Prayers mark Dalai Lama's 85th birthday

Prayers mark Dalai Lama's 85th birthday
Image source: Google

Dharamshala/Shimla (HP): The Dalai Lama on Monday turned 85, his birthday celebrated through prayers here at the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile which also condoled the deaths of Indian soldiers in the recent clash with Chinese troops.

In his message to the Buddhist community from his home in McLeodganj , the Tibetan spiritual leader asked people to recite the om mani padme hum mantra.

With this practice, you will create some roots of virtue that you can dedicate to me Avalakiteshvara's messenger to live for 110 or 108 years or so, the Dalai Lama said.

This year, the celebrations remained a low-key affair due to restrictions imposed by the government in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dalai Lama's private secretary Sachin Seton Samadup said no function was organised to celebrate the occasion on Monday.

Samadup said he neither made any foreign visit nor gave any sermon since January due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Prayers marked the occasion at the community's main temple in McLeodganj.

The Tibetan spiritual leader too said it was not possible to hold a large celebration due to the pandemic.

And it's not necessary either, he said, asking his followers to recite the mantra if they wished to celebrate the occasion.

In a statement, the Tibetan parliament-in-exile said,"We pray with great hope that His Holiness the Dalai Lama may live for a hundred aeons, that all his wishes may be seen fulfilled with spontaneity, and that the just cause of Tibet may be seen to prevail with indubitable certainty."

It said the Dalai Lama was just 24 when he entered India from Tibet on March 17, 1959, almost a decade after China began the armed invasion of Tibet.

"The Dalai Lama adopted broad-mindedness and fortitude when the Chinese government acted with brutality and violence, relying only on the non-violent method that ensured no harm to the other side," the Central Tibetan Administration, also known as the Tibetan government-in-exile said.

As the situation in Tibet became "even more critical and dangerous", it became "inevitable" for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to leave, it said.

The statement said the People's Liberation Army of the communist-ruled China continued to make "attempts to encroach into India from all across its border areas".

And recently, a dispute in Galwan Valley in Ladakh led to a clash between the troops from the two sides with the result that 20 Indian soldiers died and several others were injured. The Tibetan parliament-in-exile wishes to express our condolences to India for the tragedy which resulted from that unfortunate incident, the statement said.

The Dalai Lama's office in Dharamshala said the spiritual leader received birthday greetings through Internet or social media from across the world.

Union minister Kiren Rijiju wished him on his birthday.

Himachal Governor Bandaru Dattatraya and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur wished the Dalai Lama a prosperous, happy and healthy life, an official spokesperson said.

The governor said the spiritual leader is a symbol of peace, love and compassion.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the Dalai Lama is a living symbol for world peace and has devoted his life towards humanitarian and environmental causes.