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Sakya Lamas offer long life prayer to the Dalai Lama

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The heads of the Sakya tradition of Buddhism during the long life prayer ceremony for H.H. the Dalai Lama at Dharamshala on Wednesday (OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, May 25: The religious leaders from the Sakya tradition of Buddhism offered a long life prayer to the foremost Buddhist leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Wednesday at the Tsuglagkhang temple in Dharamshala. The heads of the two Sakya palaces, Dolma phodrang and Phuntsok phodrang, and Sakya Dagtri Rinpoche, the former head of the lineage and the father to both the successive hierarchs led the proceedings.

“Thank you for this long life offering. If I don’t live long, there’s a chance [that] the Tibetan people’s wishes and aspirations will not be fulfilled. For this reason I pray that I will live to be more than a hundred and I ask you to make the same prayer,” His Holiness told the dignitaries in a brief interaction at the end of the ceremony. The grand prayer for the long life of the 86-year-old exiled leader was attended by heads of Tibetan government-in-exile, including President Penpa Tsering, Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, three cabinet members of the 16th Kashag, and several parliamentarians.

H.H. the Dalai Lama wearing the traditional hat of the Sakya sect of Buddhism at Tsuglagkhang temple in Dharamshala (OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor)

“Tibet is our land and Sakya is a place characterized by the grey earth of the Ponpori Hills. We Tibetans are upholders of Buddhist traditions including the Vajrayana. You also preserve teachings of both Sutra and Tantra. I request you to keep these traditions alive,” the Dalai Lama further urged the Sakya practitioners, invoking the age-old traditions of Tibet. The newly enthroned Sakya Trizin Gyana Vajra rinpoche, Ratna Vajra rinpoche, Avikrita Vajra Rinpoché among other high lamas also took part in the ceremony requesting the foremost Buddhist leader to live long.

“I’ve received the Hévajra and Lam-dré—Path and Result—teachings from Chopgyé Trichen Rinpoché. Each Tibetan Buddhist tradition has its own unique teaching and these are the teachings unique to the Sakyas. I do the Hévajra practice every day, so I may be counted as among the line of Sakya practitioners,” he further remarked.

The ceremony at Tsuglagkhang temple on Wednesday is the third engagement with the masses by the Dalai Lama since his self-imposed break from public engagement due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Frome June 1-2, the Nobel laureate is set to give a two-day teaching on Tsongkhapa’s ‘In Praise of Dependent Origination(tendrel toepa)’ for the Tibetan Youth at the main temple in McLeod Ganj. 

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