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Lakhs attend Dalai Lama's discourse in Bodh Gaya

Last updated on: January 2, 2012 15:34 IST

Lakhs attend Dalai Lama's discourse in Bodh Gaya

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M I Khan in Patna

More than two lakh people from across the globe are attending the 32nd Kalachakra puja led by exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the Buddhist holy site of Bodh Gaya in Bihar amidt tight security arrangements. M I Khan reports.

The 10-day Kalachakra puja, a Tibetan tantric ritual, was opened on Sunday by the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya, about 110 km from Patna.

Lobsang Choedak, the media officer of the Kalchakra arrangement committee told rediff.com over telephone from Bodh Gaya that the main attraction of this ongoing festival is Dalai Lama.

"Devotees are here to hear him, watch him from close range and feel spiritualism in his presence" he said.

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Image: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama speaks during a teaching session on the first day of the Kalachakra festival in Bodhgaya
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

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Lakhs attend Dalai Lama's discourse in Bodh Gaya

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According to him, a record number of devotees have been attending Kalachakra puja. "Never before have so many people attended the puja in Bodh Gaya," he said.

Thousands of Tibetans have already arrived at Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment two and a half millennia ago, from all across India and abroad to attend the Kalachakra puja.

"Bodh Gaya is buzzing with Buddhist devotees including monks in traditional light and deep maroon robes and yellow hats and hundreds of foreigners from Europe and America," said a police official.

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Image: Buddhist monks listen to a teaching session being addressed by the Dalai Lama on the first day of the Kalachakra festival in Bodhgaya
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

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Lakhs attend Dalai Lama's discourse in Bodh Gaya

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The Dalai Lama opened the ritual with prayers in Tibetan that were translated into English and other languages on thousands of headphones handed out to visitors from Buddhist countries and the West.

Monks and other Buddhists chanted hymns together to open the Kalchakra, which hopes to bring peace through a rigorous series of tantric initiations.

The 76-year-old Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 with thousands of supporters following a failed uprising against China. He headed a government-in-exile in Dharmsala, before stepping down in March last year.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his nonviolent struggle against Chinese rule of his homeland.


Image: Buddhist monks wait to enter the complex to attend a teaching session being addressed by the Dalai Lama on the first day of the Kalachakra festival
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

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