The Message of Tibet's Chief State Oracle

Tashi Delek (Hello!) to all the Sangha* friends:

I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts during this difficult time we are facing at the moment. The Government of India has imposed lockdown in all the states since March 22nd, 2020, so all the Dharmic places** including ours are closed. His Holiness is in retreat at his official residence in Dharamsala and is in very good health. Our monks are in retreat mode too and continuing our daily practices privately, while following the social distancing protocol advised by the Government.

 The Wuhan pandemic virus is creating a lot of problems throughout the world. During this time, we must pause and consider what is happening in relation to the virus pandemic. Perhaps, in the face of this plight, under these negative circumstances, we can still act in a way that accomplishes something positive.

In addition to the destruction of the environment for a very long time, the attitudes and behaviour of people have also degenerated. In reality, there is no difference in all of us in the human race— regardless of religion, material prosperity, positions of high or low status. This virus has raised fears in almost everyone.
We are all the same—we all have the potential for death—and since this virus is impossible to detect at first glance, not knowing who has it and who doesn’t—unfortunately creates doubt in us. Since there is no cure for this disease yet, everything is that much more dangerous.
For all of us who live on this planet, it is important to be harmonious with others. Have a kind heart and be considerate. Try to help others and act in a way that brings us all closer as human beings These aspirations should be instilled in our minds and this is a favourable time for such reflection.
For those of us who are on the spiritual path, we should use this period to engage in mind training practices such as '’Tong-Leng", generating love and compassion, as well as contemplation & meditation on the wisdom realizing emptiness. This is a good opportunity to cultivate these positive, beneficial proclivities in our mind streams.
I would like to call-out to our centres and its members, during this plight as they have an extra responsibility to help those in need, mentally and physically.
His Holiness has laid forward a special message to everyone about the current situation on March 30th, 2020. It would be very helpful if we could follow and implement his advice. The Nechung Oracle also, has advised us to recite mantras of the enlightened ones and to do the smoke offering ritual (Riwo - Sangchoe, Ратае Noesang). The Nechung Oracle has also asked us to accumulate our good deeds and take good care of our health which will in turn gradually heal the situation in the days to come.
I specially want to use this platform to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the people working to help at the frontline to save lives at great personal risk. Laying their lives on the line to help and save others is a selfless act and a true example of compassion and kindness.
I will keep you all in my prayers and hope that this difficult situation gets better in time.
With prayers,
Nechung Kuten
The Medium of Tibet's Chief State Oracle.
Nechung Monastery
Dharamsala March 31,2020
* Sangha is a Buddhist community. Sometimes they also call by this name the whole religious fraternity. Initially, this term was referred to all students of Shakyamuni that were mentioned in mythical legends associated with Buddhism. Later, the one who took the appropriate vows (both secular and monastic) became a member of the Buddhist sangha.
** Dharmic places are holy places.

Editors’ note: Thupten Ngodup is the main state oracle of Tibet. Tibetans have been consulting the oracle for nearly four centuries. Nechung is a monastery of the state oracle of Tibet in Dharamsala, India. The state oracle is a member of the cabinet of ministers, and not a single important decision is made without his advice. It is the greatest rarity to receive the blessing of the State Oracle of the Dalai Lama, the kuten (medium) of one of the strongest Protectors of Dharma and Nechung. It is believed that he gives particular strength to those who turn to him, which is especially important during the crisis time in which the world is today.