On this joyous occasion of His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, on behalf of Kashag and Tibetans inside and outside Tibet, I would like to express our deep reverence to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We pray for his long life and reaffirm our unwavering loyalty and devotion to him. Tibetans both inside and outside Tibet, as well as millions of others touched by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message of peace and non-violence, observe this special occasion with immense delight.
We take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s loving parents, Choekyong Tsering and Dekyi Tsering, for blessing us with their precious son, Lhamo Dhondup.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was born on July 6, 1935 to a peasant family in Takster village in the Amdo region of Tibet. Enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama at the age of five, eleven years later, at the tender age of 16, His Holiness had to take over the spiritual and temporal authority of Tibet. Faced with the tragedy of Tibet’s illegal occupation by the People’s Republic of China, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had to do without any semblance of a normal childhood. The survival of Tibetan identity, and the future of an entire civilization, rested on his young shoulders. When His Holiness’ utmost efforts to ensure a peaceful co-existence between the Chinese and Tibetans did not materialize, at the age of 24, His Holiness was compelled to go into exile in India.
In His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetans have a rare and esteemed leader. Single-handedly and fortified by his people’s devotion, he prevented Tibet from falling into historical oblivion. In exile, among multiple challenges and hardships, His Holiness’ first priority was to establish separate Tibetan schools to impart both modern and traditional education to future generations of Tibetans. Through this education, many Tibetans were nurtured with a strong Tibetan identity, and the new generation born in exile now fills leadership roles in the Tibetan community as well as in the Central Tibetan Administration.
In order to preserve and promote the unique religion and culture of the Tibetan people, the monastic centres of the four religious traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and of Bon were re-established and revived in exile. Since then, the different traditions have thrived in mutual respect and harmony. Similarly, His Holiness also established separate Tibetan settlements to ensure stable livelihoods within compact communities of Tibetan refugees. Also of great importance, His Holiness the Dalai Lama reformed and developed the exile Tibetan Administration, the legitimate and natural successor of the government established by the Great 5th Dalai Lama, into a full-fledged democratic entity capable of representing and uniting all Tibetans. Our gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his supreme sacrifices and tireless endeavors in these 56 years of wise and able leadership knows no bounds.
Among the people of the entire Himalayan region, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has inspired new confidence to take greater pride in our common cultural and religious heritage. In an even wider sphere, for millions of Buddhists around the world, he is the human manifestation of the Bodhisattva of compassion, the beacon of hope and light for all human kind.
But above all, for Tibetans, His Holiness is the life and soul of Tibet and the Tibetan people. Regardless of the baseless accusations made by the Dholgyal cult, Tibetan unity and harmony under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has never been greater. It is comparable only to Tibet under the reign of the three great dharma kings, more than a thousand years ago.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has exerted tireless efforts to fulfill his three commitments in life: promotion of human values, promotion of religious harmony and increased awareness and preservation of Tibet’s Buddhist culture. Because of his unflagging devotion to these goals, millions of people around the globe admire and love him. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has travelled to 67 countries across 6 continents and has received more than 150 awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the UN Earth Prize, US Congressional Gold Medal and the John Templeton Prize. Throughout the world, regardless of nationality, race or religion, millions of citizens consider His Holiness to be a beacon of peace and justice.
This global stature of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has provided a firm and steady support for the Tibet issue.
Tibetans inside Tibet sustain infinite hope and courage. They stand strong with patriotic fervor and look to His Holiness the Dalai Lama with utmost reverence and faith. The 140 Tibetans who self immolated have made the universal demand for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and for freedom for Tibetans. It is our hope that the Chinese leadership will soon understand and accept the Middle Way Approach as a mutually beneficial solution and continue the dialogue process with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the only way to resolve the issue of Tibet.
By the grace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and support and solidarity of Tibetans in and outside Tibet, the 14th Kashag has largely been able to carry out its responsibilities. The Kashag would like to compliment and thank all those who participated in observing 2014 as the “Year of the Great 14th Dalai Lama.” Throughout this past year, many Tibetan-managed institutions and organizations based in India, Europe, USA and around the world voluntarily initiated numerous activities to express their deepest gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is also of great joy that the Central Tibetan Administration celebrated His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday as per Tibetan calendar on 21st June, along with Dhomay Association and International Gelug Association in Dharamshala. Despite restrictions, Tibetans inside Tibet enthusiastically participated in celebrating the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama through prayers, recitations, and the rescue of live animals, among other meritorious acts which will undoubtedly help in the accumulation of good karma and unity of the Tibetan people.
The Kashag would like to urge all Tibetans to engage in acts that are consistent with the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and at the same time endeavor ceaselessly in preserving, promoting and acting upon traditional Tibetan values.
Also on this most special occasion, we are happy to have the chance to express our gratitude to the central government and state governments of India, and to all peace-loving people around the world who support the cause of Tibet in countless ways for these many years.
Finally, we ceaselessly pray for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. May all his wishes be fulfilled! May the non-violent cause of Tibet prevail!
July 6, 2015
Note: This is an English translation. Should discrepancies arise, the Tibetan version should be treated as final and authoritative.