Bodhgaya, Bihar, India – Having arrived in Bodhgaya yesterday, this morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama made a visit to the Mahabodhi Temple to pay his respects at the Seat of Enlightenment. He drove from the Tibetan Monastery, Gaden Phelgyeling, to the main entrance in a golfcart from which he could easily see the devout who lined the street and they could see him. He was welcomed by the Secretary of the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC), Nangzey Dorjee.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a short moment of quiet prayer as he walks through the Mahabodhi Temple grounds in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor
As he carefully descended the steps, His Holiness occasionally glanced up at the Stupa on top of the temple and said a quiet prayer. At other moments he looked down to the Bodhi Tree beneath which the Buddha sat. In between times he looked to his right and his left, smiling and waving to the throngs of people gazing up in hope of catching his eye.
His Holiness bowed and paid his respects at the foot of the Bodhi Tree and proceeded to circumambulate the temple, waving and smiling at people, young and old, peering through the stone railings. On the far side of the temple His Holiness entered the chapel, paid his respects, and sat down before the renowned statue of the Buddha. With him were Theravada monks as well as monks from Namgyal Monastery.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama leaving the chapel after joining in prayers at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor
While an Indian monk belonging to the BTMC wrapped silken yellow stoles around the statue in lieu of an offering of robes, His Holiness and the Namgyal monks chanted prayers that included: The Three Continuous Practices; the Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra; In Praise of Dependent Arising; a Supplication to the Seventeen Nalanda Masters; an Ecumenical Prayer to the Buddhist Traditions of Tibet; Verses of Auspiciousness Connected with the Three Jewels; and a prayer for His Holiness’s long life composed by his two Tutors.
The recitation was concluded with several dedication prayers including:
May the sublime precious bodhichitta
Arise where it has not yet grown;
Where it has grown, may it not decline
But develop and flourish.
As a result of the Buddha’s coming into the world,
His teaching shines as bright as sunlight,
And those who guard it are harmonious like siblings,
May his teaching endure for a long time.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting the devout gathered at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor
Emerging from the chapel His Holiness completed the circuit of the temple, climbed the steps to the gate and drove in the golfcart back to Gaden Phelgyeling.