A long-life prayer was offered for Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama by the members of the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism at Tsuglagkhang temple in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala on Wednesday.

The offering ceremony was led by the hierarchs of both palaces– the Dolma Phodrang and Phuntsok Phodrang– headed by Sakya Dagtri Rinpoche.
After the text of the long-life prayer was recited, statues of the deities of longevity, White Tara, Amitayus and Ushnishavijaya, were presented to the 14th Dalai Lama (His Holiness), and he was offered a bowl full of long-life pills by Rinpoche.

“Thank you for this long-life offering. If I don’t live long, there’s a chance the Tibetan people’s wishes and aspirations will not be fulfilled. For this reason, I pray that I will live to be more than a hundred and I ask you too to make the same prayer,” Dalai Lama told the congregation.

“We Tibetans are upholders of Buddhist traditions including the Vajrayana. You too preserve the teachings of both Sutra and Tantra. I request you to keep these traditions alive,” Lama added.

The long-life offering ceremony was also attended by the incumbent Sakya Throne-holder, the Sakya Trizin, Gyana Vajra Rinpoche, and the previous Throne-holder, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche.

Meanwhile, a procession of members of the Sakya community, monastics and laypeople carrying a variety of offerings to His Holiness, made its way through the temple. Another Sakya hierarch, a monk, Abhaya Vajra Sakya, offered the three robes of a monk and a khakkhara (Buddhist monk’s staff), followed by the silver emblems representing the eight auspicious symbols that concluded the offerings.

When each of the Sakya hierarchs had played his part in the ceremony His Holiness offered him a white scarf and red ‘protection thread’ in gratitude.
While stepping down from the throne, after the prayers concluded, His Holiness mentioned that he had been reminded of Tagdrag Rinpoche, one of his root lamas, who would recite a verse that said, ‘May the Lamas and disciples not be separated’ and would look teasingly at His Holiness on the throne while repeating the lines, ‘May they enjoy tea and liquor continually, and may there be happiness and auspiciousness forever.’ (ANI)