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Norbulingka Institute publishes first half of HH the Dalai Lama biography

October 27, 2009

Amy and Yangsham
The Tibet Post
October 26, 2009

Dharamsala, India -- Today, Monday 26 October,
the Norbulingka Institute presented the most
comprehensive biography to date of the 14th Dalai
Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, in a public ceremony at the
Institute. His Holiness the Dalai Lama; His
Eminence the Karmapa, head of the Kyagyul sect;
His Eminence Menri Trizin 33rd Lungtuk Tenpai
Nyima, head of the indigenous Bon religion; the
Tibetan Prime Minister Samdong Rinpoche, the
Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari, representatives from
local NGOs, and many other Tibetans and
foreigners attended this morning's celebration.

The ceremony opened with a public prayer,
followed by the inauguration of Thupten Nyima as
the 102nd Ganden Tripa, or head of the Gelupa School of Tibetan Buddhism.

Norbulingka's mentor and former director, former
Tibetan PM Kesang Yeshe, presented a history of
the institute's development and explained the
purpose for publishing Norbulingka's 12-volume
biography of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

The biographers began their work in 2000 and have
finished the first six volumes, covering the
Dalai Lama's birth through 1960, the year after
his migration to India. The biography's 17
writers and editors received a blessing from His Holiness during the ceremony.

Prime Minister Samdong Rinpoche gave an address
praising the accomplishments of Norbulingka,
including its creative preservation of Tibetan
art and culture, and its ability to sustain
itself for the past 14 years without government funds.

He commended the Institute for offering stable
employment and training to thousands of Tibetan
refugees, in a time when many companies are
hiring fewer people and requiring a higher rate of production per employee.

The Rinpoche also spoke on Norbulingka's role in
preserving the Tibetan language by publishing this biography in Tibetan.

This is an important achievement, he stated,
because the Tibetan language is currently
threatened by the prevalence of other languages in today's society.

"The Tibetan language and culture are like a boat
on a violent ocean, so if there is no clear
orientation and direction, we may get lost," the Rinpoche proclaimed.

Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari emphasized the
biography's significance at this critical moment,
when the official Chinese position is to denounce
His Holiness and spread false and misleading
information about him and the Tibetan cause.

In the keynote speech, His Holiness congratulated
the new Ganden Tripa on his inauguration, and
commended the merit system by which monks can
obtain this lead position. He also thanked
Thupten Nyima for advocating the Tibet cause and
religion, and requested that he continue this great work under his new title.

Tibet's spiritual leader acclaimed Norbulingka's
meaningful and visible progress, stating that,
"We in the Tibetan community tend to begin a
project with enthusiasm, but slack off before
long. The Norbulingka Institute, however, has
demonstrated the opposite by carrying out and
sustaining so many creative and progressive endeavors."

He humbly mentioned that his biography is
insignificant compared to the major Buddhist
texts and commentaries available today, but it is
a story of a person who has dedicated his life to
the principles of Buddhism and helped others in a minor way.

The ceremony concluded with a prayer, led by His
Holiness, for the four Tibetans who were executed
in Lhasa last week, the Uighurs killed in
Xinjiang, and 600 victims of a recent bombing in Iraq.
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