By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 17 May 2019
With ceremonies, chants, and songs, the people and deities of Tibet prayed to the Dalai Lama that he would live a long life. The Dalai Lama in turn expressed the possibility that he will live for more than 110 years.
An elaborate event was held at Tsuglakhang in the capital of the Tibetan Diaspora McLeod Ganj, attended by Tibetan religious and political leaders, deities, and the public.
Present were some of the top lamas including Head of the Sakya tradition, Sakya Trizin Ratna Vajra Rinpoche; Ganden Tripa Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin; Jangtse Choeje; Head of Bon tradition, Menri Lopon Trinley Nyima; Sharpa Choeje; Tai Situ Rinpoche from Kagyu sect; and Ringu Tulku from Nyingma sect.
Also in attendance were President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Lobsang Sangay, the Chief Justice of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Sangay’s cabinet colleagues, other Tibetan dignitaries, and a public of several thousand.
The deities, who all came in trance, were the Nechung Oracle, Nyenchen Thangla, Dorje Yamakyong, and Kharak Khyung Tsun.
The event had been recommended to be held by Nechung, the State Oracle of Tibet, during his New Year trance appearance in February, saying that the event would reaffirm Tibetan unity and devotion to the Dalai Lama.
Soon to be 84 in July, the Dalai Lama said that his health has fully recovered after a recent chest infection for which he was hospitalised in Delhi for a few days. “I am thankful for all the prayers the people said, including those in China.”
He said that there are prophecies that he will live to the ripe age of 113 years. “I had an extraordinary dream in which the protector deity Palden Lhamo was sitting on my back while I was swimming, although actually I don’t know how to swim. She proclaimed that, no doubt, I will live for more than 110 years.”
“I am healthy now, and you all are praying for my long life. I feel certain that I will live for 110 years,” to which the audience responded with thunderous applause.
The Dalai Lama said that he has dedicated his life for the service of others, especially the Tibetan people. “I feel that I have contributed something for the well-being of people around the world, and in particular to the Tibetan people and their cause, over the last 60 years.”
Putting emphasis on the promotion of religious harmony which he advocates, he said that there is so much violence in the world today. People are being killed in the name of religion. He said there’s a need to look beyond religion, and practice love and compassion for peace in the world.