States & UTs

    Siliguri: Followers celebrate Dalai Lama's birthday, day to be marked as "Universal Day of Compassion"

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    The Hawk
    July6/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Followers marked the occasion with prayers, cake-cutting, and cultural performances. The day was also declared as 'Universal Day of Compassion' by the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace, honoring Dalai Lama's contributions to global peace and harmony.

    Dalai Lama's birthday celebration

    Siliguri (WB): The birthday of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was celebrated by his followers at the Kalchakra Monastery in West Bengal's Siliguri on Saturday.
    Dalai Lama's followers said they would celebrate July 6 as the 'Universal Day of Compassion' to honour the great contributions of the Dalai Lama towards a global mission for peace and harmony among humankind.
    Prior to this, the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP) unanimously declared July 6 as the 'Universal Day of Compassion' in 2024.
    The followers of Dalai Lama offered prayers for his long life. They also cut birthday cake and performed cultural celebration.
    Large crowds gathered at the Kalchakra Monastery, since the morning, to celebrate Dalai Lama's birthday.
    Prayers were also organised to mark Dalai Lama's birthday.
    Himalayan Buddhist Cultural organisation, Chief Secretary, Sanam Ninduk Lama said that July 6 will now be celebrated as 'Universal Day of Compassion.' He also elaborated on the celebrations being held today.
    Speaking to ANI, Sanam Ninduk Lama said, "We are celebrating Dalai Lama's 89th birthday. We celebrate it every year...Now, every year, this day will be celebrated as 'Universal Day of Compassion.' We are very happy. We have been preparing for this celebration for the past month, including the children, parents and school children."
    "Since this morning, we have prayed for the long life of Dalai Lama. After that, the program has started. Cake has been distributed among children. The guests were served tea and food," he added.
    He expressed happiness that the Universal Day of Compassion is being celebrated and added that Dalai Lama has given the message of peace and compassion to the whole world.
    Asked on the reason why Universal Day of Compassion is being celebrated, he stated, "The reason why we celebrate Compassion Day is because it is Dalai Lama's 89th birthday. He has been in Tibet for 25 years. He has lived in India for more than 70 years. He has given message of peace and compassion to the whole world."
    A Buddhist follower, Prerena Waling said that they will now celebrate Dalai Lama's birthday and the 'Universal Day of Compassion' every year on July 6. She said that Dalai Lama's birthday will be celebrated in a grand manner next year.
    "Today is 6th July, which is the birthday of His Holiness 14th Day Dalai Lama. So, today along with it...we have started to celebrate 'Universal Day of Compassion'. That means that the day of His Holiness Dalai Lama, who is known for his compassion' and has spread the message of unity among all the communities, not just Buddhist community," she said.
    "So, from today onwards, we will celebrate Universal Day of Commission on the birthday of His Holiness, Universal Day of Compassion, which is declared by the Himalayan Buddhist Preservation Society. So, all over the world, we are celebrating Universal Day of Compassion since today. We are very happy because every year we celebrate the birthday since His Holiness is the patron of the school and association as well. We celebrate this birthday every year. We are celebrating it in a grand manner," Waling added.
    Dalai Lama was born to a small farming family in Tibet's Takster on July 6, 1935. At the age of two, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.
    After a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959, the Dalai Lama was forced to escape into exile in India with over 80,000 refugees. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his non-violent campaign for democracy and freedom in his homeland. Since fleeing to India, he has spent his time in exile pushing for autonomy for Tibet.

    —ANI