Gaden Phodrang completes 360 years
Dharamsala (Tibet.Net), 19 May 2003: The Tibetans in Dharamsala celebrated the concluding ceremony of the 360th year of the existence of the Gaden Phodrang government to this day, on the 16th and 17th May.
The day began with long life prayer offerings to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the main hall of Tsug Lha khang. The main temple was crowded with people from all walks of life. While the officials of the Central Tibetan Administration and monks from the various monasteries occupied the floor adjacent to the main hall, the common people thronged the ground in front of the Temple.
Speaking after the prayer session, His Holiness the Dalai Lama thanked the Central Administration members for their hard work and commitment. He urged the gathering not to lose the good qualities of a Tibetan. His Holiness the Dalai Lama also pointed out to the members present, to imbibe a strong sense of dedication to the community. “Even a highly qualified person cannot contribute positively if he or she lacks dedication and commitment to the good of the society,” His Holiness said.
At a ceremony conducted infront of the main Temple, His Holiness inaugurated a two-volume book on Tibet’s political history. The book was edited and published by the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration.
Following that, various institutions from Dharamsala performed traditional dances. The gathering enjoyed some light moments with few heart winning dances done by the toddlers of Yongling Primary School. The cultural program ended with a short Lhamo presentation by the Tibetan Institution of Performing Arts (TIPA), on the life of His Holiness the fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso,
On the second day,hundreds of people gathered in the courtyard of TIPA to watch the first ever lhamo performance on the life of the great fifth Dalai Lama. Members of the Kashag and the Tibetan People’s Assembly arrived as the guests of honor. The performance began with the arrival of the Ngoenpas (hunters) to bless the stage, on which, the life of the Tibetans much loved religious and temporal leader unfolded. Unlike in the past, the lhamo performance this time was done on the stage rather than on the ground.
After the show, the Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche released a new book on Tibet’s military history, published by the ex-Tibetan army society. The kalon Tripa in his speech explained the significance of the occasion. He said, ” since according to the Tibetan calendar, we complete a Rabjung after every sixty years. The completion of 360 years coincides with the completion of six Rabjungs, which is considered very auspicious.” The Kalon Tripa expressed concern on the need of still continuing the Tibetan government under the same title. He reasoned out that from the time the Tibetan government got democratized, the existence of Gaden Phodrang must have got automatically dissolved. “However it is up to the Assembly to decide on this and I hope the Assembly will take up this matter,” he added. The Kalon Tripa also shared the good news about His Holiness’ pledge to continue leading Tibetans in their struggle. This is in fulfilling with the resolution passed by the Assembly to uphold the authority of His Holiness as the leader of the Tibetan people.
The day ended with a charity show organised by the army band ‘Sem Chang’.