Dalai Lama Opens Senate with Prayer to 'Buddha and All Other Gods'

By Susan Jones | March 6, 2014 | 10:08am EST

President Obama meets with the Dalai Lama in the Map Room of the White House on July 16, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

(CNSNews.com) - The Dalai Lama delivered the opening prayer in the U.S. Senate Thursday morning, noting that he is a "simple Buddhist monk--so pray to Buddha and all other gods."

He read his prayers in both English and his native tongue:

"With our thoughts, we make our world. Our mind is centered and precedes our deeds. Speak or act with a pure mind. And happiness will follow you, like a shadow that never leaves."

"May there be joy in the world, with bountiful harvest and spiritual wealth," he said, when he reverted to English. "May every good fortune come to be. And may all our wishes be fulfilled."

He concluded with what he described as his "favorite prayer." "Daily I pray this, (because) it gives me inner strength."

"As long as space remains, and as long as sentient beings remain, until then may I too remain, and help dispel the misery of the world. Thank you."

Senate Chaplain Barry Black often invites visiting religious leaders to give the opening prayer in his absence, the Washington Post noted, but this was the first time the Dalai Lama has done so.

The honor is unlikely to please China, which strongly objected to President Obama's recent visit with the exiled leader, who seeks greater autonomy for Tibet.

"The U.S. leader's planned meeting with Dalai is a gross interference in China's domestic politics," said Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry, ahead of the Dalai Lama's White House visit a few weeks ago.

"It is a severe violation of the principles of international relations. It will inflict grave damages upon the China-US relationship."

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