Dharamsala, HP, India, March 4, 2015 – On a bright but chilly morning today, the fresh snow on the mountains brilliant against the blue sky, a complex Long Life Prayer in connection with Amitayus, the Buddha of Longevity, was offered to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Monks from Gongkar Chödey Monastery, large drums strapped to their backs, performed a ritual Cham dance to welcome him as he walked through the gate to his residence. Five bodies came together to make the arrangements: the Belgian Tibetan Association, the Tibet United Committee, Representatives of the Lhasa District Long-Life Ceremony Committee, the Lhoka People’s Association and the Dharamsala Tibetan Business Association.
Prayers included an invocation of Guru Padmasambhava, the Praise to the Seventeen Nalanda Masters, and a Praise to the Lineage of Dalai Lamas. The Amitayus ritual was performed by monks of Mindrolling and Dorje Drak Monasteries presided over by Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, who is currently Supreme Head of the Nyingma tradition. The effusive prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s long life composed by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodro and the Long-Life Prayer composed by His Holiness’s tutors Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche were also recited.
Speaking to the congregation at the end, His Holiness thanked members of the five participating groups for their unwavering dedication. He noted that monks of Dorje Drak and Mindrolling Monasteries had come together to perform the rituals on this occasion. He thanked them, recalling the special relationship Pema Trinley of Dorje Drak and Terdag Lingpa of Mindrolling had had with the Fifth Dalai Lama. He also gratefully acknowledged Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche’s participation.
“I’d like to thank all of you who have participated in this offering,” His Holiness said. “The essence of this prayer is the strong spiritual bond between Lama and disciple. The main thing to keep in mind is what the Lama has taught and to put it into practice.
Buddhas do not wash unwholesome deeds away with water,
Nor do they remove the sufferings of beings with their hands,
Neither do they transplant their own realization into others.
Teaching the truth of suchness they liberate (beings).
“If the Lama suggests something unreasonable you are free to dispute it with him, but if you find what he says reasonable, you should put it into effect.”
His Holiness mentioned that Tibetans are known around the world for their warm-heartedness, adding that a person’s own good practice is actually the best offering. He cautioned against complacency, stressing that if Tibetans are dedicated, practical and sincere in what they do, there will be no room to doubt whether they have contributed to the Tibetan cause and no cause for regret when they come to die. He concluded with “Tashi Delek and thank you” as those assembled chanted the Words of Truth, which ends:
In short, may all the vast prayers of aspiration
The lord Avalokiteshvara made for the land of Tibet
In the presence of the Buddhas and their bodhisattva heirs,
Swiftly come to positive fruition here and now!