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I am in good health” says Dalai Lama during long life prayer ceremony

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the congregation during the Long Life Prayer at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on April 3, 2024 (Photo/Ven. Tenzin Jamphel)

By Tenzin Nyidon

The foremost Tibetan leader and spiritual figure, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was offered Long life Prayer (Tenshug) on Wednesday morning by the Toepa Association and people of Purang at the Thekchen Choeling Tsuglagkhang temple in Dharamshala.

The Long Life Prayer ceremony featured devout offerings to the reincarnation of Avalokiteśvara (Chenrezig), the bodhisattva synonymous with boundless compassion, alongside the visualisation of the White Tara. Guided and overseen by Ling Rinpoche, the ceremony garnered participation from esteemed lamas representing different schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Among them were the two reincarnation of Trulshik Rinpoche, the Abbot of Sera-mé, the Lobpön of Namgyal Monastery and Bodong Rinpoché, the Abbot of Drepung Loseling and the Abbot of Tawang, Kundeling Rinpoche , and Gyalstab Rinpoche. Their collective presence in the ceremony underscored the earnest supplication for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s enduring health and longevity.

Tenshug, or the Long Life Prayer, embodies a Buddhist ritual of beseeching and extending heartfelt wishes for the sustained well-being of one’s spiritual guide or the embodiment of enlightenment, ensuring their continued guidance and inspiration for all sentient beings.

Addressing the devotees, the octogenarian leader expressed gratitude to the organisers for offering the Tenshug upon him. During his address, the Dalai Lama once again reassured the Tibetans and his followers of his “good health.” “Despite my advancing age, I anticipate living for another 15 to 20 years, as confirmed by my recent health check-up with my physician.” The egalitarian leader’s words were met with resounding applause and warm welcomes from the jubilant crowd, embracing the prospect of continued guidance and presence.

The ceremony this morning was also attended by hundreds of Tibetans, and the top rung of the exile Tibetan government including Sikyong Penpa Tsering, members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and officials.