Shimla: Tibetan Buddhists in Shimla on Wednesday organized prayers for world peace, to dispel the evils of the previous year, and bring good luck for the coming year.
Tibetans-in-exile organizes the annual prayers in the final month according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. Buddhists monks assemble at Dorjeedak Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Panthaghati near Shimla and offer prayers, perform dances, and burn cakes (Tor) signifying bad sentiments.
The festival is called Gutor in Tibetan Buddhism. Traditionally in Tibet, these prayers are offered in the 12th month before the Losar (New Year) celebrations. Here, they offer these prayers two months earlier as all the monks will be leaving their respective monasteries for teachings during the Tibetan New Year.
The Buddhist monks performed the Chham dances (Lama Dance) during the Gutor rituals here. After the prayers and Lama dance, the monks threw objects signifying bad omen into the fire.
“This is a very special prayer; we are praying for happiness and peace to the whole world. We used to offer these prayers in Tibet for many years. The main purpose is to remove all obstacles and welcome the Tibetan New year,” said a Buddhist monk.
“We are performing traditional Buddhist dances and also burning the Tor (symbolic cake) to remove all bad omens. Generally, these prayers are offered on the 29th day of the last month of the year but we are performing these prayers two months prior as all monks have to go for Monlam prayers to Bodh Gaya,” he said.
“We call it Gutor Chhenmo, which means the big day of the year to offer prayers to get rid of negative energy in the form of Torgyak (getting rid of bad thoughts by burning). We are offering prayers for world peace as His Holiness the Dalai Lama has always been an apostle of peace,” he added.