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Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama to take part in Kalachakra Ceremony in Bodh Gaya

The Kalachakra ceremony would be held in Bodh Gaya, from January 3 to January 14, 2017

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Dalai Lama. Flickr
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Dharamsala, October 24, 2016: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will participate in the ‘Kalachakra’ (Wheel of Time) ceremony in Bodh Gaya this January and pray for world peace, a Tibetan body announced on Monday.

“The Kalachakra ceremony would be held in Bodh Gaya, the place where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment, from January 3-14,” the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said in a statement.

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Organisers of the ceremony said the Kalachakra is held for world peace and for the smooth flourishing of Tibetan Buddhism.

During the first three days of the Kalachakra, the Dalai Lama, along with the monks of Namgyal Monastery and senior Lamas, will conduct rituals to consecrate the venue, it said.

From January 6 to 8, he will give preliminary teachings on Shantideva’s “A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life” (Chodjug) and Kamalashila’s “The Middling Stages of Meditation” (Gomrim Barpa).

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On January 9, the Kalachakra ritual dance will be performed by the monks of Namgyal Monastery.

From January 10 to 13, he will confer the Kalachakra initiation, followed by a long-life empowerment and a ceremony of offering prayers for the long life of the Dalai Lama on January 14.

Since 1954, the Dalai Lama has given 33 Kalachakra initiations, including four times at Bodh Gaya (in 1974, 1985, 2003 and 2012).

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The last Kalachakra was also held in Bodh Gaya in 2012 and drew over 200,000 devotees from across the world, including about 8,000-10,000 from Tibet, the statement said.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan administration-in-exile is based in this northern Indian hill town. India is home to some 100,000 Tibetan exiles. (IANS)

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‘Religion’ in India- Types and its Connection to Country’s Civilization

The Ancient religions of India are Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

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Religion
Ancient Religions of India.

India’s economic and political strata in today’s world have reached a great level, but that is still not what the country is known for. The country is known for its diversity and religions because the term ‘religion’ in India is not just a system of belief and worship, but a way of life too. Since ancient times, it has been an integral part of its culture. For the citizens of this country, religion pervades through all the activities of life- from cooking chores to working and politics. The religion we follow plays an important role in our upbringing as well. Our conditioning is done based on the principles of our religion. India is a home to many religions- Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam and others.

How old is the Indian civilization?

The Indian civilization is around 4000 years old, with the existing Indian religions growing in that period. The antiquity of the religions in India begins from the Harappan culture. It’s a secular country which respects all kinds of religion and culture, but during the ancient times, when the Human civilization was developing, there were three main religions native to India- Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The predominant religion during this period was Hinduism, which is said have originated in the Northern India.

Religion wise Indian Population:

  • HINDUISM – about 82%
  • ISLAM – about 12%
  • CHRISTIANITY – about 2.5%
  • SIKHISM – about 2%
  • BUDDHISM – about 0.7%
  • JAINISM – about 0.5%
  • ZOROASTRIANISM – about 0.01%
  • JUDAISM – about 0.0005%   (stated by adaniel.tripod)

Hinduism

Religion
Brahma                                                                                                                                                          Pixabay

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. Its followers worship several deities. Unlike the other religions, this religion does not have one teacher. Its followers, the ‘Hindus’ believe in a supreme divine spirit called ‘Parama Brahma’. The concept of Parama Brahma states that Brahma is omnipresent.

Hindus believe in vasudhaiva kutumbakam, which means the whole world is a single family. They also believe in Sarva dharma Sama Bhava, which means all religions are equal. The practice follows the ideas of mercy, charity, compassion, benevolence, non-violence and mercy. It believes the concept of ‘Bhakti’ or devotion.

The sacred writings of Hinduism include the Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Upanishads.

Also Read: The history and development of Indian Handicrafts

Jainism

Religion
Lord Mahavira                                                                                                                                                   Pixabay
According to tradition, the founder of Jainism was first Tirthankara Adinatha. However, the religion was widely propagated by the 24th Tirthankara, Mahavira. He was born in Vaishali, Bihar, who belonged to the clan ‘Licchavi’. Mahavira was moved by the sufferings of people, and therefore, left his home at the age of 30 to seek the truth. He supported the teachings of the previous Tirthankaras, and added his own beliefs to the teachings.
He believed in the ideology of leading a good life and not doing any wrong. He did not encourage the practice of needing the help of God for everything.
Doctrines of Jainism:
  1. Ahimsa (Non-violence)
  2. Satya (Truth)
  3. Asteya (Non-stealing)
  4. Brahmacharya (Chastity)
  5. Aparigraha (Non-possession)

Buddhism

Religion
Lord Buddha                                                                                                                                                    Pixabay
Buddhism is a religion which consists of different kinds of beliefs and practices based on the teachings of Lord Buddha. Buddha’s name was Siddhartha. He was the son of the Shakya clan’s leader. It is believed that Siddhartha made three observations, which changed his life:  a feeble old man; a person suffering from disease; and a dead body being taken for cremation. This propelled him in finding the true meaning of life. He left his home at an early age and attained ‘enlightenment’ in Bodhgaya.
He also prescribed the four noble truths and eight fold path.
Four noble truths are:
  • Dukkha (truth of suffering)
  • Samudāya (truth of the suffering’s origin)
  • Nirodha (the truth of suffering’s cessation.)
  • Magga (Direction to eight-fold path)

The eight fold path are- Right aims, Right beliefs, Right conduct, Right speech, Right effort, Right occupation, Right meditation and Right thinking.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at twitter @ImMeghaacharya.