Bodh Gaya, Jan 6: The Chinese government has imposed travel restrictions on Tibetans in Tibet in a bid to block their travel to India to attend the Kalachakra teachings, sources in Tibetan 'government-in-exile' claimed today.
News emanating from Tibet reported that the Chinese government began confiscating passports from Tibetans in Tibet since November this year, they said.
Nepali media reported that "China has reportedly issued a temporary travel restriction on its citizens visiting Nepal and asked its travel agencies and airlines to cancel all travel plans and bookings made until January 10 with immediate effect."
According to these sources, Chinese authorities have instructed the family members of the pilgrims to inform them to return to Tibet by January 3 before the Dalai Lama begins his teachings.
Kalachakra means wheel of time or "time-cycles" and it is usually used to refer to a complex teaching and practice in Buddhism.
The sources quoted a Tibetan pilgrim who chose to remain anonymous as saying that the authorities had taken signatures from their family members to make sure that the pilgrims have been informed and that they must return to Tibet.
In the light of these developments, the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama addressed the Tibetan pilgrims in Dharamsala, Delhi and Bodh Gaya advising them not to be disheartened.
He said that during the Kalachakra initiation, which runs for three days -from January 11-13 - Tibetans in Tibet whose faith and devotion remain invincible and stands undefeated, can pray from inside Tibet. "From the Kalachakra ground, I will keep the Tibetans inside Tibet in my deepest prayers."
The Dalai Lama said there is a substantial number of Chinese Buddhists in mainland China wishing to attend the Kalachakra and that he will remember them in his prayers.
"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," said the Dalai Lama who arrived in Bodhgaya on December 28.
The Kalachakra initiation began with a ritual preparation on January 2 and will end with a life-long prayer ceremony on January 14 and is streamed live on Tibet TV's youtube (www.tibetonline.tv) and facebook page.
The 34th Kalachakra initiation is being organized by Central Tibetan Administration for the first time in Tibet's history. The 13-day religious gathering will draw over 200,000 devotees from across the globe, officials in the Tibetan 'government-in-exile' said.
China blocks Tibetans' visit to India: Tibetan sources