Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Dalai Lama lets monks cover up

Severe, icy wind made the air feel much colder than the recorded temperature of 1°C at Sarnath, the traditional northern India site of the Buddha's first teaching, and the Dalai Lama told followers to cover their heads.Tibetan monks normally don't do that. A cold wave has killed more than 1 600 people across South Asia, with more than half of them dying in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where Sarnath is located.When the Dalai Lama saw shivering monks bundled up in maroon and saffron robes, sitting on mats for an outdoor ceremonial prayer, he urged common sense over tradition."It's too cold here, cover yourselves properly," the Tibetan Buddhist leader told about 200 monks at the Dhamekha Stupa, where the Buddha is said to have taught the principles of the religion he founded.

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