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January 16, 2012

Kalachakra: A festival of teachings and meditations

Kalachakra is an ancient ritual that involves a series of prayers, meditations, dances, chants, vows and the construction of a large sand mandala - all with the aim to bring world peace. Kalachakra 2012 began January 1 and lasted for ten days in the northern Indian state of Bihar. The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Spiritual Leader, gave teachings and participated over the course of the festival. -- Paula Nelson (41 photos total)

A Buddhist devotee holds a lotus flower as she waits to welcome spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the town of Bodhgaya, believed to be the place where Buddha attained enlightenment, for the upcoming Kalachakra Buddhist festival in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, India. The Kalachakra, the most important ritual of the Mahayana sect of traditional Buddhists, begins Dec. 31. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press)

Local laborers clean themselves at a public tap in the town of Bodhgaya, ahead of the Kalachakra Buddhist festival. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhists queue to enter the Mahabodhi temple, where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment, before the Kalachakra Buddhist festival in Bodhgaya, Bihar state, India. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Indian beggars wait to receive alms in Bodhgaya before the Kalachakra Buddhist festival. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist monks and other devotees wait to welcome their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama upon his arrival in Bodhgaya. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist devotees bow in respect as their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama walks past upon his arrival in Bodhgaya. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist monks get their heads shaved in Bodhgaya, before the Kalachakra Buddhist festival in Bihar state, India. (Altaf QadriAssociated Press) #

A Buddhist devotee walks toward the venue where Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is delivering teachings during the Kalachakra Buddhist festival in Bodh Gaya, Bihar state, India. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist volunteers react as they pour milk into a huge pot to prepare tea for Buddhist devotees during the Kalachakra Buddhist festival. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist monks hold kettles to be filled with tea to be served to Buddhist devotees during the Kalachakra. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A young Buddhist monk picks up bread made for Buddhist devotees from inside a kitchen during the Kalachakra. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A child plays during the teaching session of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at Kalachakra Ground during the sixth day of the Kalachakra Festival. Kalachakra 2012, began January 1, 2012 and lasted for ten days in the northern Indian state of Bihar. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

Indian beggars ask for alms from Buddhist devotees visiting the Mahabodhi temple, believed to be the place where Buddha attained enlightenment. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A boy attracts devotees as he sells butter lamps at the Mahabodhi temple during the sixth day of the Kalachakra Festival. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

A young monk enjoys a carousel ride in a fun fair during the Kalachakra Festival. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

Buddhist monks and other devotees walk back to their camps through a field after attending a teaching session of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama during the Kalachakra. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A young Buddhist monk sits in a niche made in a wall in the compound of Mahabodhi temple. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist monks stretch their arms to receive offerings on the final day of Kalachakra. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A Buddhist monks distributes religious books to devotees who attend the prayer session of Tibetan Spiritual Leader The Dalai Lama. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

Tibetan Spiritual Leader the Dalai Lama gestures during a ritual and teaching session. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

Buddhist monks listen to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama as he addresses foreign devotees during the Kalachakra. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist devotees listen to the Dalai Lama in the place where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist monks pray with the Dalai Lama during the fourth day of the Kalachakra. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

A young Buddhist monk laughs during the final day of Kalachakra Buddhist festival. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist devotees bow in respect as their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama walks past following prayers. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist monks play musical instruments during the Buddhist festival. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Tibetan devotees in ceremonial costume perform in the presence of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist monks perform a Kalachakra ritual dance in the presence of the Dalai Lama. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

An Oracle ritual dancer performs on the last day of the Kalachakra Festival. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Buddhist devotee meditates. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A Buddhist devotee prays during a Kalachakra initiation session.(Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A devotee holds prayer beads during a prayer session of the Dalai Lama during the eighth day of the Kalachakra Festival. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets Tibetan Buddhism's third most important leader Ugyen Thinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, before a Kalachakra initiation session. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Buddhist monks run with teapots to serve tea to Buddhist devotees.(Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A Buddhist devotee prays as he looks at a giant screen on a street displaying the Dalai Lama. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A child enjoys a lollipop at Kalachakra Ground during the Ninth day of the Kalachakra, a festival of teachings and meditations. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

Buddhists attend a candle vigil of the Tibetan Community in memory of self immolations in Tibet during the eighth day of the Kalachakra Festival. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

A child attends a candlelight vigil of the Tibetan Community in memory of self immolations. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

Buddhist monks attend a teaching session by the Dalai Lama. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Tibetan Spiritual Leader The Dalai Lama takes part in a ritual and teaching session. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #

The Dalai Lama delivers teachings during Kalachakra, where it is believed Buddha attained enlightenment. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #



 
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