BODH GAYA: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama conferred the actual Kalachakra Initiation for World Peace and Harmony, today in the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site, Bodh Gaya.
The key purpose of the initiation is to provide an opportunity for people from all walks of life to gather in a peaceful atmosphere to listen to teachings on compassion and to reinvigorate the compassionate and enlightened nature of all beings. For vigorous Buddhist practitioners, the Kalachakra initiation is the foremost tantric yoga practice.
The main teaching ground and the adjoining streets were packed with devotees including monks, nuns, incarnate lamas and laypeople. According to the Kalachakra Organising Committee, the 34th kalachakra has attracted more than 200,000 devotees from 92 countries, making it one of the highest attended Kalachakra in recent history.
The conferment of the main initiation began with recitation of heart sutra, offering of homage to holy dharma and the emaculate masters of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, ritual cake offering and the offering of mandala by Sikyng Dr Lobsang Sangay.
While introducing the Kalachakra teaching to the devotees, His Holiness the Dalai Lama remembered the Tibetans inside Tibet and thousands of Chinese in China who couldn’t attend the teachings because of a travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government. His Holiness said, “There are people in China and Tibetans inside Tibet who have difficulty coming here. So I have told them that if they could keep their devotion strong and direct their mind towards the Kalachakra teachings for today and following days, they could receive the initiation through the power of their faith and will.”
“As mentioned in Vinaya, there was an ordination given by way of letters. So similarly with the modern tool of communication, the Tibetans and Chinese could visualise taking the initiation. As we go through the teachings here, if they could accordingly, think and follow my instructions, then they will receive the initiation from today onwards,” His Holiness said while offering prayers for dispelling any obstacles that they may face in taking the initiation.
Leading into the main initiation, His Holiness guided his disciples on grasping the essence of the Kalachakra teachings. “We have come across the profound and extensive teaching of Buddha, which has been clarified by masters like Nagarjuna and his disciples. The essence of these teachings come down to bodhichitta and wisdom of emptiness. It is not just about recieving some blessing, but since we have the potential for attaining the four buddha bodies and these potentials are manifested more and more within ourselves. So, in order to invigorate this potential, we are taking the initiations,” he told the devotees.
His Holiness advised the devotees to reflect on the principles of Bodhichitta and wisdom of emptiness at all times during the teachings. He said the union of wisdom and compassionate action is indispensable for a practitioner to attain higher realisation, adding that every individual with intelligence has the potential for altruism.
Adressing the practitioners, His Holiness said the wish to free from cyclic existence is the most important requirement for a practitioner inorder to receive the Kalachakra yoga tantra initiation. He said, “To confer the highest yoga tantra initiation, as i explained if you don’t have wish to be free from cyclic of existence it is difficult to become Buddhist practitioner. With an understanding of impermanence and enlightenment, you should identify the negative emotions and have the wish to overcome them. Most importantly, cultivate the wish to liberate all sentient beings across the space from suffering.”
Inorder to motivate devotees towards compassionate action and thought, His Holiness bestowed the Bodhichitta vow and tantric vows.
Sakya Gongma Rinpoche, Gyalwang Karmapa Rinpoche, Gaden Tripa Lobsang Tenzin, Rizong Rinpoche, former Gaden Tripa, Taklung Shabdung Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche, Kalon trisur Professor Samdong Rinpoche, Jangtse Choje Rinpoche, Sharpa Choje Rinpoche and many other venerable lamas took part in the first day conferment of Kalachakra Initiation at Bodh Gaya.
Kalons, secretaries and officials of Central Tibetan Administration, along with sponsors and other dignitaries were also present.