The Buddha said:
This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.


What the caterpillar perceives as the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

India, Day 5 - Dalai Lama's Arrival

On January 2nd, I woke up very, very early, but I wasn't the only one!

I could hear Tibetan overtone chanting at a distance. Once again, I decided to follow the sounds, and eventually arrived at the New Prayer Hall. Many monks and lay people were already there, doing their morning prostrations. I joined them for a while, and then resolved to return to Gyakham Khangsten.

I got back just on time to watch another spectacular sunrise from the roof top.

After breakfast Alan and I headed off to the main road. 

This was the big day, and everybody was out in the streets to welcome His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, expected to arrive around 11am. There was a lot of excitment and building up to the event.

We walked past Drepung Loseling Clinic,

and carried on walking, hoping to find an empty space along the road, which wasn't as easy as we expected.

We wanted to join the locals and be part of the experience. I rather enjoyed the whole scene, especially seeing the women's hats and dresses, and the way they seemed to hang out together in large groups.

We finally found a spot, and stood there for what seemed like hours,

noticing how everybody kept looking at the road waiting for a glimpse of the Dalai lama's white car. 

At last, there he was, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, believed by Tibetans to be a living Buddha, slowly driving past, smiling and waiving to us all.

As soon as his car drove by, the population began to slowly walk back to wherever they had come from,

some quietly, others chatting away,

the majority in large groups, some wearing pollution masks to protect themselves from the dust.

On our way back to Gyakham Khangstem we walked past a 'smoke offering', developed in Gautama's period and later introduced to Tibet by Padmasambhava. It is said that it got rid of many evils that bothered Tibetans at that time. 

Alan bought Universe in a Single Atom, which had many topics he was interested in. Once back at Gyakham Khangsten we went back to our usual hang out place, the long balcony outside our rooms. By then the mosquitoes were having a feast on me. I followed my dad's email reminder, "do not mistreat the mosquitoes, one of them might be the reincarnation of your grandmother Olga!"

On the afternoon we went to see Geshela Yonten, who explained how love and compassion are natural.

Continues here.

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