The Dalai is god in Tawang, his writ is law

Times of India, October 31, 2009

Tawang, India -- The day starts early at the monastery in Tawang, a rambling structure atop a mountain with clusters of smaller buildings and living quarters

The Dalai is god here, his writ is law arranged around it. The 200-odd child monks, their cherubic faces flushed pink with the cold, rise at the crack of dawn. The youngest is seven years old. They race up to the gompa as the first gong reverberates in the prayer hall. It is 4.30 am. The children are wrapped in warm red-and-yellow robes, their feet pushed into blue rubber slip-ons .

The original monastery, built in 1681 by Merak Lama, a Tibetan Buddhist disciple, has been replaced by a new building. The prayer hall is dominated by a massive gold Buddha, the walls are covered with elaborate murals of gods and enormous engraved pillars hold up the ceiling. The little monks sit in quiet rows on wooden planks lined with cushions. As they begin their chanting, the medieval space suddenly comes alive.

There is palpable excitement in the whole of Arunachal Pradesh, especially in Tawang, as the Dalai Lama's weeklong visit, which begins on November 8, draws near. He will spend five days at the monastery, will take part in special prayers and religious rituals and inaugurate a super-specialty hospital to which he has donated Rs 20 lakh.

Despite the hectic preparations to welcome him, the monks maintain their strict daily routines. After the prayers, which last for about an hour, the children queue up to collect the thick wheat roti and vegetables that make for the first meal of the day. The older monks and functionaries fan out to supervise various works in progress, including the construction of a new museum that will eventually hold rare treasures and artifacts of Tibetan Buddhism.

"We have been preparing for his visit for a year," says the abbot, Tulku Rinpoche. An array of gifts that include a silver and gold dharma chakra (held by Lord Brahma), a conch (held by Lord Indra) and a butter lamp with intricate inlay work encrusted with corals and turquoise, designed by skilled craftsmen from Karnataka, will be presented to the Dalai Lama. An idol of Ami Tayus, worshipped for long life, and a red-andyellow robe tailored at Dharamsala will also be given to him.

As the child monks brush up on their Buddhist philosophy, a subject introduced recently at the monastery's Centre for Buddhist Cultural Studies, so that they are prepared in case the Dalai Lama asks a question or two, the 500 elders prepare for special pujas for the man they consider god. They will not only pray that he has a long life, but also that "peace, compassion and kindness be instilled in Chinese hearts" .

Rushing to the bazaar to buy bamboo poles and bolts of silk which will be used as flags to decorate the monastery for the "great event'' , Phurba, a 35-year-old monk, says he has been praying hard for heavy snow along the border. "This is to prevent the Chinese from entering India.''

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: