Long Life Prayers
Apr 3rd, 2024 by admin

Ling Rinpoché presenting a series of offerings to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Long Life Prayer at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on April 3, 2024. Photo by Ven Tenzin Jamphel

April 3, 2024. Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India – The temperature was mild, the sun shone and whisps of cloud adorned the sky as His Holiness the Dalai Lama walked through the gate from his residence this morning. He was on his way to attend a ceremony in the Tsuglagkhang, the Main Tibetan Temple, consisting of prayers for his long life. The ritual was offered by members of the Toepa Association and the people of Purang, a region of Tibet neighbouring the Indian state of Uttarakhand and Nepal where Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar are located.

He was offered the traditionally welcoming ‘Chema Changphu’ and took a pinch of one and a taste of the other. Singers and dancers in traditional costumes sang and danced where they stood. Letting his gaze run over the crowd, His Holiness smiled and waved to them as he passed.

The ceremony, which began with the recitation of a praise to the Buddha, was presided over by Ling Rinpoché. He was joined in the front row by the two reincarnations of Trulshik Rinpoché and to his right, the Abbot of Sera-mé, the Lobpön of Namgyal Monastery and Bodong Rinpoché. To his left were the Abbot of Drepung Loseling and the Abbot of Tawang.

There followed a recitation of ‘Clouds of Ambrosial Blessings’, Trulshik Rinpoché’s invocation of the series of incarnations of Avalokiteshvara in India and Tibet, including the series of Dalai Lamas. The ritual today followed the ‘Long-Life Ceremony of White Tara of the Wish-Fulfilling Wheel’ by the Great Fifth Dalai Lama. It was the culmination of several days’ preparation during which monks, led by Ling Rinpoché, recited prayers and repeated mantras to bless the symbolic substances that would be offered. The text they followed includes repeated offerings and requests that the ‘life of our glorious, sacred Lama’ be prolonged.

As the prayers were chanted representatives of the Toepa Association and people from Purang began to line up in the yard below carrying a variety of offerings that included several hundred sacred statues.

At a certain point Ling Rinpoché came forward carrying a cloth-bound arrrow that he offered to His Holiness who accepted it. Next, a small vajra was presented to His Holiness who placed it inside his robe, close to his heart. Tied to it was five coloured thread that was distributed to the Lamas leading the prayers, each of whom held it his hand or tucked it inside his robe. This physical connection symbolized enabling the transfer of the positive energy the Lamas had collected during their recitation of longevity mantras to His Holiness. Read the rest of this entry »

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