On the auspicious occasion of his 85th birthday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the following message to members of the Tibetan community from his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India.
“Today is July 6th, my birthday. It’s not possible for large numbers of people to hold a big celebration because of restrictions due to the pandemic. And it’s not necessary either. However, if you want to celebrate my birthday, I would like to ask you to recite the Mani mantra (Om Mani Padme Hung) at least a thousand times.
The reason for my saying this is that we Tibetans have a unique connection with Avalokiteshvara. After we came into exile in India and after I settled here in Dharamshala, the statue of Chenrezig Wati Sangpo was brought to me here from western Tibet. When the monks of Dzongkar Chode Monastery were moving from Dharamshala to southern India, I did dough-ball divination to see whether the statue should go with them or remain here with me. The result indicated that Wati Sangpo preferred to stay here with me — so I serve as his caretaker.
There is something special about this Wati Sangpo such that I sometimes I feel he smiles at me. Since the altruistic awakening mind of bodhichitta is my principle practice, Wait Sangpo is like my refuge, protector and guardian.
Therefore, as I often say, Avalokiteshvara is my boss and I am his messenger. So if you wish to celebrate my birthday, if you want to get together to celebrate, which may not be so bad, you needn’t be so extravagant about it.
However on this day, remember Avalokiteshvara and recall that he is the one on whom I, Gyalwa Rinpoche, rely, and in whom I seek refuge. In terms of pure vision, Avalokiteshvara is someone who I have been connected with over successive lifetimes.
Therefore, on my birthday, either visualize me, Gyalwa Rinpoche as inseparable from Avalokiteshvara or visualize Avalokiteshvara as the principal deity and me as a monk sitting infront of him. If you then recite his mantra (Om Mani Padme Hung) a thousand times, it will be beneficial.
With that practice, you will create some roots of virtue that you can dedicate for me — Avalakiteshvara’s messenger — to live for 110 or 108 years or so.
May everyone be happy and well.”