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“I will live until the age of over 110,” Dalai Lama at long life prayer ceremony

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His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama during long life offering ceremony at the Main Temple on June 11, 2024 (Photo/OHHDL)

By Tenzin Nyidon 

DHARAMSHALA, June 11: The former staff of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute (Men-Tsee-Khang), and the Association of Former Security Personnel of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (ex-Kusungs) on Tuesday offered long life prayer (Tenshug) to the foremost Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Thekchen Choeling Tsuglagkhang temple in Dharamshala. The event was also attended by the executive head of the CTA Sikyong Penpa Tsering, members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, and officials of the Tibetan government in exile. 

Guided and overseen by Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche, an offering of Mandala was presented to the foremost Buddhist leader, imploring him to live long. The ceremony garnered participation from esteemed Lamas representing different schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Tenshug, or Long Life Prayer, is a profound Buddhist ritual that embodies the practice of beseeching and extending heartfelt wishes for the sustained well-being of one’s spiritual guide or the embodiment of enlightenment, ensuring their continued guidance and inspiration for all sentient beings. 

During the ceremony, the octogenarian leader expressed gratitude to the organisers for the Tenshug. He reassured the gathered devotees of his longevity, stating, “In my dreams, I felt that I will live at least until the age of over 110.” This declaration was met with enthusiastic applause and joy from the audience.

Jigmey Jungney, a former CTA staff member and one of the organisers of the Tenshug, recalled their previous tenshug offering in 2019 and their discussions about doing so again when the Dalai Lama turned 90. According to the Tibetan Lunar calendar, the Dalai Lama reached the milestone of turning 90 years old on Tuesday. “Our primary purpose in offering this Tenshug is to demonstrate our dedication to the CTA during our time as staff and to implore His Holiness to live a long life, as well as to ensure the existence of the Dalai Lama institution and his reincarnations,” Jungney explained.

Lhakpa Tsering, a former security personnel of the Dalai Lama, mentioned that in 2017, the former security personnel had the privilege of offering Tenshug to His Holiness at his residence with a promise to form an association of former security personnel. “Today, this association, which includes a total of 284 former security personnel, both male and female, 13 of whom are originally from Tibet, offered the Tenshug, imploring our leader to live a long and healthy life for his continued guidance,” he stated.

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