Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, 2 January 2012 (byTendar Tsering, phayul.com) – Amidst a light rainfall, Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama began his ten-day Kalachakra teachings yesterday in Bodh Gaya.
Thousands of pilgrims from Tibet, the Himalayan regions, Bhutan, Korea, China, and from the west sat under tents covering the large grounds to listen to the Dalai Lama.
The 76-year old Tibetan leader began by thanking the large gathering for making the journey to receive his teachings with a special mention of the huge number of Tibetans from Tibet.
“This place is a very holy place as the Buddha was enlightened here and those of you Tibetans who have come from Tibet despite lots of hardships, you all are among my special devotees for this Kalachakra,” the Dalai Lama said.
Asking all the Chinese pilgrims to raise their hands, the Tibetan spiritual leader acknowledged their attendance while urging all his devotees to practice his teachings based on reasons and not on “blind faith”.
“Lots of Chinese from different countries have come including from Singapore and Thailand, and even from mainland China. Unfortunately nowadays, some conservative Chinese leaders consider Buddhism as sort of anti-China,” the Dalai Lama said.
Wishing his disciples from the US and Europe a ‘Happy New Year’, the Dalai Lama began his Kalachakra teachings for a record 32nd time since he first gave the initiations in May 1954 in Lhasa, Tibet.
Though an official figure is yet to be announced, observers believe the teachings have drawn the largest crowd ever of Tibetans.
The light rainfall which started earlier in the morning and ended along with the Dalai Lama’s teaching for the day has caused inconveniences to all the pilgrims, especially those staying in rented tents.
But there were little complaints from the large crowd, as Tibetans believe a rainfall at the beginning of a religious teaching is auspicious and considered a blessing.