Washington: The small Tibetan community in the US is planning to celebrate the 80th birthday of their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in a grand ceremony for two days next week in New York.
Senior US officials, members of Congress and prominent religious and civic leaders are expected to attend a public reception to celebrate with the Dalai Lama on July 19 in New York, according to a press release.
In honour of his 80th birthday and in the presence of the Dalia Lama, Buddhist monks will chant prayers, participants will dress in traditional regalia and vendors will offer statues of Buddha, religious scroll paintings called thangka, incense and other religious artifacts.
The Buddhist ritual, Tenshug in Tibetan, is a long-life offering and a moving ceremony comprised of prayers and a procession of symbolic offerings.
The purpose of this prayer is to ask for a long and healthy life for the Dalai Lama and to preserve his Buddhist teachings.
"In many ways, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has profoundly touched not only the lives of the Tibetan people, but also countless others throughout the world," said Tashi Namgyal, North American Representative to the Tibetan Parliament and co-chair of the Gratitude Events Organizing Committee.
"This birthday celebration honors the Tibetan leader for the wisdom and spiritual guidance he has provided to both Buddhists and non-Buddhist; and for his unwavering efforts to alleviate the sufferings of all sentient beings," Namgyal added.