Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dalai Lama turns 75: question over his succession remains

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama turns 75 on Tuesday. As the Nobel Laureate gets older, concerns are mounting over his succession.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama turns 75 on Tuesday. As the Nobel Laureate gets older, concerns are mounting over his succession. The present Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso fled Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He has since been living in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala. Many Tibetans revere him as a living god and therefore the issue of his succession is sensitive as well as complicated.

"Traditionally the Dalai Lama has been both a monk and also the head of the state in Tibet," explains Paul Williams, an expert at the University of Bristol. "In addition, the Dalai Lama is someone who is considered by the Tibetans to be spiritually so advanced that when he dies it is possible for him to control his reincarnation. Of course, Tibetans and other Buddhists believe in reincarnation. So when we talk about the successor to the Dalai Lama, do we mean the person who will be considered to be the reincarnation of the current Dalai Lama or do we mean by the successor to the Dalai Lama who will be considered to be politically the head of the Tibetan government in exile?"


To read more:

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5762631,00.html


Source photo: http://www.dalailama.com/

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