Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India – The morning was bright and clear when His Holiness the Dalai Lama walked to the Tsuglagkhang today. As soon as he had taken his seat on the throne he announced that for auspiciousness, at the conclusion of several days’ teaching, he would give a White Tara Long Life permission. He told the audience he had preparatory rituals perform and asked that the Mangala Sutta, the Heart Sutra and Tara mantras be recited while he did so.
His Holiness explained that the permission he was going to give came from the collection of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Secret Visions. He reported that he received all 25 sections of this cycle of teachings from Tagdrag Rinpoche when he was young. It is a tradition that has been associated with all the Dalai Lamas after the Fifth. He mentioned having completed the necessary retreat related to the Ka-gye, the Eight Herukas, and that since a handwritten copy of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Secret Visions was brought to him in India, he has been able to teach from it.
In his preamble His Holiness reiterated that the Buddha’s teaching is based on reason, not blind faith. He touched on the importance of understanding the Two Truths and the Four Noble Truths, of engaging in the Three Trainings of ethics, concentration and wisdom and following the practices of the individual of small, medium and great capacity in due order. He observed that on the basis of such a foundation tantra employs the subtlest mind of clear light, the awareness from which all gross states of mind have been eliminated.
His Holiness first gave the lay-person’s vows to all who wished to take them and began to give the White Tara permission. At the appropriate point in the ritual he led the audience through a ceremony for generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta, followed by the Bodhisattva Vows. Once the permission was complete, the Taiwanese group recited the prayer for His Holiness’s long life composed by his two Tutors—Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche.
This series of teachings has been simultaneously translated into Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Hindi, Thai, French and German. The respective interpreters joined the organizers of the teachings in making final auspicious offerings to His Holiness.
At the last moment, His Holiness remembered that a nun had asked him to give a reading transmission of the ‘Prayer to the Twenty-One Taras’ and he read it aloud.
The morning concluded with an opportunity for members of the Taiwanese group to have their photographs taken with His Holiness.