His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Monday offered his congratulations to the newly elected Khamba Lama of Gaden Thekchogling, the principal Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, Geshe Jetsun Dorji, who becomes the Mongolia’s highest-ranking Buddhist leader
The transition of the Khamba Lama role is a significant event for Mongolia, marking the strength and resilience of the country’s Buddhist spiritual leadership and offering an optimistic indication for the revival and spread of Buddhism following its suppression under communist rule from 1924–92.
In a letter to the incumbent Buddhist leader dated 6 November, the Dalai Lama underscored the great potential of the Buddhadharma to contribute to the well-being of humanity because its 2,600-year-old teachings and practices are rooted in non-violence and compassion.
“However,” His Holiness noted, “this will only occur if those of us who have the opportunity to [do so] study and practice it,” adding that it is important to bear in mind when giving Buddhist teachings the aptitudes and inclinations of those being taught. (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
His Holiness also wrote a letter to the outgoing Khamba Lama, Gabju Demberel Choijamts, who is retiring due to his advancing years. The Dalai Lama voiced his admiration for the way he had promoted the Buddha’s teachings with an emphasis on “study, reflection on what has been learned, and meditation on what has been understood.” The Dalai Lama stressed that the outgoing Khamba Lama had “lived a meaningful life and that he had been happy to count him his friend for many years.” (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
To both lamas, His Holiness expressed his best wishes and pledged to offer prayers for them both.
Buddhism is the dominant religion in Mongolia, according to census data for 2020, observed by 51.7 per cent of the nation’s estimated population of 3.2 million people. Most Mongolian Buddhists practice a form of Vajrayana Buddhism related to the Gelug and Kagyu lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Meanwhile, 40.6 per cent of Mongolians profess no religious affiliation.
Separately, the Dalai Lama also wrote to the prime minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, on 6 November, offering condolences and prayers, and pledging financial assistance in the wake of the deadly earthquake that rocked western Nepal on 3 November.
“I offer my condolences to the families of those who have lost loved ones and pray for all those affected by this tragedy,” His Holiness shared. “I understand that everything is being done by your government, as well as related agencies, to provide necessary help and support to the people affected by this calamity.
“As a token of my solidarity with the people of Nepal, I hope to be able to make a donation toward the rescue and relief efforts.” (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck western Nepal on 3 November, killing 153 people and injuring at least 375. The temblor, the deadliest to strike the country since the catastrophic quakes of 2015, was also felt in northern India, and more than 380 aftershocks have since been reported. About 35,321 houses were reported to have been affected across 12 districts of Nepal, of which 17,792 collapsed.
Nepal is situated in the Himalayan region, which is vulnerable to earthquake activity as a result of an ongoing tectonic collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates. In 2015, two major quakes killed some 9,000 people in Nepal and caused widespread devastation.
Congratulating the New Khamba Lama of Mongolia (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
Expressing Condolences to the Prime Minister of Nepal (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
Nepal earthquake: More tremors occur three days after deadly quake (Reuters)
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