His Holiness the Dalai Lama Arrives in Sikkim

DHARAMSHALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama was received by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on his arrival in India's north-eastern state of Sikkim today after successfully concluding a two-day visit to Kalimpong.

The chief minister was accompanied by his cabinet colleagues to welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Pelling Helipad in West Sikkim, Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The Sikkim government has banned slaughter of animals in the state during His Holiness the Dalai Lama's eight-day stay, the report said.

After his arrival at Pelling Helipad the monks from Pemayangtse Monastery, which is considered one of the most holiest monasteries in Sikkim, conducted "Sherbang", a traditional Buddhist ritual of dance and prayer for His Holiness.

Thousands of people had come out to greet His Holiness the Dalai Lama and receive his blessings.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, center, speaks at the Pemayangtse Monastry in Pelling, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Gangtok, India, Wednesday, 15 December 2010/AP Photo
His Holiness was then escorted to the Pemayangtse Monastery from where he flew to Tashiding Monastery.

On 18 December, His Holiness will visit the town of Ravangla in south Sikkim to address a congregation of people at the Tibetan settlement. On the same day he is scheduled to visit the Ralong Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim.

His Holiness will bless a new Buddha Statue being built by the Sikkim State Government on the morning of 19 December.

He will inaugurate and participate in a 4-day long conference on Modern Cognitive Sciences and Eastern Contemplative Traditions in Gangtok on 20 December. It is being organised by the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. The conference, the first of its kind for Sikkim, is expected to lay the foundation for Sikkim Government’s efforts to formally introduce concepts of morality and ethics to its school curriculum.

His Holiness will give two-day teachings on 21 and 22 December. On the morning of 21 December he will teach on Nagarjuna's Commentary on Bodhicitta (jangchup semdrel) and Quintessential Collection of the Mind Sadhanas from the 5th Dalai Lama's Secret Teachings (thukdrup yangnying kundu). On the next morning, he will confer a long life empowerment (tsewang) and be offered a long life ceremony.

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