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Tibetan people offer long-life prayers for the Dalai Lama

January 24, 2010

By Phurbu Thinley
January 23, 2010

Dharamsala, Jan 23 -- Tibetan people led by the
Tibetan Government-in-Exile conducted a very
elaborate Tenshug (long-life prayer offering)
ceremony for His Holiness the Dalai Lama here
this morning as a collective expression of
gratitude and reverence for his leadership.

In his brief address following the prayer
ceremony, the 74-year old exiled Tibetan leader
thanked both the Tibetan government and the
Tibetan people for the long-life prayer offerings.

The ceremony was attended by senior officials,
including the Tibetan Prime Minister Prof.
Samdhong Rinpoche and his cabinet members, of the
Tibetan Government-in-Exile. The Dalai Lama's
special envoy Lodi Gyari and envoy Kelsang
Gyaltsen, who are currently in Dharamsala for a
task for meeting, were also present during the ceremonial function.

Cultural songs and dances were presented by
school children and performers representing
different regions of Tibet at the temple
courtyard, showcasing the Tibetan people’s unique
and richly colourful traditions. The show kindled
a celebration mood for hundreds of Tibetan and
foreign visitors who joined in the prayer
ceremony at a packed main temple courtyard.

Speaking to thousands of Tibetan people gathered
for the ceremony, the Dalai Lama stressed on the
need to shoulder collective and greater
responsibility towards the larger cause of Tibet.

"On a lighter level, it appears we are in a
celebratory and relaxing ceremony, but on a
deeper level, this gathering serves as a reminder
that the Tibetan people’s identity, the unique
and rich cultural heritage of Tibet and the
Buddha Dharma are surviving under a critical stage,” the Dalai Lama said.

"Keeping these grim realities on our mind, there
is a urgent need to make serious and collective
efforts on our part," His Holiness added.

"Above all, we must bear in mind that Tibetans
inside Tibet, regardless of their age and all the
hardships, have always remained strong and
unified in their spirit,” the Dalai Lama said.

"And those of us living in exile, we are
representatives of the majority of those Tibetans
living inside Tibet," the Dalai Lama said. "And
living in the free world, it would be wrong if we
give up or neglect our responsibilities,” the Dalai Lama added.

The Tibetan leader also urged Tibetans both in
and outside of Tibet to make more concerted
effort to appreciate and preserve the rich
cultural heritage and spiritual nowledge of Tibet.

Tibetans believe conducting long life prayer
offerings will clear the obstructions in one's
life, thereby advancing one’s continued wellbeing.

Considered the living embodiment of Chenrezig,
the Bodhisattva of compassion, the Dalai Lama is
revered by Tibetan people as both the spiritual and political leader of Tibet.

Born Lhamo Dhondrub on July 6, 1935, to a peasant
family in northeastern Tibet, he was identified
through tests at the age of 2 as the
reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten
Gyatso. In 1950, the People's Republic of China
invaded and occupied Tibet. A popular uprising in
1959 against continuing Chinese presence failed,
and forced the Dalai Lama and thousands of
Tibetan to flee Tibet. Since 1960, the Dalai Lama
and the Tibetan Government have been in exile in
Dharmsala, from where they lobby the world to help regain Tibetan freedom.
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