China compels 7,000 Tibetans to return home without attending Kalachakra empowerment from Dalai Lama

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets devotees in Bodh Gaya, India, Jan. 2, 2017. (Photo courtesy: OHHDL)
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets devotees in Bodh Gaya, India, Jan. 2, 2017. (Photo courtesy: OHHDL)

(, Jan06, 2017) – Nearly 7,000 Tibetans have been forced to return home without receiving the Kalachakra empowerment from His Holiness the Dalai Lama that they had come for due to a highly coercive return order given by the government of China. More than 100,000 devotees from around the world have assembled at Bodh Gaya, said to be the site of the Buddha Shakymuni’s enlightenment, to attend the 34th Kalachakra empowerment being given by the Dalai Lama. While the preparatory teachings and rituals began on Jan 2, the main empowerment will be given over Jan 11-13.

“It is extremely unfortunate and sad that so many Tibetans who wanted to attend could not come, and that many others who were able to come have had to return to Tibet under strict deadlines,” Kalon Karma Gelek Yuthok, the exile Tibetan administration’s minister for religion and culture was quoted as saying.

Putting the number of such Tibetans at nearly 7,000, Yuthok has said, “This raises serious questions concerning China’s claim that it allows religious freedom.”

Kalachakra, or the Wheel of Time, empowerment prepares devotees to be reborn in Shambhala, a celestial kingdom which, it is said, will vanquish the forces of evil in a future cosmic battle.

Tibetans living in the Tibet Autonomous Region already had their passports confiscated by the Chinese authorities some years back. Those living in other provinces had theirs confiscated in early November. Many Tibetans who had already left for Nepal and India for pilgrimage were ordered through their families to return home or face severe punishment both for themselves and their families while government officials who had supported their passport application risked losing their government jobs.

The Dalai Lama spoke to many of those pilgrims from Tibet and assured them that they will still receive their Kalachakra empowerment through the power of their faith, prayers and devotion. “Distance cannot dampen the sacred ties between a lama and a disciple. You can all pray from the far-flung areas in Tibet and I assure you that you will receive the Kalachakra empowerment,” he was quoted as having told them. “From the Kalachakra ground, I will keep the Tibetans inside Tibet in my deepest prayers.”


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