By Shyamal Sinha
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is supposed to visit Gangtok, Sikkim on December 11, 2023. The spiritual leader’s visit, initially planned for October, was postponed indefinitely due to flooding in the state due to an outburst of a glacial lake.
The office of the Dalai Lama also confirmed the schedule. The HH will give a one-day teaching on Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo’s 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva (laklen sodunma) in the morning at Paljor Stadium at the request of the Sikkim State Government on December 12 and then give a general teaching followed by the Ceremony for Generation of Bodhicitta (semkye) at Sed-Gyued Monastery on December 14 at Salugara in West Bengal.
A preparatory meeting was held on Monday to coordinate logistics and security measures. The Chief Secretary as well as the Director General of Police, the Additional Chief Secretary of the Education Department, and other high-ranking government officials attended the meeting.
The office of the Dalai Lama earlier cancelled his scheduled visit to South India citing a persistent cold and need for rest. The age and health of the revered Buddhist leader has been a much talked about issue over the years with China politicising his reincarnation and seeking to claim legitimacy in the Buddhist countries including and especially Tibet. However, the Dalai Lama has maintained that the final say over his reincarnation rests with him and not China or any other nation.
He belongs to the largest and most influential tradition in Tibet, the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also considered to be the successor of a line of Tulkus (people that choose to be continually reborn) that started with Gendun Drupa (1391-1471). This paper will analyze his origins, the reincarnation process, and his philanthropic efforts.