This is how the Dalai Lama wants his followers to celebrate his 85th birthday

This is how the Dalai Lama wants his followers to celebrate his 85th birthday
Dalai Lama addressing his followers from Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh on his 85th birthdayYouTube/Dalai Lama
  • Celebration of the Dalai Lama’s 85th birthday will be muted this year due to the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Dalai Lama has asked his followers to recite the Mani mantra 1,000 times instead in order to commemorate his birthday.
  • He was originally supposed to visit Ladakh for his birthday this year, which is no longer possible due to the coronavirus.
In his 85th birthday address, the Dalai Lama has asked his followed to recite the mantra one thousand times as most remain inside their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s not possible for large numbers of people to hold a big celebration because of the restriction due to the pandemic. And it’s not necessary either,” he said from his home in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

Ladakh and Dharamshala, two Indian districts known for their celebrations of Tibetan Buddhism, have been forced to keep things low key due to the coronavirus in lieu of which public gatherings are limited and people are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.

“However, if you want to celebrate my birthday, I’d like to ask you to recite the Mani mantra (Om Mani Padme Hung), at least a thousand times,” he said explaining that this is due to the unique connection he has with Avalokiteshvara — the earthly manifestation of the self-born eternal Buddha Amitabha.

PT Kunzang, President of the Ladakh Buddist Association (LBA) told Outlook that normally, there used to huge celebrations every year on July 6. “But this year due to the Covid-19 guidelines, it will be a small symbolic gathering,” he said highlighting that only religious heads would be gathering to commemorate the Dalai Lama’s 85th birthday.

Tseten Wangchuk, the Chief Representative Officer of Tibetan Settlement in Leh, added that the Buddist leader was scheduled to visit Ladakh this year on his birthday but will no longer be able to do so in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of his birthday, the Dalai Lama also released an album of his mantras and teachings called ‘Inner World’. It has reportedly been in development for the past five years and includes 11 tracks, including Compassions based on the Mani mantra.

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