Final Day of 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment

July 12th 2014

Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India, 12 July 2014 - Today saw the culmination of the 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment. After spending five hours on the preparatory rituals and eating a quick lunch His Holiness the Dalai Lama was ready to begin the final session of the empowerment before midday. He took the time again to greet the huge crowd and salute the Lamas, local dignitaries and other guests before taking his seat on the throne.

This final session, during which he would grant the seven empowerments according to the pattern of childhood and the four higher empowerments, began with the offering of a ritual cake to forestall interferences.

“All those of you who might obstruct the empowerment, I invite you to leave in a peaceful manner.

His Holiness the Dalai lama speaking during the final session of the 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 12, 2014. Photo/Manuel Bauer
“As it is said in the sutras, all of us want happiness and no one needs to argue about it or give reasons for it. We all naturally want happiness, even in our dreams. However, we need to distinguish between short-term and long-term happiness.”

His Holiness remarked that even animals achieve short-term happiness, which they have done and reproduced successfully for thousands of years as Darwinian Theory makes clear. They have sought and found physical happiness. As far as human beings are concerned our goal is to overcome suffering and achieve lasting happiness in the long run. While Christians and others take refuge in their God, non-theists such as Buddhists trust in causality. They seek higher rebirth and ultimately enlightenment. Even in this life there is an effort to make life meaningful. Buddhists are taught how to reach the highest liberation of the state of omniscience.

“One source of happiness,” His Holiness said, “is harmony among the Sangha. The Sangha consists of male and female members. We also have the Pali Tradition and countries that support the Sanskrit tradition. In the past it was difficult for us to be in touch with each other, but now communications are easier we can overcome the distances between us. Therefore, it’s important that we develop and maintain friendly, cordial relations. Historically the Pali and Sanskrit Traditions have been wary of each other; it’s time to put that behind us.

“Tibetan Buddhism is a combination of sutra and tantra, but we have to protect ourselves from becoming biased and partisan. In a quite different context I have warned monastics in Tawang and other parts of Arunachal Pradesh to avoid becoming biased or partisan in political affairs. I advised them, for example, not to campaign for any party during the elections. They should be neutral and unbiased. Then there are those monastics and their patrons who cling to the tradition they belong to. If we are to foster harmony among us, it would be better to think of ourselves primarily as followers of the Buddha.

“I have long urged monastics to study, and primarily to study the classic Buddhist texts. I have encouraged this in nunneries as well as monasteries. It is not enough to repeatedly perform rituals. It is important to study. I recently witnessed a seminar and debate on the Perfection of Wisdom teachings at Likir Monastery which I thought set a good example. Monasteries here should encourage more of their monks to join the great monasteries that have been re-established in India.

A member of the audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the final session of the 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 12, 2014. Photo/Manuel Bauer
“We have Ganden Tri Rinpoche, Sharpa Chojey and a number of Geshes and Rinpoches here and I want to say this in front of them. There is study of the classic texts here and at Tashi Lhunpo and Drepung monasteries. What they’re doing there is good, but we should not take for granted that everything is all right as it is. We need to check now and then. Teachers should get together to discuss what else needs to be done. It’s 55 years since we set up the camp at Buxa Duar; we need to check that the standards we set up then are being kept.”

His Holiness referred to the distractions of the modern world and the necessity of ensuring that monks are not overwhelmed by them. He said there is a need to see that the Three Trainings are being properly observed. He warned of the dangers of not noticing or taking steps to allay a decline in standards until it’s too late. He observed that the monastic institutions in Tibet are presently under the control of the Communist Party government, which makes it all the more important that those of us living in free countries should take advantage of the freedoms we enjoy.

Noting that Ganden Tri Rinpoche had earlier given a talk about the Tibetan language, His Holiness said that he does not support learning the Tibetan language simply because he is a loyal Tibetan. Instead his interest is that the vast Nalanda tradition is most adequately expressed through the medium of the Tibetan language. This also affects people of other countries like Mongolia and the Russian Mongolian Republics. He said that when he was young and studying in Tibet there were hundreds of great scholars from Mongolia among his contemporaries. He recalled that when he first visited Mongolia in 1979 he and the Mongolians were unable to talk to each other, but were able to communicate through writing. Even in Tibet there are different dialects, but the written language is something everyone has in common.

“Some people have suggested that in advocating the study of Tibetan language in public I have taken a political stance, but what I mean to say is that at present if you want to understand the contents of the Kangyur and Tengyur, the language to know is Tibetan. Today, when so many people are gathered together here, I wanted to share these thoughts with you.”

His Holiness said,

“Now, we’ll begin the empowerment. I won’t be able to explain everything verse by verse and when we come to the empowerments we’ll go like a rocket.”


His Holiness the Dalai Lama conferring the empowerment at the 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 12, 2014. Photo/Manuel Bauer
He began to give the seven empowerments according to the pattern of childhood: the Water, Crown, Crown Ribbon, Vajra and Bell, Conduct, Name and Permission Empowerments and the Appendages, followed by the four Higher Empowerments.

His Holiness mentioned that there are different views as to when the Buddha first gave the Kalachakra Empowerment. Buton Rinchen Drub stated that he gave it twelve months after his enlightenment in the third month of the year. Taktsang Lotsawa and Khedrup Norsang Gyatso on the other hand, also great Kalachakra scholars, state that he gave it in the year before his passing away.

In conclusion His Holiness remarked:

“We have completed the seven empowerments in the pattern of childhood, which relate to the generation stage, and the four higher empowerments that relate to the completion stage. In other words we have completed the eleven empowerments of Kalachakra and it’s just reached 3pm, which is not bad! I gave you the transmission of the Kalachakra Six-session Guru Yoga yesterday,

“The main focus of tantric practice is the completion stage, but what we really have to concentrate on is the developing the awakening mind of bodhichitta and our understanding of emptiness. To realise the higher stages, we have to build on a firm basis.”

Tomorrow, His Holiness will give a Long-life empowerment in relation to White Tara and then a Long-life Offering will be made to him.
 

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