During a long-life prayer offering for the Dalai Lama in northern India on Friday, His Holiness expressed confidence that he will live to see his 110th year. The offering ceremony held on 17 May at the Tsuglagkhang temple complex in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama’s official residence, was attended by an estimated 7,500 Tibetans and Buddhist followers, including the heads of all the majors schools of Tibetan Buddhism and other spiritual traditions.
Among the senior lamas in attendance were Menri Lopon Trinley Nyima Rinpoche, head of the Bon tradition; Ringu Tulku from the Nyingma school; Tai Situ Rinpoche from Kagyu school; Sakya Trizin Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, head of the Sakya tradition; and Jangtse Choeje Gosok Rinpoche, Ganden Tripa Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche, and Kyabje Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche from the Gelug school. Also attending in trance state were the Nechung Oracle (the state oracle of Tibet), Nyenchen Thangla, Dorje Yamakyong, and Kharak Khyung Tsun.
The Dalai Lama, who will be 84 in July, commented that he had fully recovered from a chest infection in April, for which he spent several days in a New Delhi hospital.* “I am thankful for all the prayers the people said, including those in China,” he added. (Tibet Sun)
“The First Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, who lived to be 84, had no wish to be born in a pure land. Since I have the opportunity to benefit beings, it will be good if I’m able to live longer. I make prayers to him for his blessing that I may live another 10–15 years,” His Holiness said. “Once I had a dream that I was swimming, even though I can’t swim, and Palden Lhamo was riding on my back. She remarked, ‘There’s no doubt you’ll live until you’re 110 years old.’ Other people too have dreamt that I may live till I’m 113. As I told people in Ladakh, what would you prefer, that you keep asking me to come here and there, or that I live long? People and deities have made this long-life offering. I’m sure it will have a positive effect and I hope I will live to 110.” (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
The elaborate offering ceremony featured rituals, prayers, chants, and songs conducted by monks from Namgyal, Gyuto, and Kirti monasteries, beginning with a prayer invoking the former incarnations of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, in India and Tibet, composed by the late Trulshik Rinpoche.
Noting that he has dedicated his life to the service of others, in particular the welfare of the Tibetan people, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate observed: “I feel that I have contributed something for the wellbeing of people around the world, and in particular to the Tibetan people and their cause, over the last 60 years.” (Tibet Sun)
At a time when there is so much violence in the world, with people suffering and being killed in the name of religion, the Dalai Lama emphasized the urgent need for religious harmony, as well as the necessity to look beyond religion and to prioritize the practice of love and compassion for peace.
“As far as bodhicitta is concerned, I found my mind was transformed as a result of hearing Khunu Lama Rinpoche’s explanation of Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life in 1967,” His Holiness said. “I’ve gained some experience of the view of emptiness and the extensive path of bodhicitta and I’ve shared it with others because I’ve seen them to be beneficial. I continue to generate bodhicitta on a daily basis and reflect on what Shantideva wrote:
Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world,
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.
If I do not actually exchange my happiness
For the sufferings of others,
Not only shall I not attain the state of a Buddha
Even in cyclic existence I shall have no joy.
As long as space endures,
As long as sentient beings remain,
Until then, may I too remain
And dispel the miseries of the world. (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
Born in 1935 and now aged 83, the incumbent Dalai Lama was identified as the reincarnation of his predecessor when he was just two years old. The next Dalai Lama would be the 15th incarnation over a continuous period of about 500 years.
* Dalai Lama Feeling “Almost Normal” After Being Discharged from Hospital (Buddhistdoor Global)
Offering of a Long-Life Ceremony to His Holiness the Dalai Lama (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
His Holiness reiterates confidence to live past 110 years (Phayul.com)
People and deities of Tibet offer long-life prayer to Dalai Lama (Tibet Sun)