July 19, 2019
   Posted in News From Other Sites
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By Kamna Arora, Read the original article here.

The current Dalai Lama had in August 2017 said that the process to find his successor would start in July 2025. The spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetans is ‘found on the basis of some signs.

New Delhi: The Chinese authorities recently minced no words in asserting that if India tried to ‘interfere’ in the process of ‘approving’ the successor to the 14th Dalai Lama, it will impact Beijing’s ties with New Delhi. They also insisted that the ‘selection’ of the next Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan Buddhist people, should strictly take place within the politico-geographical confines of China.

China may claim that only Beijing can appoint the next Dalai Lama (just like the way it anointed its own Panchen Lama in 1995), but it conveniently chooses to disregard that traditionally (for over 5 centuries now) the Dalai Lama is not ‘chosen’ but rather ‘found’ on the basis of some signs and visions.

In 2011, the 14th Dalai Lama had clearly stated: “Bear in mind, apart from the reincarnation recognised 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.” This may seem like an effort to thwart China’s likely attempt at subversion and acquisition of the holy office of the order of the Tibetan Buddhist monks.

How the Dalai Lama’s successor is found

Traditionally, on the passing away of a Dalai Lama, his successor is ‘chosen’ after a period of time by deceased Dalai Lama’s senior disciples on the basis of a set of some signs and visions. It is believed that the Dalai Lama has the power to select the body into which he is reincarnated. It is then the responsibility of the High Lamas to ‘find’ him in that reincarnate avatar.

They may have a dream or vision in this regard; else they will have to read signals. For example, if the previous Dalai Lama was cremated, the direction of the smoke is read as an indication of the direction of rebirth.

They usually meditate at Lhamo La-Tso, a sacred lake located in central Tibet, seeking an indication or vision as regards the direction in which to search for the next Dalai Lama. It is believed that the sacred lake’s female guardian spirit had made a promise to the first Dalai Lama that she would always shield the reincarnation lineage.

The process does not end here. After the High Lamas follow their visions and find a boy, a number of tests are conducted to make sure that he is the rebirth. In fact, he is also given various items to check if he can identify the ones that belonged to the previous Dalai Lama.

After the boy passes all the tests, the High Lamas apprise the top religious figures of their find and then inform the Central Government, which was the Lhasa-based government of yore before China forcibly occupied Tibet in 1950.

The boy is then taken to Lhasa along with his family and is subjected to the study of the Buddhist sutras.

The current Dalai Lama – the 14th Dalai Lama – was chosen by the disciples of the 13th Dalai Lama after the latter’s demise. He was four-and-a-half-year-old at that time.

In his memoir, ‘My Spiritual Journey’, the current Dalai Lama recounted identifying a monk in the search party who had arrived disguised as a servant. The young boy had identified the rosary beads the older monk was wearing around his neck. They belonged to the 13th Dalai Lama.

In August 2017, the current Dalai Lama had told a gathering that the process to find his successor would start only after he turned 90 in July 2025. The 84-year-old spiritual leader, also the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, added that he would consult Tibetan Buddhist High Lamas on the ‘need for continuing the institution of the Dalai Lama’.

While he did not mention how his successor would be chosen, scholars say there would be prayers and tantric rituals in Buddhist monasteries when they will seek his reincarnation.

The views expressed by the author are personal and do not in any way represent those of Times Network.

 


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