India

Dalai Lama turns 85; “recite prayers to celebrate my birthday,” says Buddhist spiritual leader

New Delhi: Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Monday turned 85. On the occasion of his birthday, the spiritual leader in a video message urged his followers to recite prayers to celebrate owing to the restrictions due to coronavirus lockdown.

In the video message he says, “And it is not necessary either. However, if you want to celebrate my birthday, I would like to ask you to recite the Mani mantra (Om Mani Padme Hung), at least a thousand times. The reason for my asking this is that we Tibetans have a unique connection with Avalokiteshvara.”

“After we came into exile in India, and after I settled here in Dharamsala, the statue of Chenrezig Wati Sangpo was brought to me here from western Tibet,” the spiritual leader said.

“However, on this day, remember Avalokiteshvara and recall that he is the one on whom I Gyalwa Rinpoche, rely, and in whom I seek refuge. In terms of pure vision, Avalokiteshvara is someone who I have been connected with over successive lifetimes. Therefore, on my birthday, either visualize me, Gyalwa Rinpoche, as inseparable from Avalokiteshvara, or visualize Avalokiteshvara as the principal deity and me as a monk sitting in front of him,” he also said.

“If you then recite his mantra (Om Mani Padme Hung) a thousand times, it will be beneficial. With that practice you will create some roots of virtue that you can dedicate for me — Avalokiteshvara`s messenger — to live for 108 or 110 years or so. May everyone be happy and well,” the Nobel Peace laureate added.

On this day, “Special prayer sessions were held for the long life of His Holiness in which only the monks participated,” news agency IANS quoted a Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) spokesperson.

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