’ble Governor of Goa H.E. Smt. Mridula Sinha and valedictory address was delivered by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge).
Sikyong was also invited at the first India Ideas Conclave which was held in December 2014. At that time, he spoke on ‘Tibet as the key for enduring peace in Asia’ – an argument based on spiritual, historical, geopolitical and environmental factors.