Lessons from Journey to the West


Satire, ridicule, lampoons – history tells us that they are things of their times, and we should as early as possible allow ourselves to laugh at them.

At the beginning of the week and the year, I hosted the current Chancellor of Nalanda University himself, George Yeo, who is also the former Foreign Minister of Singapore. The modern Nalanda was built about 10km away from the site of the ancient university in the state of Bihar in eastern India. The ancient Nalanda, founded in the fifth century and in operation for 800 years until its sacking in the 11th century, was reputed to be the oldest university in the world. (Al Azhar in Cairo was founded in 972, University of Bologna in 1088 and Oxford in 1167). The Buddha and his disciple, Sariputra, were said to have preached there. Monks and learners from all over the world had undertaken perilous journeys along dangerous ancient highways to reside there.

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