Dalai Lama Gives Blessing as Thai Monks March for World Peace in Northern India
A group of 40 Theravada monks from Thailand assembled before His Holiness the Dalai Lama at his official residence in Dharamsala last Friday to receive his blessing on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, the birth anniversary of the historical Buddha, before heading out on a march for world peace that will eventually take the monks to the town of Leh in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The monks say the march, organized by the Dharamsala-based Thai-Dharamshala Charity Society, is aimed at promoting love, kindness, and compassion in the world. “We are having this yatra [“pilgrimage”] for the world peace and to share with the world about peace of mind and soul as per the teachings of our teacher, the Lord Buddha,” said one of the monks. (Phayul.com)
At a prayer session held before the monks began their peace march, the Dalai Lama said that although they followed the same teacher and studied the same teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Thirty-seven Bodhisattva Practices, he viewed Theravada monks from Thailand as “senior citizens of Buddhism.” (Phayul.com)
Hatyai Pharyatha Suthi, who is leading the monks on their pilgrimage, said, “We feel great and pleased to have met with His Holiness and [he] was very kind to all of us. I feel [the] Dalai Lama is the revealer of the holy truth taught by Buddha.” (Phayul.com)
After seeing off the monks, the Dalai Lama held a prayer for Saga Dawa (also known as the “month of merits” in Tibetan Buddhism, it commemorates the birth, nirvana, and parinirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha) at the Tsuglagkhang temple complex, in a ceremony organized by Namgyal Monastery.
Dharamsala is situated at the edge of the Himalayas in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. As well as the official residence of the Dalai lama, the hillside city is home to the Tibetan Central Administration, also known as the Tibetan government-in-exile, and the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, founded by His Holiness in 1970, which houses tens of thousands of valuable manuscripts and other works and artifacts relocated from Tibet in 1959.