Tibetan Long Life Offering to the Dalai Lama

This morning, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile made a Tenshug offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. Irrespective of whether one understood the proceedings or not, the ceremony was deeply moving. The ceremony included the participation of most of the high ranking Tibetan lamas from all the religious lineages. There were the Khadromas (sky walkers) and the oracles. You really have to watch the scene when the oracles come into trance. The three oracles spent what I thought was a considerable period of time before His Holiness’ throne. I assume that they were conveying their prophesy to him.

The Sakya Kyabgon Rinpoche led the ceremony and recited the formal specially composed supplication as the Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche and Parliament Speaker Penpa Tsering held a Mandala offering.

The Tibetan spiritual tradition of making a Tenshug (long life) offering to lamas is really something. Basically, it hinges on the belief that the lamas or the reincarnated beings have the ability to determine their life span. Thus, there is a tradition when disciples will make such an appeal to the lamas, particularly when they are old of age, so that they will live long for the benefit of sentient beings. While the spiritual aspect of the tradition is based on the belief system. It would surely have an impact with the believers. Even merely from a social and non-spiritual perspective such a ceremony contributes in cementing the very special bond between the lama, in today’s case being H.H. the Dalai Lama, and the community at large.


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