Education paired with destructive behavior is wasted, but knowledge used for good is a powerful instrument, the Dalai Lama said in his first speech as an official member of the faculty at Emory University.
"As a professor of this university, I think you should listen to me," he said, laughing.
At a formal ceremony in Emory's gymnasium, students presented the 72-year-old exiled Tibetan spiritual leader with a faculty identity card.
"I suspect you will not need to carry this with you for identification, but in any case, we wanted you to know you are welcome," said student Emily Allen as she handed him the card.
During the ceremony Tibetan monks in large, moon-shaped yellow hats chanted and played cymbals, gongs and horns. A quartet of Emory students sang the school's alma mater, with the Tibetan monks making guttural chants in between verses.
And students from six different faiths Bahai, Sikh, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist gave blessings from their religions.
The ceremony was the culmination of a weekend of events on campus with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He was scheduled to give a free public talk in Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta later Monday.
Over the weekend, the Dalai Lama delivered a lecture on the basics of Buddhism to thousands and participated in a conference on depression. He also joined with spiritual leaders from the world's major religions including Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi to discuss peaceful resolution of military conflicts across the globe.
On Friday, Emory faculty presented the 72-year-old monk and Nobel Peace Prize laureate with a science curriculum they designed and translated into Tibetan. Emory faculty plan to teach the curriculum to thousands of Tibetan monks and nuns living in India starting in January, part of a program requested by the Dalai Lama to improve monastic education.
The Dalai Lama fled the Himalayan region for India in 1959 amid a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He remains highly popular among Tibetans and is lauded in much of the world as a figure of moral authority, but China reviles him as a Tibetan separatist.
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