By Yungdung Tsomo
DHARAMSALA, 11 July: His Holiness the Dalai Lama reached Leh, Ladakh this morning to a grand reception from thousands of people from across Ladakh in their traditional attire holding silk scarves in their hands lined both sides of the road from the airport leading up the Shewatsel Phodrang to greet him with khatags (ceremonial scarves) and incense.
Although the Dalai Lama was scheduled to land in Ladakh on Monday, his plane from New Delhi to Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport (3,256 m above mean sea level) in Leh got cancelled due to poor visibility.
Upon landing in Ladakh, the Dalai Lama acknowledged “Ladakhis strong faith and devotion” towards him, and added, as their devotion makes them feel happy when they see him, he too feels happy when he sees them happy, reports the dalailama.com, the official website of the Office the Dalai Lama.
“I’m happy to see you all, monastics and laypeople,” the Dalai Lama said.
The Tibetan spiritual leader then spoke about his recurring dreams and reaffirmed to live over until 110 years.
“I’ve observed indications in my dreams that I may yet live until I’m 100 or 110 years old.”
The Dalai Lama then spoke about the growing faith of Chinese people towards him and Beijing’s inconsistency in the way they regard him.
Time and again, Beijing and the Chinese leadership have called the 14th Dalai Lama a “separatist,” “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” “a devil with a human face,” and a “devil with horns” among others in the past.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to give three days of teaching over 21 -23 July at Shewatsel teaching ground near Choglamsar at the request of the Ladakh Buddhist Association and the Ladakh Gonpa Association.
On the mornings of 21-22 July, the Dalai Lama will confer teachings on Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo’s 37 Practices of a Boddhisattva (laklen sodunma) while on 23 July he will confer the Avalokiteshvara Initiation (chenresig wang) and attend a long life prayer offered by the Ladakh Buddhist Association and the Ladakh Gonpa.
The octogenarian Tibetan leader said that he plans to stay in Ladakh for more than three weeks if the weather permits.
The Tibetan Nobel Laureates’ last visit to Ladakh was in July 2022 after a hiatus of four years- his first outside Dharamshala post-Covid-19 outbreak.