His Holiness the Dalai Lama, waves to well-wishers as he leaves Dharamshala on November 22, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
DHARAMSHALA, November 22: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama today left his exile hometown of Dharamshala for an extended visit to south India.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to begin his tour with a two-day visit to the Indian state of Kerala from November 24-25.
On Saturday, the Dalai Lama will be joining hundreds of spiritual leaders for the 80th annual pilgrimage season of Sivagiri Mutt at Varkala near Kollam.
Speaking to reporters earlier, Swami Rhithambharananda, General Secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust said: “His Holiness the Dalai Lama took special initiative to attend this conference as he could not accept our invitation last year. He will be attending the conference from 9 am to 11 am on the day.”
Among other dignitaries, Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Dharma Sanghom Trust president Swami Prakashananda and Kerala Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan will be participating in the event.
On day two of his Kerala visit, His Holiness will travel to the port city of Kochi and speak on "The Art of Happiness" at a function organised by Friends of Tibet to the beneficiaries of the "Wellbeing" Tibetan medical camp being held in the city for the last two years.
Friends of Tibet is also organising an exhibition of historic photographs on Tibet and artifacts, including coins and currencies from the then Independent Tibet and a radio used by the Dalai Lama.
Later in the evening, His Holiness will be the Chief Guest at the Catholicate Centenary Celebrations and the anniversary function of the Orthodox Church in Ernakulam.
From November 30 to December 13, His Holiness is scheduled to give a fourteen-day teachings on 18 Great Stages of the Path (Lam Rim) Commentaries, including Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (jangchup lamdron), Tsongkhapa’s Great, Middling, and Concise Treatises on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lamrim chenmo, lamrim dringpo and lamrim dudon), and 14 other classic Lam Rim texts at Gaden Monastery and Drepung Monastery at the request of H.E. Ling Choktrul Rinpoche and Gaden Shartse Monastery.
Live webcast of the teachings will be available in Tibetan, Chinese, English and Russian languages here