BODH GAYA : As the most prominent Buddhist teaching, the Kalachakra Initiation concludes in Bodh Gaya, one could see thousands of devotees, young and old, throng the streets to receive a glimpse of their most revered spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Among the sundry of devotees, an old man, bundled in a puffer jacket, smiles through his toothless lip and prays with his rosary. 90-year-old Lobsang Choedon from Phendeling Old People’s Home, Mundgod has received 11 Kalachakra teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The first time being in Tibet in 1954 in Norbulingka, Lhasa before the Chinese invasion of Tibet. His eyes sparkled as he reminisced the first Kalachakra conferred in exile in Dharamshala in 1970. “That time there were very few people because we didn’t have any money then”, chuckled Lobsang.
Like Lobsang Choedon, Thupten Ngodup, a 78-year-old destitute, from Phendeling Old People’s Home and 93-year-old Choedon from Kalimpong have both received the first kalachakra teachings in Tibet.
From the pain of leaving behind one’s home-country to coping with challenges in exile, one thing the senior citizens remain hopeful about is a future in Tibet. While their life were spent in the throes of unrelenting challenges in exile, it is yet again made beautiful with their hope to return once again to their motherland.
87-year-old Dakpa Sangyal from Lugsam Samdupling Old People’s Home, Bylakuppe, a former monk at Loseling monastery, Tibet said, “Some people opined that this could be the last Kalachakra. But I don’t think it’s true. I have seen His Holiness up and close. His Holiness is very healthy. I hope His Holiness the Dalai Lama will confer the Kalachakra in Tibet in the future.”
The Central Tibetan Administration arranged for over four hundred senior citizens to receive the 34th Kalachakra Initiation at Bodh Gaya.
Although their body has shrunk into lean sloughed shoulders, eyes bespectacled and voices childish treble, yet within them burns the flame of hope, the hope to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Tibet, conferring the Kalachakra teaching once again.