By Tenzin Dharpo
His Holiness on the first day of teachings at 34th Kalachakra/Jan. 5, 2016 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, JAN. 6: The crude restrictions laid out by the Chinese government for Tibetans regarding the ongoing 34th Kalachakra in Bodh Gaya is not just limited to travel and visa restrictions, but also subject to jail terms for engaging in any activities related to the foremost Tibetan Buddhist teaching.
Official notices in circulation in Dechen County, Yunnan province, threatened jail terms of 10 days to five years for involvement in the event, according to Radio Free Asia
. The same report also mentioned that circulation of any audio or video clips of the Kalachakra are forbidden, as is gatherings or celebrations related to the Buddhist event.
“Anyone engaging in these acts will be in violation of Article 55 of China’s Public Security Law and will face severe consequences,” the notice mentioned. The Article 55 contains clauses that include vague risks to national security.
Starting November 2016, China began implementing measures such as confiscating passports and travel documents as well as threatening punitive measures against families of those who are attending the Kalachakra in India.
However, the 81 year old Tibetan leader’s assurance for blessings have come as a respite for Tibetans who have since been recalled to Tibet by the Chinese government, a Tibetan man whose relative recently returned after the directive said.
“Those of you who will not be able to stay during the Kalachakra teachings, do not be dejected as you will all be able to receive the wang (empowerment) as well as blessings. I will pray for all the Tibetans in Tibet from Bodhgaya. The physical distance between a teacher and his disciple can be overcome by the innate tie within,” the Tibetan leader said in New Delhi recently.
The Kalachakra teachings is the foremost Tibetan Buddhist event presided over by the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Till date the Tibetan leader has given 33 editions of the Kalachakra.