Geshe Tenzin Zopa, an FPMT touring teacher, was awarded the Global Peace Leadership and Excellence Award by World CSR (corporate social responsibility) Day organizers on the occasion of World CSR Congress’s eighth annual celebration of World CSR Day on February 18, 2019. The one-day World Peace Congress—held in conjunction with World CSR Congress—was held at hotel Taj Lands End in Mumbai, India. The mission of World Peace Congress is to bring together experts with solutions to major issues occurring in our personal lives, homes, schools, businesses, and communities.
World Peace Congress staff created a shortlist of candidates for the award. Final award decisions were made by a jury comprised of Dr. R. L. Bhatia, Founder of World CSR Day and World Sustainability; Dr. Saugata Mitra, Chief People Officer and Group Head HR, Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd; Professor Indira Parikh, President of Antardisha, and India’s Iconic HR Leader; Dr. Arun Arora, Ex-President and CEO, The Economic Times, and Chairman, Edvance Pre-schools Pvt. Ltd; and Dr. C. M. Dwivedi, Group Chief Human Resource Officer, Fazlani Group of Companies; as well as juries located in each candidate’s geographic region.
Stephanie Brennan, FPMT Australia national education coordinator shares the story.
On February 18, 2019—the eve of Chotrul Duchen and the completion of Monlam Chenmo—Geshe Tenzin Zopa was awarded the prestigious Global Peace Leadership and Excellence Award in Mumbai, India.
The World Peace Congress brought together citizens from over 130 countries to celebrate leaders who are building a better society and a more peaceful world. A global jury of leaders from the fields of sustainable development, education, and world peace chose Geshe Tenzin Zopa for the award in recognition of his leadership and contributions to society.
Geshe Tenzin Zopa was invited to give a presentation “Peace as a Purposeful Goal and Sustainable Peace Effort.” He spoke of the need for secular ethics to be taught in our educational institutions, our interconnectedness, the need to cherish others, universal responsibility, and the need to develop love and compassion. He said His Holiness the Dalai Lama can inspire us to see that individuals can resolve problems, and how we can all contribute to global peace.
Geshe Tenzin Zopa shared his thoughts following the event.
If you were to ask me how I feel about this acknowledgment then I would answer with this: it is truly due to the blessing of my gurus and all the sentient beings’ immeasurable compassion and kindness towards me. When I got the invitation and information about this award, at first I thought it was a scam. I didn’t believe it right up until the booking of the flight, which was just a few weeks before I arrived in Mumbai from Sydney after my teaching tour.
In fact, until it was my turn to be called up to the stage I was still thinking, ‘I’m here for the conference only, not as a recipient of the award,’ because the people who went onto the stage for the awards were well-known great leaders of corporate social responsibility from around the world who have achieved great works, and I am not in that category at all.
Anyway, it was a very auspicious surprise. I was humbled to start the year knowing that in the larger non-Dharma community people are paying great attention, taking note of and appreciating one simple Buddhist monk, and are offering this award as acknowledgment, encouragement, and inspiration to work harder for the greater cause of peace and happiness of humanity to one’s best ability.
It was surprising and humbling to know that it still counted and was appreciated by many who love peace—as long as it is an effort for peace and harmony, even if it is coming from a nobody like me, who is no different from an ant.
This event made me realize that the work I have been acknowledged for has not been done yet. But I pray to do these acknowledged works of peace for the happiness of humanity—unconditionally—for the rest of my life to the best of my ability, as long as it is the cause for the peace and happiness of humanity and all living beings. Whatever has happened and whatever is going to happen is all due to the blessings of the guru Buddhas and all mother sentient beings.
So, I pray and make aspirations for my life as Shantideva said, ‘For as long as sentient beings remain, may I too remain to dispel their sufferings.’
I sincerely dedicate this award and any virtuous deeds in relation to this event for the perfect health, long life, and fulfillment of all holy aspirations of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and all the gurus. And also may it be the complete cause of temporary and ultimate happiness of all living beings.
This story was originally published by the FPMT Australia National Office.
To read Geshe Tenzin Zopa’s speech “Peace as a Purposeful Goal and Sustainable Peace Effort,” visit the Hayagriva Buddhist Centre website:
Watch Geshe Tenzin Zopa deliver his speech at World Peace Congress on YouTube:
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