Dharamshala – Central Tibetan Administration, on behalf of all Tibetans inside and outside Tibet, offered a long life prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. "I am physically well and I will continue to do all I can to preserve the Dharma in the Himalayan regions. The purpose of Buddhism is to be of benefit to others. I pray that relying on this very body I may continue to bring about others’ welfare," His Holiness the Dalai Lama said.
The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) organised a ceremony of prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s long life, on behalf of all Tibetans inside and outside Tibet, at the Main Tibetan Temple, Mcleod, Dharamshala, HP, India, on March 15, 2023.
When His Holiness the Dalai Lama took his seat on the throne and Ganden Tri Rinpoche came forward to greet him, then sat down again in the centre of a line of Lamas who represented religious traditions of Tibet. To the left of Tri Rinpoché, who is the leader of the Geluk Tradition, representing the Sakya Tradition, was Chopgyé Trichen Rinpoché; representing the Nyingma Tradition, Ringu Tulku and Khenchen Nyima Gyaltsen; to Tri Rinpoché’s right, representing the Bönpo Tradition, was Menri Trizin Rinpoché; representing the Drukpa Kagyu, Khenpo Ngédön Rinpoché; and representing the Jonang Tradition, Jonang Gyaltsab Rinpoché.
In conjunction with an elaborate mandala offering, the Ganden Tri Rinpoché stepped forward and, flanked by Sikyong Penpa Tsering of CTA, and Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, began to read an appreciation of His Holiness’s deeds and a supplication to him to live long:
"We, the Central Tibetan Administration—on behalf the Tibetans inside and outside Tibet, and the Protective Deities of Tibet—bow at your feet and briefly request Your Holiness, to live long. We also renew our rock-solid pledge to you.
"Avalokiteshvara is the special deity of Tibetan people. As you promised in the past, "May I be like a parent to the beings of the Snow Land", you manifested as the ‘Three Ancestral Kings'—Songtsen Gampo, Trisong Detsen and Tri Ralpachen—and then the series of Dalai Lamas.
"You were born in the Tsongkha Dekham region of Amdo and grew up in Tibet at a time of great turmoil, but still you diligently pursued your education becoming a top-ranking scholar, a holder of the Geshé Lharampa Degree. At the age of 16, you took up temporal and spiritual responsibility for Tibet. You introduced reforms.
"When we came into exile, we knew no one, but under your guidance we built settlements, monasteries, nunneries and schools.
"You introduced the idea of democracy to our exile community, made changes to the way it was fulfilled as necessary, and finally, by devolving your responsibilities to the elected leadership, actually implemented a fully functioning democracy.
"You have explained the value of love and compassion in creating a peaceful, more compassionate world. You have promoted inter-religious harmony. You have encouraged the preservation and promotion of Tibetan religion and culture as well as the protection of Tibet's natural environment. You have revealed that the Tibetan Buddhist tradition is like a treasure for the world, and you have supported the revival of ancient India wisdom. These are your principal commitments.
"You have participated in the many Mind & Life Conferences that have provided opportunities for modern scientists and Buddhist scholars and practitioners to learn from each other. You have overseen the SEE Learning programme that demonstrates how such basic human values as compassion and warm-heartedness can be combined with a modern education.
"You are unanimously honoured and respected as the protector, refuge and guardian of all the people of Tibet, China, and Mongolia
"We offer you the seven royal emblems that represent the vast ocean of Buddhafields; we offer representations of the body, speech and mind of the buddhas, along with the eight auspicious symbols and the eight auspicious substances. We also wish to make an offering of practice.
"We strongly pray to Your Holiness not to waiver from your pledge to live to more than 125 years of age."
Then His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the gathering and said, “I don’t have much to say today. Not only are beings with form here, but the formless beings of Tibet have joined us in this Long-life Ceremony."
“Tibet has gone through great difficulties, yet we have sought to preserve our Buddhist culture and traditions for the wider benefit of the people of China, Mongolia and Tibet. At the same time interest has grown in the West and scientists have been eager to learn about the inner workings of the mind and emotions. In taking part in this I feel I have achieved some benefit for the doctrine. I intend to continue to do what I can in the coming decades," His Holiness added.
“Today, the people and protectors of Tibet, such as Nechung, have offered this Long-life Ceremony on my behalf. I am physically well and I will continue to do all I can to preserve the Dharma in the Himalayan regions. The purpose of Buddhism is to be of benefit to others. I pray that relying on this very body I may continue to bring about others’ welfare. Please join me in making similar aspirations,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama concluded.