Thousands of devotees welcome the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya

January 2nd 2012

Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, December 31 (by Tendar Tsering, phayul.com) - Thousands of devotees from around the world welcomed the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya, the venue for the 32nd Kalachakra teachings earlier today.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his arrival at the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodh Gaya on December 31, 2011. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
Devotees from different countries, including pilgrims from Tibet, lined-up the narrow streets leading to the holiest site for Buddhists the world-over, as the Dalia Lama waved at the crowd raising slogans of ‘long live the Dalai Lama’.

Upon arrival, the Dalai Lama went straight to the Mahabodhi Temple, the site of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment, to offer prayers. The Mahabodhi Mahåvihåra is amongst the 84,000 shrines built by King Asoka the Great in the 3rd century B.C.

Speaking to the press shortly after his arrival, His Holiness called India the “land of religions” while referring to the tolerance and acceptance showed by its people towards all major religious traditions in the world.

Responding to a question on the issue of Tibet and China, the 76-year old Tibetan leader said “truth is always more powerful” while affirming that truth is on the side of the Tibetans.

An Italian devotee who was amongst the thousands gathered to receive the ten-day teachings told Phayul that she was “pleasantly surprised” by the “unimaginable faith” that Tibetans from round the globe have in their leader the Dalai Lama.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to members of the media during his visit to the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodh Gaya on December 31, 2011. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
“I am pleasantly surprised to see the total devotion of the people for the Dalai Lama. It’s amazing that people who haven’t met or even seen the Dalai Lama have such unimaginable faith in him,” said Genziana.

His Holiness is scheduled to begin his ten-day Kalachakra teachings from tomorrow. Live webcast of the Kalachakra initiations can be viewed in Tibetan, English, Russian, and Chinese languages at dalailama.com. 

The upcoming Kalachakra initiation will be the 32nd occasion since His Holiness the Dalai Lama conferred the teachings for the first time in May 1954 at Norbulingka, Lhasa, Tibet. After a nine-year gap, the Kalachakra initiation in Bodh Gaya has drawn tens of thousands of devotees from all over the world including a large number of Tibetans from Tibet.
 

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