For all those who want to know about his “reincarnation” — from a wary China to millions of followers across the globe — the Dalai Lama has a very simple question: Why the hurry?
“Resolutions regarding my reincarnation have been adopted. But a few years ago, I was in the United States of America and I was asked about my reincarnation there. Then, I took off my spectacles and stated, how do I look? What is the hurry for my reincarnation? Now, I am 84, but my health is good.”
The remarks came at the end of an hour-long address by the Nobel laureate and 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamshala. In the audience were over 200 religious heads, including representatives of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), who had gathered for the three-day 14th Religious Conference.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a senior member of the CTA said: “A few years ago, His Holiness had said that he shall announce his reincarnation plans either at the age of 84 or when he turns 90. The first Dalai Lama was the only one who had reached the age of 84… But since His Holiness has said today that he is in good health, we are sure that he will live a long life and shall announce his reincarnation at the age of 90.”
At the conference, which ended Friday, the leaders unanimously passed a resolution that a decision on the reincarnation, including the announcement venue and timing, vests solely in the Dalai Lama.
The resolution also took a shot at China, which had issued an order in 2007 that a “reincarnation application must be filed by all Buddhist temples in China before they are allowed to recognize individuals as (reincarnated teachers)”.
Titled “Dharamshala Declaration”, the resolution states: “If the Government of the People’s Republic of China for political ends chooses a candidate for the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan people will not recognize and respect that candidate. Regarding the method of recognizing the future reincarnations of the Dalai Lama, the same unique Tibetan traditional method, which has been continuously used until now, will be followed. This method conforms to be basic philosophy and tenets of the Buddhadharma and originated in Tibet over 800 years ago”. In October, a Special General Meeting on Reincarnation in Dharamshala had passed a similar resolution.
On Thursday, Dr Lobsang Sangay, the CTA president, had told The Indian Express: “The Chinese want to interfere in selecting the reincarnated Lamas… They have already selected 300. Now, they say they have a list of 1,300 that they have selected, and given certificates as Lamas. The communist party is interfering in selecting Lamas”.