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His Holiness Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday by Stéphanie

Happy birthday Dalaï-Lama

20 June 2015

His Holiness  Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday.  This year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s  80th birthday falls on June 21st – the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, according to the Tibetan calendar. To mark the occasion, a special long-life prayer (Gyaton Tenshug) will be offered to His Holiness here in Dharamshala, India, by Tibetans living in exile, representing their brothers and sisters back home in Tibet. According to Tibetan tradition, birthdays are only observed for children reaching one year in age and adults reaching 80. Both are marked by a simple family and village celebration, whilst the 80-year-adult is presented with a white chupa (traditional Tibetan dress). His Holiness himself is 80 years old this year and his birthday will be celebrated in Tibet despite the Chinese government’s ban on expressions of joy at his leadership. In Dharamsala, the Gyaton Tenshug will be offered at the Tsuklag Khang (Dalai Lama temple), attended by local Tibetans and Indians from all walks of life, as well as visiting foreigners and special guests from around the world. The event marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of a simple monk who has striven to make the world a better place. His Holiness has dedicated his life to the promotion of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline and religious harmony, and has also worked tirelessly to preserve the Tibetan Buddhist culture of peace and non-violence. Omalaya wishes the Dalai Lama a long life and thanks him for his contribution of peace, love and compassion to the world. A live, four-hour satellite TV broadcast of the Gyaton Tenshug offering and proceeding ceremonies will begin on June 21st at 7.30am Indian Standard Time.

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The Tsuglakhang temple in Dharamshala by Stéphanie

30 April 2015

Through this write-up, we aim to provide you with the significant facets of the temple: Buddha Sakyamuni Positioned at the centre of the temple, the idol of Buddha Sakyamuni represents the sage Gautama Buddha. He is the most important figure in religion and his discourses, principles and life accounts formed the bedrock on which the religion was built and followed by people. Made of gilded bronze, the statue of Buddha is about nine feet high and is seated atop a bronze lotus structure. Guru Padma Sambhava The idol of Guru Padma Sambhava is placed to the right of Buddha Sakyamuni. Padma Sambhava, also known popularly as Guru Rinpoche, is a Buddhist guru who is said to have overcome the forces of evil in Tibet and planted the seeds for the growth of Buddhist dharma and philosophies in that region. The idol is placed in such a way that the guru is seen facing Tibet. At twelve feet tall, the structure is even taller than the main Buddha Sakyamuni idol and it is also made of gilded bronze. Avalokiteshvara Avalokiteshvara is an enlightened being who is a symbol of compassion and love. The facial image of the deity is a picture of calmness and serenity, unlike the courage and vigour exuded by that of Padma Sambhava. The sculptors ensured that this idol reflected the Tibetan image of Avalokiteshvara. The deity has eleven faces, a thousand arms and an equal number of eyes. It is indeed noteworthy that the architects managed to fit in such intricate detail into a thirteen feet tall structure. Prayer wheels The walls of the temple contain metallic prayer wheels and each wheel is inscribed with Buddhist prayer mantras. It is believed that if a person rotates the wheels, then he/she would be bestowed with the power of the mantras carved on the wheels. On a crowded day, one can see the wheels spinning ceaselessly as devotee after devotee awaits his/her turn to spin the wheel. Kora Devotees usually undertake the customary Kora – a sacred walk in the clockwise around the Tsuglakhang temple complex. The walk begins to the left of the temple entrance and continues along a circuitous path around the temple complex. The narrow path passes through the woods around the temple and it takes usually 20-30 minutes to complete one round. The route is adorned with player flags and prayer wheels that symbolise the […]

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