Friends of Tibet

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The Power of Prayer
(By Appu John, November 2012)

Kochi city in the southern Indian state of Kerala is getting ready to welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama who will be on a two-day visit to the state from November 24-25, 2012. On November 25, His Holiness will address the Friends of Tibet Wellbeing Tibetan Medical Camp beneficiaries at a private audience. The 77-year old spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, Tenzin Gyatso, the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet will have a tight schedule in the state with programmes lined up. (Photos: Friends of Tibet)

Kochi city in the southern Indian state of Kerala is getting ready to welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama who will be on a two-day visit to the state from November 24-25, 2012. On November 25, His Holiness will address the Friends of Tibet Wellbeing Tibetan Medical Camp beneficiaries at a private audience. The 77-year old spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, Tenzin Gyatso, the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet will have a tight schedule in the state with programmes lined up. (Photos: Friends of Tibet)

"Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart." Mahatma Gandhi

Prayer is considered is the most powerful sources of energy according to the Eastern tradition. Prayer and meditation helps each person to recharge himself so that he or she can serve better to the society. Just as you recharge your mobile phones, prayers too help one to recharge and revitalise. Prayers have become a must for many of our modern ailments.

The Tibetan race as a whole is deeply attached to prayer. The Wellbeing camp organised by Men-Tsee-Khang and Friends of Tibet has been running in Kochi for the past two years is also not so different. Each day at the camp begins with the chanting of the mantra of the Medicine Buddha. Bhaiajyaguruvaiduryaprabharaja ('Medicine Master and King of Lapis Lazuli Light') is the Buddha of healing and medicine in Mahayana Buddhism. Commonly referred to as the "Medicine Buddha", he is described as a doctor who cures suffering using the medicine of his teachings. The colour blue given to him is also worth knowing. It is unlike Lord Shiva who had drunk the poison to save the world and became Neelkant on the other hand it is considered as a divine capacity to include everything in the world like the sky. It is there always unchanged, majestic and serene. Many things can happen like storms, tornados, landslides; but in the end the sky remains the same. Bhaisajyaguru is attended by two bodhisattvas Surya Prabha and Chandra Prabha. The prayer of the medicine Buddha goes on as follows: Tayata Om Bekanze Bekanze Maha BeKanze Radza Samudgate Soha. The meaning of which is "to eliminate the pains of diseases but also to overcome the inner sickness of attachment, hatred, jealousy, greed, desire and ignorance." The prayer if chanted daily will provide calmness to the mind and the heart free from all burdens.

Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of Government of India, Prof KV Thomas (Right) with Sethu Das, Founder-President of Friends of Tibet after seeing a Zenith Royal 1000-1 Wavemagnet Transistor used by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. Artifacts from the collection of Friends of Tibet including coins and currencies from the then Independent Tibet, the outlawed Tibetan National Flag from occupied Tibet and rare Photos of the Dalai Lama etc will be on display in Kochi on November 25, 2012.

Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of Government of India, Prof KV Thomas (Right) with Sethu Das, Founder-President of Friends of Tibet after seeing a Zenith Royal 1000-1 Wavemagnet Transistor used by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. Artifacts from the collection of Friends of Tibet including coins and currencies from the then Independent Tibet, the outlawed Tibetan National Flag from occupied Tibet and rare Photos of the Dalai Lama etc will be on display in Kochi on November 25, 2012.

The prayer of the Medicine Buddha is significant as each day we face varied problems. When facing these problems we are to be like the sky incorporating all. This is the same in their treatment also. The Tibetan medicine in its fullness is not only dependent on medication only. It is deeply dependent on the religion. Ideas like astrology and lucky charms which are considered as irrelevant by the modern medicine and modern sciences are considered important by the Tibetan medical practitioners.

Your sickness/unhappiness is not only a product of your workings in this world at the same time it is linked to one's activities in other births also. Your mistakes may be due to the evil eye following you always. What does the modern science's answer to such miseries? Nothing they consider it as just ridiculous. But such things do influence you. Even the most atheistic persons will certainly agree with the ups and downs of one's life which cannot be answered using our common logic. This is a true in the case with almost all persons. Such a riddle's answer is nothing but prayer in all theistic designs. Certain communities offer a number of religious rituals to cleanse one's self. The Tibetan community also offers the same but not basically through priests but through doctors.

Hence in Tibet healing is a process deeply associated with prayers. You pray so that your heart is cleansed; you wear the amulets so your prayers are reassured in these physical forms. The prayers are answered as you progress in your prayer full life. Finally prayer in its fullness is in the great mantra of Avalokiteswara, a prayer to the God of Compassion, 'Om Mani Padme Hum' (I bow before the Jewel in the Lotus) — the plea to the God of compassion and accepting oneself before the greatness of God.

The 24th Wellbeing Tibetan medical camp organised jointly by Friends of Tibet and Men-Tsee-Khang was held in Kochi from November 7-10, 2012.

The 24th Wellbeing Tibetan medical camp organised jointly by Friends of Tibet and Men-Tsee-Khang was held in Kochi from November 7-10, 2012.

Appu Jacob John is a Writer and Friends of Tibet Campaigner based in Kerala, South India. He can be reached at appu.john@friendsoftibet.org

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Friends of Tibet (India)

Friends of Tibet is a people's movement to keep alive the issue of Tibet through direct action. Our activities are aimed at ending China's occupation of Tibet and the suffering of the Tibetan people. Friends of Tibet supports the continued struggle of the Tibetan people for independence. Friends of Tibet is also one of the principal organisers of World Tibet Day around the world.