DHARAMSALA, Feb, 19: On the occasion of the Chodul Monlam Chenmo also known as The Great Prayer Festival, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a teaching on the Jataka Tales, Tsongkhapa’s In Praise of Dependent Origination and Geshe Langri Thangpa’s Eight Verses of Training of Mind today at Tsug-lag-Khang, the main temple in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala.
The Dalai Lama began by greeting the devotees on the occasion and said, during the Chodul Monlam Chenmo, Buddha Shakya muni competed against other religious masters in India and later, the great prayer festival was established in Tibet by Je Tsongkhapa.
The Tibetan spiritual leader further said that there came a period when the prayer festival was unable to be observed, but during the time of Gyalwa Gendun Drupa (the first Dalai Lama), it was revived.
The observation of the prayer festival was soiled again for a few years after the Dalai Lama and Tibetans had to fled into exile but Panchen Rinpochey took it upon himself to revive the observation of the festival and later in exile it was held regularly irrespective of the festival’s grandness, the Dalai Lama said in his introductory remarks before presiding over the teaching.
Coming into exile was like a blessing in disguise. We could feel proud of this Nalanda Buddhist tradition that we follow, In the past, we remained isolated, whereas since coming into exile, we have had the opportunity to share this rich cultural tradition; the Nalanda tradition with the rest of the world, which is based on reasoning. Hence coming into exile was like a blessing in disguise, the Tibetan Nobel laureate added.
His Holiness then began his discourse on Jataka Tales, an annual event held on Choetrul Monlam Chenmo, the fifteenth day of the Tibetan lunar year.
In his concluding remarks, the Dalai Lama praised the undeterred and steadfast spirit of Tibetans inside Tibet and the dedicated efforts of those in exile, which he said ensured that the Tibet issue is not forgotten.
“We are proud to have preserved our culture in exile, the people in the Central Tibetan Administration from past and present have done their best,” His Holiness said and added that that’s why we stand out among other exile community.
The Dalai Lama reserved special praise to the people who have served the Tibetan administration in the past including Kunling Woeser Gyaltsen, Wangdue Dorjee and Jheshong Tsewang Tamdin and the present Kalon(ministers) and the Parliament of the CTA.
“The just cause of Tibet will soon prevail,” the Dalai Lama added.
Monlam Chenmo was established in 1409 by Tsongkhapa, the great philosopher and founder of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.
Tsong Khapa at that time is understood to have invited all the people of Tibet to the two-week-long festival of prayer, auspicious rituals, teachings, and celebrations, from the first new moon until the first full moon of the Lunar calendar.