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Dalai Lama’s envoy to Russia branded “foreign agent” for condemning war in Ukraine

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Telo Tulku Rinpoche, former head of Buddhists of Republic of Kalmykia and the Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia (Photo/Reddit)

By Tenzin Dharpo

 The envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia, Telo Tulku Rinpoche has been included in Kremlin’s infamous list of “foreign agent” on January 27 for his condemnation of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The foremost Buddhist figure of Republic of Kalmykia or the ‘Shajin Lama’ said Monday that he has resigned as the religious head of the Buddhists in Kalmykia but will continue as the envoy of the H.H. the Dalai Lama to Russia.

“I learned that on January 27, 2023, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation entered my name in the register of “Foreign Agents”. Over the past two days, many people have expressed concern and sympathy regarding my name being listed on the “Foreign Agent” register. I am sincerely grateful to those for their kind messages and appreciating my work.

“To the people of Kalmykia and all the followers of Buddhism in these difficult times, I wish you to maintain courage, fortitude and commitment to the ideals of compassion, love and non-violence, on which the teaching of the Buddha we profess,” Telo Tulku Rinpoche wrote on his social media handles.

Speaking to Phayul on Tuesday in Dharamshala, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile, he said, “I will remain as the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama unless the Kashag decides something else. When asked if the Office of Tibet in Moscow will be affected by the incident, he said, “As of right now, I don’t see any reason for the Office of Tibet to be affected, but I cannot guarantee that it won’t be affected. Since, we haven’t done anything against the Russian laws, rules and regulations, so I don’t see any reason why the office would be closed.”

The US citizen also said that he considers being labelled a foreign agent as a “privilege” and to be included among people of conscience including many celebrities, writers and poet in Russia. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights verified a total of 7,110 civilian deaths during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as of January 2023. Of them, 438 were children.

UPCOMING PROG.

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Teaching in Dharamsala, HP, India

March 7, 2023

His Holiness will give a short teaching from the Jataka Tales followed by the Ce…

Teaching in Dharamsala, HP, India

March 8 – 9, 2023

His Holiness will confer the Chakrasamvara Initiation in the Krishnacharya Tradi…

Only Tibetans can decide on Dalai Lama’s successor, says Japanese Buddhist body

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Rev. Mizutani Eikan handing over the statement to Representative Dr. Arya (Photo/tibet.net)

By Tenzin Nyidon

DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 25: Representatives of the Japanese Buddhist Conference for World Federation issued a strong condemnation to Chinese officials for their interference in the succession process of the next Dalai Lama. The delegation in a letter to the Office of Tibet, Japan stated that only Tibetans will decide the next successor of the14th Dalai Lama based on their culture and history.

Earlier, the same body strongly criticized China’s constant interference in Tibet’s religious and spiritual issues, and called for respect for the religious and cultural rights of the Tibetan people. Over the past few years, JBCWF has been actively engaging with Tibet’s rights group in raising awareness about religious oppression inside Tibet by advocating for religious rights and freedom of the Tibetan people while also promoting the Dalai Lama’s message of peace in resolving Tibet’s issues through dialogue and non-violent means.

In their statement Reverend Mizutani Eikan, the Secretary General of Japan Buddhist Conference for World Federation said, “His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama turned 87 years on July 6, 2022. The issue of his future successor is gradually gaining attention all over the world. We, the monks of Japan, believe Tibetan people must decide upon the next successor based on their Tibetan culture and history.”

“It is of utmost importance for the Japan Buddhist Federation to highlight the issue of succession of his Holiness the Dalai Lama as Tibet’s rich culture and religion is on the threshold of destruction under China’s occupation of the land,” the statement read.

The federation’s statement further highlighted that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) national policy is communism which is based on the principle of non-religion. Hence, unfulfilling the most basic credential  as well as authority to take such as decision. Rev. Mizutani also reassured that the people of Japan have immense respect and value for the Nobel laureate and assured that they will never accept any Dalai Lama anointed by China.

Dr. Arya Tsewang Gyalpo heartily expressed his gratitude to the delegations of the JBCWF for voicing their concern and calling on China to not interfere in Tibetan religious matters. He said that the action of the Japan Buddhist Conference will warn the Chinese leadership that the world is watching and that it will also encourage other religious organisations to release similar statements to deter Beijing from interfering in the selection of the future Dalai Lama with impunity.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Congratulates New Zealand’s New PM Chris Hipkins

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote a letter to congratulate New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, for being elected for the leadership position replacing the outgoing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after she announced her resignation recently.

In the letter, the Tibetan spiritual leader recalled His visit to New Zealand adding, “Over the years, I have been able to visit your beautiful country several times and have been deeply touched by the interest that people from all walks of have shown in my efforts to promote a sense of the oneness of humanity and the need for inter-religious harmony.”

With offering prayers, His Holiness continued, “Today, the world is passing through very testing times. I wish you every success in meeting the challenges that lie ahead in fulfilling the needs and aspirations of the people of New Zealand.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Arrives at His Official Residence in Dharamshala

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to media persons upon His arrival at Kangra airport.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama arrived at his official residence in Dharamshala on 23 January 2023 via Delhi after a month-long sojourn at Bodhgaya.

Following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s egress from the Kangra Airport at around 11 am earlier this morning, Sikyong Penpa Tsering and Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang of Central Tibetan Administration received His Holiness with reverence.

Devotees, Tibetans and non-Tibetans, young and old, renunciate and layperson, all lined with a ceremonial scarf and burning incense in their hands, welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama at different points of the road from the airport to Tsuglagkhang.

Tibetan residents and followers waiting outside Tsuglagkhang.

At the entrance of His Holiness’ official residence in Dharamshala.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Delivers the Inaugural TN Chaturvedi Memorial Lecture

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By  — Shyamal Sinha

Atulindra Nath Chaturvedi welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the start of the program at the Institute of India Public Administration in New Delhi, India on January 21, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness the Dalai Lama today morning visited the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) where he had been invited to give the inaugural TN Chaturvedi Memorial Lecture. TN Chaturvedi was a distinguished member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Following his retirement, he served as Comptroller and Auditor General of India and later as Governor of Karnataka. Members of the Chaturvedi family, Director General of the IIPA, SN Tripathi, Deputy Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library RK Mishra and others received His Holiness on arrival and accompanied him to the TN Chaturvedi Memorial Hall.

His Holiness took part in the lighting of a lamp to open the occasion. He was felicitated by DG IIPA, SN Tripathi, welcomed by Atulindra Nath Chaturvedi and introduced to the audience by Aatil Nath Chaturvedi, who then invited him to address them.

“As I child in Tibet I learned about aspects of ancient Indian thought,” His Holiness observed. “Later I came to this country as a refugee, became a guest of the Government of India and have spent the majority of my life here. In that time, I’ve come to appreciate such qualities of ancient Indian thought as ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’. Humanity needs these concepts in practice.

“Although I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Mahatma Gandhi, I was able to meet Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri and as a result of talking to them developed sincere respect for them. India is a democratic country, a place where many religious traditions live together under secular principles—which is wonderful.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivering the Inaugural TN Chaturvedi Memorial Lecture at the Institute of India Public Administration in New Delhi, India on January 21, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“My life now is dedicated to promoting ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’, but I express my admiration for them just as an ordinary human being. We are all the same as human beings. We’re born the same way and we survive because of our mother’s compassion. As human beings it’s our nature to be compassionate. We’re social animals. We depend on our community to survive, therefore we in turn to support the community. By extension, all eight billion human beings alive today have to learn to live together.

“When we talk about ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’ we’re not thinking of the differences between us, but rather ways in which we are the same. Where there is ‘karuna’ ‘ahimsa’ naturally comes about. When you have ‘karuna’ within, it gives you inner strength and self-confidence. And on that basis, you can see other human beings as your brothers and sisters.

“Dividing people into ‘us’ and ‘them’ is out of date. Instead, we should think of them in terms of ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’. If we cultivate this precious thought of ‘karuna’, we’ll be free from fear, anger and hatred. We’ll sleep soundly and enjoy good physical health.

“My life has been difficult, but difficulties have brought opportunities to put these deeper inner values into practice. It’s foolish to think only in narrow terms, dwelling on our national, ideological or religious identity, because as human beings we are all the same and we have to live together.

“When I think of TN Chaturvedi, I remember that he lived his life in the spirit of ‘karuna’ and ‘ahimsa’. I’m now 87 years old, but I look younger than I am because I have peace of mind. Nevertheless, having an attractive external appearance isn’t nearly as important as revealing the inner beauty of ‘karuna’.”

In answering questions from the audience, His Holiness mentioned that modern education with its materialistic outlook has tended to come mainly from the West. He feels that if education today is to train people to be truly warm-hearted it needs to be combined with the inner values of ancient Indian thought. Material progress brings many benefits, but they should not come at the cost of inner peace and inner strength.

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during the program at the Institute of India Public Administration in New Delhi, India on January 21, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness remarked that the time has come to think about the whole of humanity, not just this or that nation. In the 21st century, faced with the consequences of climate change, he said we cannot afford to think only in terms of individual nations; we have to learn to live together. The seriousness of global warming means we have to talk about what we can do about it and what we can do to preserve the world’s natural ecology.

When it comes to taking care of nature, His Holiness advised that we have to remind ourselves that we are part of nature and our lives depend on nature.

Challenged to say whether he ever gets angry, His Holiness declared that as someone who has studied Shantideva’s book ‘Entering into the Way of the Bodhisattva’ and for whom compassion is a core practice it rarely occurs.

He denied that ‘karuna’ is a source of weakness that leaves you open to being mocked and exploited by others. He reiterated that taking care of your community is the way to take care of yourself. He stated that one of the things he most appreciates about people from Tibet and the Himalayan region is their generally warm-hearted wish to help each other.

Asked how to make positive use of Artificial Intelligence His Holiness replied that no matter how sophisticated machines may be, they have a long way to go to emulate the human mind.

When invited to name someone he considers a role model today, His Holiness answered that a person he really admires is the great Indian master Nagarjuna. He lived long ago, but what he taught was how to think clearly. He was someone who took to heart the Buddha’s advice to his followers, “As the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, so, bhikshus, should you accept my words—after testing them, and not merely out of respect for me.” His Holiness remarked, “I respect all religious traditions, but the unique feature of the Buddhadharma is that it encourages us to investigate.”

The moderator, Amitabh Ranjan, Registrar IIPA, thanked His Holiness for pointing out that ‘karuna’ brings inner strength and peace of mind. TN Chaturvedi’s second son Avanindra Nath Chaturvedi then presented a memento to His Holiness. Dr RK Mishra offered the word of thanks: “We have all been privileged to listen to what His Holiness has to say about ‘karuna’. Thank you all for coming.”

China Will Interfere With Dalai Lama Succession: Tibet’s President-In-Exile

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MCLEOD GANJ, DHARAMSHALA, INDIA - MARCH 20: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama speaks during the launch of the book 'Gandhi and Health @150’ which the Dalai Lama released at Mcleod Ganj on March 20, 2019 in Dharamshala, India. The book is a collector’s item released on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is a buddhist monk who escaped into exile in 1959 after the Chinese suppression of a Tibetan uprising and since has been living as a guest of India in Mcleod Ganj near Dharamshala. (Photo by Pallava Bagla/Getty Images)

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama speaks during the launch of the book 'Gandhi and Health @150’ which the Dalai Lama released at Mcleod Ganj on...

-By NDTV

Kolkata: China is expected to interfere in the succession of the Dalai Lama, and anticipating that eventuality, the Tibetan government-in-exile has worked out a plan for a democratic transition of the leadership role by the spiritual .

In an interview to PTI, President of the Tibetan government-in-exile Penpa Tsering pointed out that a replay of the 1995 appointment of a rival Panchen Lama by the Communist government of China while a boy chosen by the Dalai Lama as the incarnate of the Lama was whisked away from the public eye, can be expected.

“What happens after the present Dalai Lama is no more, is a big challenge for the Tibetans, especially if the Sino-Tibetan conflict is not resolved,” he said on Tuesday.

“We believe China will definitely interfere with the succession process of the Dalai Lama… They have been preparing for that for the last 15 years,” he added.

Tsering, who also holds the title of Sikyong, stated that the Chinese government issued a “diktat” in 2007 on the need for it to be involved in the succession of all reincarnate Lamas.

“This was done, aiming at using religion as a political tool… (Even) though China should not have any role nor any other government,” he said.

“They (Chinese) intervened in 1995 when they chose a boy (Gyancain Norbu) as the Panchen Lama. The boy recognised by His Holiness (the Dalai Lama) as Panchen Lama (Gedhun Choeyi Nyima) was whisked away and we still have no news of whether he is alive,” he said.

Nyima has not been seen by any independent observer since May 17, 1995. While the Chinese government claims he lives a “normal” life, Tibetan exiles and human rights groups believe that he is being held at a “Chinese gulag as a prisoner of conscience”.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that the soul of a high Lama or “living Buddha” after his death may be reborn as “soul boy” and can be found through the interpretation of arcane signs.

“Communist China professes not to believe in religion, yet it wants to interfere in what is a purely a religious function,” rued Tsering, adding that the Dalai Lama in jest has said that if the “Chinese government is so interested in re-incarnation, it should study Tibetan Buddhism”.

To prepare the world and Tibetans for the day when the 14th Dalai Lama passes away, a six-point plan has been prepared. The cornerstone of the plan, Tsering said, is a democratic transition.

While the religious leadership remains with the Dalai Lama, since 2011, the political leadership of the Tibetan community has devolved on the directly elected Sikyong or president of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Till then, the temporal head of the Tibetan government-in-exile elected by the ‘Kashag’ or parliament-in-exile was ‘Kalon Tripa’ or prime minister with the Dalai Lama as the overall head. Click here to read more.

With a Prayer Before Gautama Buddha’s Statue, His Holiness the Dalai Lama Concludes Bodhgaya Engagements

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A view of the Mahabodhi Temple during His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on 19 January 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor (OHHDL)

Bodhgaya: Earlier this morning, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama paid obeisance to Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya to pray before the Buddha statue inside the temple.

Escorted by His retinues, the Tibetan spiritual leader arrived at MahaBodhi MahaVihara Temple at around 7:40 am, whereupon the Secretary and staff of Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee warmly welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness, accompanied by a group of monks, recited Tsongkhapa’s “In Praise of Dependent Origination” in front of the shrine’s holy statue and graced the devotees and followers amassed outside the temple to seek His blessing.

Following a month-long sojourn at Bodhgaya: the land of Buddha’s enlightenment, His Holiness is scheduled to depart on 20 January for His two-day engagements in Delhi. On 23 January, His Holiness will be arriving in Dharamshala.

Nangzey Dorjee, Secretary, Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee, greeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his arrival at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on 19 January 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

His Holiness the Dalai Lama waving to fellow devotees during his pilgrimage to the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on 19 January 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Dalai Lama launches CIRCA 20:23 with message of hope

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‘The Art of Hope’ by His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated in Los Angeles (Photo/CIRCA)

By Tenzin Nyidon

DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 13: Nobel laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Wednesday launched the Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Arts (CIRCA) 20:23 program “The Art of Hope” at London’s Piccadilly Circus with a message of hope and oneness of humanity. The show is to be broadcasted daily at 20:23 local time throughout January and spontaneously screened in Los Angeles, Berlin, and Melbourne, according to a press release by CIRCA. The initiative was developed in collaboration with the CIRCA 20:23 manifesto ‘The Art of Reading What Is Not Yet Written.’

In the three-minute pre-recorded video, the octogenarian leader addressed the world, “I am trying to promote the sense of oneness of seven billion human beings. This world, we have to live together.” In response to the CIRCA’s digital art platform of the 2023 manifesto, His Holiness, in an official letter, said, “We must continually consider the oneness of humanity, remembering that we all want to be happy. Along the way, we may be faced with problems, but we must not lose hope. We must keep up our determination without being impatient to achieve quick results.”

The limited-edition screen print of the animation show “The Art of Hope,” will be available to purchase on the CIRCA website until the end of December 2023. The funds generated from #CIRCAECONOMY print sales will reportedly go towards the Tibet Hope Centre and support the CIRCA public art program that creates life-changing opportunities for the wider community in the form of commissions, scholarships, donations and grants.

“We are very happy to collaborate in the promotion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message of hope in the hearts and minds of people all over the world. The proceeds generated will help the Tibet Hope Centre continue in its mission to unite the Tibetan people with those of other backgrounds,” Damdul Topden, the Director of Tibet Hope Centre said.

Throughout 2023, CIRCA will present a series of hopeful commissions across its global platform. Meanwhile, the organisation has also extended its invitation to the general public to visit CIRCA.ART throughout the year to answer the question, ‘How Do We Create Hope?’ The Artistic Director of CIRCA, Josef O’Connor said, “We are extremely grateful and honoured to launch the CIRCA 20:23 program with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In 2023, hope we will be the central mission of CIRCA. Recognising its birth. Galvanising its action. Offering hard-won hope. Whilst so many of our challenges are global and yet so much of our globe is deeply fragmented, this message of unity should give everyone reason for hope.” CIRCA also plans to publish its first book comprising an edited selection of contributions alongside a response from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Members of Nyingma Tradition Offer Long Live Prayers to His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama arriving at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India to attend Long Life Prayers offered by members of the Nyingma Tradition on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Bodhgaya  —  This morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove the short distance from his residence at the main Tibetan monastery here to Palyul Namdroling Monastery. There members of the Nyingma Tradition were to make offerings and prayers for his long life as part of their Great Prayer Festival. His Holiness beamed with joy as he walked through the temple and sat down on the throne.

Five Lamas led by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoché, including Dudjom Rinpoché, Khochhen Rinpoché, Minling Khenchen Rinpoché and Ringu Tulku, sat facing His Holiness as the Long-Life Ceremony began.

Tea and sweet rice were served.

At a certain point in the proceedings an elaborate three-dimensional mandala was wheeled out of the temple followed by another trolley supporting an array of ritual cakes and an effigy of His Holiness, which symbolized the removal of obstacles to His Holiness’s long life. Shechen Rabjam Rinpoché approached the throne to offer long life nectar and long-life pills to His Holiness.

A Senior Khenpo recited a tribute to His Holiness along with requests that he live long. He mentioned the five excellent factors — teacher, place, time, entourage and teaching — in relation to His Holiness and alluded to the qualities of members of the lineage of Dalai Lamas, of whom His Holiness is the unmistaken reincarnation, especially Gendun Gyatso and the Great Fifth Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso.

Shechen Rabjam Rinpoché offering a mandala to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Long Life Prayers offered by members of the Nyingma Tradition at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

The Khenpo requested, “Please do not pass away, stay to teach us. May the Dharma protectors help our master to live a long life. May all sentient beings purify their defilements and find true happiness.”

Next, His Holiness addressed the gathering: “Today, this Long-Life Prayer is being offered to me with unwavering faith and devotion on behalf of all Tibetans. Since circumstances are interconnected, I have been able to serve them at this critical time in Tibetan history.

“These days there is new-found interest in Buddhism across the world, even among those of different faith such as my Christian brothers and sisters. Our teachings on love and compassion are widely admired. I have been able to take part in making them more widely known. Although they adopt a different philosophical stance, our Christian friends’ work to help the poor and needy is a practical expression of love and compassion for sentient beings.

“I have long had Muslim friends too. When we were still in Lhasa, they would pay their respects to me and regularly took part in government celebrations.

“Everyone in the world is the same in not wanting suffering and wishing to find happiness. This is true of all eight billion people alive today and I have done what I could to show them how to be happy. Even scientists have shown an interest in this.

“Tibetans and people of the Himalayan region, linked by previous actions and prayers, have long paid me respect, as we say in the single verse prayer for my long life:

Kunsang Dechen, Abbot of Namdroling Monastery, reciting a tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama along with requests that he live long during Long Life Prayers at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

In the heavenly realm of Tibet, surrounded by a chain of snow mountains,
The source of all happiness and help for beings
Is Tenzin Gyatso—Chenrezig in person—
May his life be secure for hundreds of aeons!

“I’ve seen indications in my dreams that I may live to be more than 100 years old. I’m in good health, apart from some trouble in my knees, so I’ll be able to continue to support Tibet’s Dharma traditions for some time to come.

“People from all Tibet’s Buddhist traditions have gathered here today to pray that I live long and I too pray to fulfil their wishes. Indeed, what follows is the prayer I make every day:

As long as space endures,
And as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then, may I too remain
To help dispel the misery of the world.

“I also believe that truth will prevail and the issue of Tibet will become clear. It’s not independence that we seek, but genuine autonomy so we can keep our language, culture and religion alive and so our people can live in dignity. It’s to fulfil these goals that I will live as long as I can.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the congregation during the Long Life Prayers offered by members of the Nyingma Tradition at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“I work to help people achieve peace of mind by cultivating love and compassion. That inner peace is the basis for peace in the world. I try to live a good life free from anger and hatred, and I pray that the world may become demilitarized. If that goal is fulfilled the purpose of my life will have been achieved.

“Today we’ve been praying that obstacles to my living long will be overcome. I look forward to a time when we can hold another long-life prayer like this in the park in front of the Potala Palace.”

As the ceremony came to an end a thanksgiving mandala, the eight auspicious substances, seven royal emblems and eight auspicious symbols were offered to His Holiness and dedication prayers were recited.

“May all beings find peace and joy.”

As His Holiness left the temple many individuals pressed forward bowing low before him and he patted them affectionately on the back of the head.

Members of the Nyingma Tradition lined up holding offerings to present to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during Long Life Prayers at Palyul Namdroling Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 18, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor