By Tenzin Dharpo
The Dalai Lama seen overseeing the teachings at Kalachakra ground in Bodhgaya, Bihar on January 2, 2019. Photo-Tenzin Choejor_OHHDL
, Jan. 1: The foremost Buddhist figure and Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Thursday began the first teaching of the new decade at Bodhgaya, considered to be the most sacred site by Buddhists.
The Dalai Lama began teachings on Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo's Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva (laklen sodunma). Addressing the mass gathered at the Kalachakra ground, he said that all beings have a common longing to be happy and avoid suffering and that unlike animals, human beings have the gift to study and imbibe the teachings of the Buddha to achieve lasting peace and happiness.
According to the organisers, over 25,000 people have attended the teachings from 67 countries, primarily from China and Taiwan. Number of pilgrims from occupied Tibet have fallen drastically, according to credible sources, with restriction at border and punitive measures for those who attend, seen as key causes.
The teaching will go on for another four days until January 6. On January 3, His Holiness will confer the Avalokiteshvera Initiation (chenresig wang)
. On January 4, 5 & 6 His Holiness will complete The Wheel of Teachings on Manjushri Empowerments (jamyang Choekhor
) based on its proximal lineage that he began in Bodhgaya in December 2018, his office announced.