Sunday, 25 September 2011

The next incarnation of the Dalai Lama is....

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama just released a statement yesterday 24 Sept 2011 about  the issue of his reincarnation.  This came about after His Holiness attended the 11th Bi-annual Conference of religious leaders from the different schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon tradition held in Dharamsala, India, on 23 Sept 2011. 

It is a very lengthy statement in which he gave brief explanation/teachings about rebirth, the meaning of tulkus, the lineage of the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas, and his decision on his reincarnation when he dies.  This was in terse response to the Chinese Government, which announced in March 2011 that China has to approve all reincarnations of living Buddhas, or senior religious figures in Tibetan Buddhism. It also says China has to sign off on the choosing of the next Dalai Lama. Some worry that once the Dalai Lama dies, China will simply appoint its own successor (just as they did in the case of the Panchen Lama), raising the possibility of there being two Dalai Lamas - one recognized by China and the other chosen by exiles or with the blessing of the current Dalai Lama. When I heard China's revelation at that time, I found  it incredulously unbelievable that China, the world's largest country with a majority of its population Buddhists, does not understand the concept of rebirth, or rather, reincarnation of a Living Buddha. Do they (China) think that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the living Bodhisattva Chenrezig (Guan Yin), the Compassion Buddha, does not have the ability/power to choose his own next rebirth???

I am very glad that His Holiness has decided to release this official statement. Below is an excerpt of the last and most important paragraph of His Holiness' statement.....
The next incarnation of the Dalai Lama

As I mentioned earlier, reincarnation is a phenomenon which should take place either through the voluntary choice of the concerned person or at least on the strength of his or her karma, merit and prayers. Therefore, the person who reincarnates has sole legitimate authority over where and how he or she takes rebirth and how that reincarnation is to be recognized. It is a reality that no one else can force the person concerned, or manipulate him or her. It is particularly inappropriate for Chinese communists, who explicitly reject even the idea of past and future lives, let alone the concept of reincarnate Tulkus, to meddle in the system of reincarnation and especially the reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas. Such brazen meddling contradicts their own political ideology and reveals their double standards. Should this situation continue in the future, it will be impossible for Tibetans and those who follow the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to acknowledge or accept it.

When I am about ninety, I will consult the high Lamas of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the Tibetan public, and other concerned people who follow Tibetan Buddhism, and re-evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not. On that basis we will take a decision. If it is decided that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should continue and there is a need for the Fifteenth Dalai Lama to be recognized, responsibility for doing so will primarily rest on the concerned officers of the Dalai Lama’s Gaden Phodrang Trust. They should consult the various heads of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and the reliable oath-bound Dharma Protectors who are linked inseparably to the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. They should seek advice and direction from these concerned beings and carry out the procedures of search and recognition in accordance with past tradition. I shall leave clear written instructions about this. Bear in mind that, apart from the reincarnation recognized through such legitimate methods, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s Republic of China.

The Dalai Lama

Om mani padme hum! Long live His Holiness ! 

I found some really old and nostalgic photos of His Holiness. Enjoy. 

Young boy HHDL in Potala Palace, Tibet
L: Baby HHDL and his parents & elder brother, R: 4 year old HHDL
The young HHDL writing on his bed, Tibet.
His Holiness with his mother
When China invaded Tibet, HHDL's exile on foot and by pony over dangerous mountains to India.
HHDL with his followers kneeling listening to his teachings, 1960
Precious photo of Dalai Lama, Sakya Trizin, Ling Rinpoche, Trijiang Rinpoche, Gyalwa Norbu Rinpoche, Thugsey Rinpoche and Kalu Rinpoche
HHDL and Panchen Lama walking across the border into India
Indian PM Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi and HHDL in 1959
A relaxing moment, His Holiness in Dharamsala
26-year-old HHDL

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