Tibetans pray for His Holiness’ long life in Dharamsala
DHARAMSALA, Nov 4: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Nov 3 attended a long-life prayer offering (tenshug) jointly organized by four associations from Tibet’s Barkham region and Dharamsala-based Dotoe Association (Dotoe Cholka).
Thousands of Tibetans and followers of the Buddhist faith gathered at the courtyard of Tsuglagkhang, the main temple to attend the long-life prayer offering. The prayer was also attended Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, members of the Kashag, Speaker Penpa Tsering , members of the Tibetan Parliament in exile and officials of the Tibetan government in exile.
After His Holiness gave a brief teaching and a reciprocal long life Empowerment of White Tara to all the attendees, Tromthok Rinpoche, the abbot of Namgyal monastery led the long life prayer offering.
Following the prayer, His Holiness was offered a gold medal and a golden Dharma wheel as a symbol of gratitude by the representatives of the people of Barkham Sogshoe and Barkham Rongpo respectively.
Sog Shabdrung Rinpoche, the advisor of Barkham Sogshoe Tenshug Committee read out three pledges on behalf his people to not propitiate Dholgyal or Shugden as advised by His Holiness and uphold that promise, preserve and promote Tibetan culture and support ‘Middle Way’ policy to seek autonomy for Tibet as proposed by His Holiness and adopted by the Tibetan administration as the official policy.
Phuntsok Tsering, representative of the Barkham Rongpo Tenshug Committee revealed that though nobody in exile from Barkham Rongpo worships Dholgyal, there are both followers of His Holiness and worshippers of Dholgyal among people from their area in Tibet. He pledged to make efforts to convince others not to worship the deity and lessen their numbers.
In his address, His Holiness spoke on the harmful effects of propitiating Dholgyal and said that the time has come to choose between him and deity that he advises against.
“Even I worshipped Dholgyal for a while out of ignorance. But later, when I learnt that it promotes sectarianism I stopped the practice and have been advising people not to worship the deity. The time has now come to choose between Dholgyal and me. If you choose Dholgyal, I have nothing to say; it is your choice,” His Holiness said.
He spoke on the origins of the Middle Way policy and appreciated the commitment for the policy expressed by the people of Barkham Sogshoe and Rongpo. His Holiness also stated that sometimes he feels sad when some Tibetans criticize his proposed policy by saying it is not well thought over and that it has let down the Tibetan people.
Following His Holiness’ address, cultural performances were presented drawing smiles and applauses from the crowd.