Former member of staff offered a long life prayer to His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai lama of Tibet on June 11, 2024, Tsuglagkhang, Dharamshala. (Photo: TPI/Yangchen Dolma)

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Dharamshala — Former staff of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Members of Mentseekhang and former staff of Bodyguards for His Holiness the Dalai Lama offered a long life prayer to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at the main Tibetan temple (Tsuglagkhang) in Dharamshala, HP, India on June 11, 2024. Thousands of Tibetans, Buddhist devotees and others joined in the long life prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Sikyong Penpa Tsering of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Jigmé Jungné—representing former members of staff of the CTA —Thubten Tsering—representing past and present staff of the Men-Tsee-Khang (the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute) and Lhakpa Tsering—representing the Association of Former Bodyguards—stepped forward to welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama and offer him a ‘kata’ (a white silk scarf) while he drives into the courtyard of the Tibetan Main Temple, Dharamshala, HP, India. The long life prayer was attended by around 7,000 people, including 1,900 participants from the three patron groups. The temple was elaborately decorated.

After the arrival of His Holiness on the throne of the temple, the prayer ceremony was presided over by Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, seated opposite His Holiness the Dalai Lama. On his right, Thamthog Rinpoche, abbot of Namgyal monastery, Lobsang Dhargyey, current Lobpön of Namgyal monastery, and the former Lobpön. On his left, Ösel Dorje Rinpoche and three Geshés from Namgyal monastery.

After the chanting of a prayer for His Holiness’s long life by his two Tutors and another by Jamyang Khyentsé Chökyi Lodrö, His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the congregation.

His Holiness said, "Today, my Dharma friends have made this Long-Life Offering to me. I have dreamt of Palden Lhamo sitting on my shoulders and telling me that I would live to be a hundred years old or more. We Tibetans are in a difficult situation. I was born in far-off Do-Mé, but I have become quite well-known and loved by all Tibetans. I have done service to support the transmission of the Buddha’s teachings in terms of both scripture and realization. And I will live more than 100, so you can feel at ease about that."

"While we are alive, as practitioners of the Buddhadharma, if we can cultivate the awakening mind of bodhichitta, the altruistic aspiration for enlightenment, and an understanding of emptiness, we will be making our lives worthwhile. As you know, I reflect on the awakening mind and emptiness every day. This is the best way to fulfil our goals. This is what will please Palden Lhamo. Cultivating these two principles as an offering of practice is the best offering we can make to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas," the Spiritual leader of Tibet said.

"Today, in Tibet, China and other parts of the world, increasing numbers of people are paying attention to these two principles. Therefore, I urge you too to think about them every day. You have gathered here sincerely to offer this ceremony to me, but cultivating these two principles is the way to please me and the Buddhas," His Holiness urged.

His Holiness concluded his talk by saying, "This Long-Life Offering has been made by three groups: former members of staff of the CTA, past and present staff of the Men-Tsee-Khang and the Association of Former Bodyguards—I thank you all."