Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, July 6
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of Tibetans, turned 85 on Monday, his birthday being celebrated in a low-key manner at his official residence in Mcleodganj.
In a message to his followers, the Dalai Lama said the prayers of his followers shall help him live till 110 years.
“Today is July 6th, my birthday. It’s not possible for large numbers of people to hold a big celebration because of restrictions due to the pandemic. And it’s not necessary either. However, if you want to celebrate my birthday, I would like to ask you to recite the Mani mantra (Om Mani Padme Hung) at least a thousand times,” he said.
The reason for this, he said, was the Tibetans having a unique connection with Avalokiteshvara.
"After we came into exile in India and after I settled here in Dharamsala, the statue of Chenrezig Wati Sangpo was brought to me from western Tibet. When the monks of Dzongkar Chode Monastery were moving from Dharamsala to southern India, I did dough-ball divination to see whether the statue should go with them or remain here with me. The result indicated that Wati Sangpo preferred to stay here with me and so I serve as his caretaker.
"There is something special about this Wati Sangpo such that sometimes I feel he smiles at me. Since the altruistic awakening mind of bodhichitta is my principle practice, Wati Sangpo is like my refuge, protector and guardian.
"Therefore, as I often say, Avalokiteshvara is my boss and I am his messenger. So if you wish to celebrate my birthday, if you want to get together to celebrate, which may not be so bad, you needn’t be so extravagant about it.
"However on this day, remember Avalokiteshvara and recall that he is the one on whom I, Gyalwa Rinpoche, rely, and in whom I seek refuge. In terms of pure vision, Avalokiteshvara is someone who I have been connected with over successive lifetimes. Therefore, on my birthday, either visualise me, Gyalwa Rinpoche as inseparable from Avalokiteshvara or visualise Avalokiteshvara as the principal deity and me as a monk sitting in front of him. If you then recite his mantra (Om Mani Padme Hung) a thousand times, it will be beneficial," the Dalai Lama wrote.
With that practice, he told his followers, they would create some roots of virtue that they could dedicate to him as Avalakiteshvara’s messenger to live for 108 or 110 years or so.
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