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Buddhist Nun With Ph.D.: Journey Of A Vietnamese Woman Who Left Home To Find Happiness At 14

Buddhist Nun With Ph.D.: Journey Of A Vietnamese Woman Who Left Home To Find Happiness At 14

Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Thanh, 14, set out on a quest for inner peace at the age of 14 after experiencing "profound sadness."

Delhi University
Buddhist Nun With Ph.D.: Journey Of A Vietnamese Woman Who Left Home To Find Happiness At 14 File Photo

At the age of 14, Nguyen Thi Thanh in Vietnam was overcome with "profound sadness" and set out on a quest for inner peace which led her to a Buddhist monastery.
    
Twenty-two years later, the Buddhist nun has travelled to several countries, is fluent in seven languages, and has completed Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Delhi University (DU).
    
Nguyen (36) was among the 910 scholars who were awarded PhDs at the Delhi University convocation on Saturday.
    
Amid young women dressed in Indian attires, Nguyen stood out in a grey robe and a shaved head.
    
"I left home in Vietnam at 14 because I felt a profound sadness for no reason. My mother and grandmother cried for three months after I decided to become a nun. Gradually, they came to terms with it. I went to a monastery where I learned about Buddhism," said Nguyen, who also left behind four siblings.
    
Away from home, Nguyen continued her studies and graduated in Buddhist Studies before she started travelling to different countries, including Taiwan.
    
"I stayed in Taiwan for a year. Then I decided to pursue MA in Buddhist Studies at Delhi University," said Nguyen, who came to India in 2017.
    
"I topped in MA and received a gold medal. Then I decided to pursue Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies," she said.
    
The subject of her Ph.D. was Sanskrit text in Buddhism and its comparison with other languages.
    
Asked about her life in different countries and how she managed things, she said, "I am enough and I don't need anyone to survive. I may be alone but never lonely. I am content with life. When you learn to detach yourself from things, you become happy. Have compassion as well."
    
Now, she plans to pursue a second Ph.D. from the Department of Sanskrit.
    
DU awarded 910 Ph.D. degrees at its convocation, with women scholars outnumbering their male counterparts. This figure for Ph.D. degrees is the highest ever in the history of the university.
    
A total of 170 students were also awarded medals and prizes at the convocation ceremony.

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