Recite ‘mani mantra’ at least 1,000 times: Dalai Lama on 85th birthday
Prayers marked the Dalai Lama’s 85th birthday, which was celebrated in Dharamshala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, on Monday.
In his message to the Buddhist community from his home in McLeodganj, the Tibetan spiritual leader asked people to recite the “om mani padme hum” mantra at least a thousand times.
With this practice, you will create some roots of virtue that you can dedicate to me — Avalakiteshvara’s messenger — to live for 110 or 108 years or so, the Dalai Lama said.
The mantra ‘om mani padme hum’, encapsulates Buddhist teachings and indicates that we can all transform ourselves to be more like Buddha.
The spiritual leader said, “We Tibetans have a unique connection with the Avalokiteshvara (a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas),” he said.
“As I often say, Avalokiteshvara is my boss and I am his messenger. So if you wish to celebrate my birthday, remember Avalokiteshvara and recall that he is the one on whom I, Gyalwa Rinpoche, rely, and in whom I seek refuge. In terms of pure vision, Avalokiteshvara is someone who I have been connected with over successive lifetimes.”
He said, “ On my birthday, either visualise me, Gyalwa Rinpoche as inseparable from Avalokiteshvara or visualise Avalokiteshvara as the principal deity and me as a monk sitting in front of him.”
This year, the celebrations remained a low-key affair due to restrictions imposed by the government in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Prayers marked the occasion at the community’s main temple in McLeodganj.
The Tibetan spiritual leader too said it was not possible to hold a large celebration due to the pandemic.
“And it’s not necessary either,” he said, asking his followers to recite the mantra if they wished to celebrate the occasion.
DALAI LAMA MOST REVERED LEADER OF TIBET: KASHAG
Kashag (Tibetan cabinet) and the Tibetan people, those inside Tibet and those in exile also wished the 14th Dalai Lama on his birthday and issued a statement in say that the Dalai Lama was the most revered leader of Tibet, the world’s leading spokesman for peace, an epitome of Buddha’s wisdom and unconditional compassion.
“The Dalai Lama often describes himself as an ‘ordinary monk.’ For Tibetans, His Holiness is the glorious sun. He is a rare and unequaled leader who has been shouldering a nation and its people from the time he was sixteen years old. His Holiness is the peerless teacher who has been guiding Tibetans through every hardship, both personal and national,” the Kashag said.
GLOBAL LEADERS WISH THE DALAI LAMA
The Dalai Lama’s office in Dharamshala said the spiritual leader received birthday greetings through the internet or social media from across the world, including former US president George Bush.
“Laura (former first lady) and I send our very best wishes on your 85th birthday. I admire you, I care for you and I love you,” Bush said. Indian Union minister Kiren Rijiju too wished him on his birthday.
BJP leader Ram Madhav wishing the Tibetan spiritual leader said he is ‘a great guru and master for mankind’.
Governor Bandaru Dattatreya and chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur also extended warm greetings to the Dalai Lama on his birthday.
Arya, spokesperson of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said grand celebrations were planned for celebrating the spiritual leader’s birthday but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the celebrations had to be downsized.
“TIBETAN PARLIAMENT IN-EXILE CRITICISES CHINA FOR GALWAN CONFLICT
Karma Yeshi, finance minister of Tibetan government-in-exile, wished the leader a “happy birthday and a very long life” and said that China must use the message of Dalai Lama as a tool to resolve the Tibet border issue.
“I think His Holiness is the key on the issue of Tibet so China must use his voice and wisdom to resolve the issue,” he said.
The statement said the People’s Liberation Army of the communist-ruled China continued to make “attempts to encroach into India from all across its border areas”.
“And recently, a dispute in Galwan Valley in Ladakh led to a clash between the troops from the two sides with the result that 20 Indian soldiers died and several others were injured. The Tibetan parliament-in-exile wishes to express our condolences to India for the tragedy which resulted from that unfortunate incident,” the statement said.
(With agency inputs)