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34th Kalachakra begins, over a hundred thousand pilgrims in attendance
[Monday, January 02, 2017 18:18]
By Tenzin Dharpo

Jan. 2, 2016 Phayul Photo
Jan. 2, 2016 Phayul Photo
GAYA/DHARAMSHALA, DEC.2: The foremost Buddhist teaching, the Kalachakra (Dhuekhor Wangchen /Wheel of Time) began early this morning at Bodh Gaya, Bihar, presided over by the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The 34th edition of the teaching is organised and sponsored by the Tibetan exile government, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration led by the Tibetan prime minister Lobsang Sangay.

Over a hundred thousand pilgrims of various nationalities braving transport delays and the ongoing affects of demonetisation drive in India, attend the teachings with more on the way to attend the 12 day Buddhist event.

Early this morning, the octogenarian Tibetan leader mentioned that after the first Kalachakra teachings in exile, at Dharamshala, he had a dream that indicated that more Kalachakra might take place in exile. Subsequently, speaking at the 34th edition, the Dalai Lama said smiling, “I do not have to expound what an auspicious moment today is. Millions of people have attended and received empowerments over the years, but how many of those have resolutely upheld the vows and dictums attached to the teaching.”

Beginning today the Dalai Lama, along with the monks of Namgyal Monastery and senior lamas, will conduct rituals to consecrate the venue. These include characteristic Buddhist prayers, making the intricate sand mandala and other rituals. From January 5 to 8, His Holiness will give four days of preliminary teachings on Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (chodjug) and Kamalashila's The Middling Stages of Meditation (gomrim barpa).

On January 9, the Kalachakra Ritual Dance (cham) will be performed by the monks of Namgyal Monastery. His Holiness will confer the Kalachakra Initiation from January 10 to 13. On January 14, a long life empowerment (tsewang) and a ceremony offering prayers for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama will take place.

The 14th Dalai Lama has given 33 Kalachakra initiations so far since 1954, the year he gave it the first time at Norbulingka, Tibet. The last one was held in Ladakh in 2014.

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