Amid ceremonies and celebrations marking the auspicious occasion of his 88th birthday on Thursday in Dharamsala, northern India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama voiced his oft-repeated call for a more peaceful and harmonious global society, urging people to make compassion the foundation of their daily lives, based on wisdom and awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings, and offering his own commitment to serving sentient beings as a bodhisattva.
In a video message shared for the occasion, His Holiness said:
Many people in different parts of the world have heard my name and appreciate what I have to say. In addition, I received the Nobel Peace Prize. For my part, I pray that I may bring peace to the world by spreading an understanding of the oneness of humanity. By showing their approval for what I am trying to do, my friends have given me their wholehearted support, for which I want to thank them.
Although I am only a human being, in the short term I aspire to contribute to world peace in thought, word and deed, while in the long term I pray that everyone may attain Buddhahood, the trumpet state of omniscience, ascending the paths and lands (of bodhisattvas). I rejoice that all of our different religious traditions are praying for the good of all. In the Buddhist tradition we say that we all have Buddha-nature, the potential for enlightenment, within. If we take care to nurture this Buddha-nature, just as we would take care of another human being, we will eventually attain enlightenment.
On my birthday, if you, my friends, can keep your spirits up and lead a good-humored life, you will have a joyful heart and thus will be able, directly or indirectly, to help everyone around you. Since bodhicitta – the altruistic thought of enlightenment – is supposed to be the essence of the spiritual path, it is very important for us to be warm in our way of living. As for me, these lines of Engage in bodhisattva acts are my daily prayer: like the earth and other great elements, and like space itself, may I forever remain to support the lives of limitless beings by providing them with a varied source of sustenance. The four great elements – earth, water, fire and wind – are the basis of the outer world, while the sphere of space supports all material things. For my part, I dedicate this very life that I have now to helping limitless sentient beings to the best of my ability. And until the end of space, I am determined to bring others as much benefit as possible.
My dear spiritual friends, I urge you to adopt a courageous resolution as I, your friend Lhomo Dhondup of Amdo did. My spiritual friends, please support my thoughts: 'What you have done so far was right – it was the right thing to do' Thank you all.
Wishes of happiness poured in from all over the world on this auspicious day.
American Buddhist physician and monk Barry Kerzin, personal physician to the Dalai Lama, shared the following message on social media:
HH the Dalai Lama turned 88 yesterday. For 88 glorious years he blessed the whole world and for most of that time taught the true path to omniscience, full enlightenment. In detail, he taught us to cultivate Bodhicitta, both the 7 limb method, and to exchange cherishing ourselves for cherishing others. By increasing Bodhicitta, he taught us a unique way to overcome suffering by understanding and experiencing śūnyatā, or emptiness. Realizing the void overturns the basis of all our suffering, clinging to an independent intrinsic reality. It is to identify with the self that appears to us as the real “me”, the troublemaker who robs us of our inner peace. Happy birthday to the kindest, most selfless, wisest person in the world. Emaho!
In an official greeting from the United States, Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote:
I send my warmest wishes to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the occasion of his 88th birthday, an auspicious day for the Tibetan community. His Holiness' kindness and humility are an inspiration to many around the world, and I have deep admiration for his continued commitment to peace and non-violence. Today, may we reflect on his messages of compassion and tolerance as we reaffirm our commitment to uphold the human rights of all, including those in the Tibetan community.
The United States is steadfast in its commitment to supporting the linguistic, cultural, and religious identity of Tibetans, including the ability to freely choose and revere their religious leaders without interference.
(U.S. Department of State)
The Dalai Lama attended birthday celebrations hosted by the Central Tibetan Administration at the courtyard of the Thekchen Choling temple complex in Dharamsala on Thursday.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who attended the event, praised the Dalai Lama's efforts to educate young people about ancient Indian culture and values, and urged everyone to live according to his teachings, describing His Holiness as an icon of non-violence and compassion. .
Amid colorful celebrations, speeches and cultural performances, His Holiness addressed the gathered well-wishers.
“Today I would like to tell all my friends that my daily prayer is:
As long as space lasts,
And as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then can I too stay
To help dispel the misery of the world.
“As long as there are sentient beings who want happiness, I will come life after life to help them,” His Holiness promised.
“Today is my 88th birthday, but when I look in the mirror I still feel like I'm in my XNUMXs. My face doesn't look old, it's not wrinkled with age. Plus, I still have all my teeth so there's nothing I can't eat or chew.
“I was born in Tibet and go by the name Dalai Lama, but in addition to working for the cause of Tibet, I have worked for the welfare of all sentient beings. I did everything I could without giving up hope or letting my resolve waver. I am not angry with anyone, not even those Chinese leaders who have adopted a tough attitude towards Tibet. Indeed, China has always been a Buddhist country, as evidenced by the many temples and monasteries I have seen when I have visited this land.
“I believe there is knowledge within Tibetan culture and religion that can benefit the whole world. However, I also respect all other religious traditions as they encourage their followers to cultivate love and compassion.
“According to indications from my own dreams and other predictions, I expect to live past 100 years. I have served others so far and I am determined to continue to do so. Please pray for my long life on this basis. (Central Tibetan Administration)
Born Lhamo Thondup in 1935, in the hamlet of Taktser in northeast Tibet, the outgoing Dalai Lama was identified as the reincarnation of his predecessor when he was just two years old. The next Dalai Lama would be the 15th incarnation over a continuous period of approximately 500 years. The Dalai Lama won many awards and honors during his life and in 1989 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign to find a peaceful solution for the Tibetan people based on non-violence and dialogue. .