Monday, November 9, 2009

Tawang offers warm welcome to Dalai Lama

TAWANG, Nov 8: ‘Tashi Delek, Tashi Delek (welcome, welcome)’ rent in the air in Tawang as the 14th Dalai Lama landed here this morning. Bereft of all media hype that surrounded the spiritual leader’s visit to the State, it was a new lease of life for Tawang and its residents who are devout followers of the Tibetan sect of Buddhism.

Braving the chilly weather, thousands of devotees thronged the road with white khada to have a glimpse of the Dalai Lama as he made his way straight to the Tawang Monastery after landing on the Tawang helipad.
Several fellow monks lined up in front of the main prayer hall holding gyantsens, (long poles with flags inscribed with Buddhist hymns) to welcome the Dalai Lama. Sounds of Jaling (long trumpet) and Rhadung (short trumpet) reverberated in the religious atmosphere of the Monastery mingled with fragrance of Tsang Theng (local agarbatti).

Talking to mediapersons, the Dalai Lama asserted that his visit was purely religious and non-political. “My aim is religious harmony,” he said with his omnipresent smile.

Further, offering a few words of sermon, the Dalai Lama said: “The main source of happiness in our life is within our self and if we rely on money to achieve it, then you are wrong. Money is important but the ultimate source of peace and success in life is within us. I usually call it as human values which are universal and which helps promote religious harmony.”

At the Monastery the Dalai Lama inaugurated a newly constructed museum and offered mandala (prayer) at the Dukhang (main prayer hall). Later in the afternoon, he inaugurated the library of the Centre for Buddhist Cultural Studies and gave sermons to young Lamas and Anis.

Earlier, the Spiritual Leader was received at the helipad by Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, MLAs T Dhondup, J Tashi, PD Sona, T Norbu and Rev. TG Rimpoche along with a host of dignitaries and devotees. Tomorrow, the Dalai Lama will inaugurate the OPD building of Tawang Hospital, consecrate a Buddha statue, plant saplings at Yid-gha-Choezin (general ground) and give religious discourses. THE SENTINEL

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