Before beginning a hectic daylong schedule of preparations and preliminary teachings on the Vajra Dhatu initiation (Tib: Dorying), His Holiness the Dalai Lama took an early morning break from schedule for a short pilgrimage to Okuno-in, the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi.
Accompanied by Ven. Yukei Matsunaga, the head priest of the Shingon Buddhism founded by Kobo Daishi in 805, the Dalai Lama offered prayers at Kobo Daishi’s inner temple where he is believed to be in eternal meditation.
Secluded in giant cedar trees, spaced by small shrines and statues built in memory of the departed, a narrow cobbled path lead to Kobo Daishi’s mausoleum, immersed in a natural blend with the ancient surroundings.
Walking between the cedar trees, some of them centuries old, the Dalai Lama paused by the statues in red and inscribed pillars, enquiring with Ven. Yukie Matsunaga while offering prayers.
Inside the Torodo, the Lantern Hall, filled with thousands of lanterns, His Holiness offered prayers and recited from the Dorying along with a small crowd of gathered disciples.
Later in the afternoon, Tibetan monks form the Namgyal monastery in Dharamshala, northern India received the Dalai Lama on the stage for the Vajra Dhatu initiations at the Koyasan University auditorium. The tantric Buddhist empowerment was historically given in Japan within its esoteric Buddhist lineage of Shingon.
The team of eight monks lead by the abbot of Namgyal monastery had arrived in Koyasan, the heart of the tradition and faith of Kobo Daishi, ten days earlier to construct the intricate Dorying mandala.
Before beginning the preliminary initiation, the Dalai Lama gave a brief introduction to the meaning of religion and its growing importance in the 21st century.
“The most fundamental purpose of religion is to give peace and happiness to the mind. With great advancements in outer development, human beings are realising that money and material development alone cannot bring happiness,” the Tibetan spiritual leader told the audience of over a 1000 people.
“Scientific studies of the human consciousness have shown the effect negative emotions have on the physical health. Fear, anger, hatred, too much self-centredness make our immune system weaker.”
Meticulously taking the audience through the stages of the initiation, the Dalai Lama explained in great detail, through his translators, the “basic need” to dissolve self-centredness and nurture a compassionate mind.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is scheduled to give the Vajradhateshvari empowerment tomorrow.