Buddhists offer prayers for Dalai Lama's long life

ANI, July 16, 2007

Dharamsala, India -- Buddhist monks and followers offered prayers for the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala to overcome, according to Tibetan astrology, the year of 'obstacles' in his 73rd year.

Followers from Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Europe and America attended the congregation, as Nyigma monks performed prayers for the long life of their spiritual leader.

Monks and nuns from Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug schools of Tibetan Buddhism also graced the occasion.

'We are all gathered here to offer long life ceremony to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. This year is his 73rd year, according to the Tibetan astrology, it is his obstacle year,' said Rabjam Ripochi, a Bhuddhist monk from Nepal.

The Dalai Lama himself prayed along with the worshippers and followers.

Eijji, another Belgium follower said that for us, it was an ideal chance to see the Dalai Lama for the first time in my life.

'It is important that the Dalai Lama has a long life so that he can support the freedom fight for Tibet,' said Arudot, another Belgium follower.

The Dalai Lama has lived in Dharamsala with thousands of his followers since a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

About 134,000 Tibetans live in exile, the vast majority in India or Nepal, and of them less than half were born in their homeland.