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Can HH the Dalai Lama *do* this?

zenguitarzenguitar Bad BuddhistNew England Veteran

The Dalai Lama has hinted that he may not be reincarnated, angering Beijing.

http://nyti.ms/1Bs6POy

Comments

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    Good on him, they are mixing politics with religion(spirituality)

    If you are free you are free.
    Kundorohit
  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    This story pops up every couple of years.

    Yes, he can do that. Bodhisattvas don't have to be reincarnated. They have a choice to not return, though they usually do, because they're naturally inclined to work tirelessly for the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

    Beijing, of course, panicked when he first announced that, and have issued various nonsensical statements, like, "He MUST reincarnate! He must uphold tradition!" Without him reincarnating, they can't try to control the reincarnation search, and through a false reincarnation, try to control the politics of Tibet.

    Too bad for them. :p

    EarthninjaRowan1980anataman
  • I think pretty much anything DL does would anger Beijing.... ;)

    Kundo
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    I think pretty much anything DL does would anger Beijing.... ;)

    He could start working with China to facilitate the emergence of both tradition and modernity above feudal power games. However that would require a high degree of compassion and wisdom. Up to him and his power base. China might be surprisingly accommodating over such a positive win win spin . . .

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @lobster said:
    He could start working with China to facilitate the emergence of both tradition and modernity above feudal power games. However that would require a high degree of compassion and wisdom. Up to him and his power base. China might be surprisingly accommodating over such a positive win win spin . . .

    You have to be kidding me....
    The overtures and offers the DL has made towards China in the past few years have met with nothing but hostility, rebuttal and stonewalling. Every effort he has made has been taken with suspicion and negativity.
    He dare not set foot in China.
    He would never be seen again.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 2015

    @federica said:
    He dare not set foot in China.

    Nonsense.

    If this is his final incarnation he can dare. What do you think will happen? Unilateral decision to visit China would be a wonderful opportunity for China to show how it protects the rights of its feudal aristocratic theocrats. Maybe he could be offered work on a farm, carrying water, chopping wood, instead of being a celebrity ultra-spiritual. :p

    Just a thought o:)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Now you're just being ludicrous....

    EarthninjaKundo
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    Yay for HHDL!! Stick it to 'em LOLOL!!

    BuddhadragonDakini
  • Many years ago I belonged to the Tibet Support Group in the UK. I'm not sure how much we achieved though, Tibet always seemed like an issue that the politicians wanted to avoid.

    boobysattva
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    China wants to own a Dalai Lama. If he decides not to reincarnate, they will fake it I'm sure.
    Rowan1980
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    So the HHDL should work with China just like the Native Americans should have worked with the US government? I understand what you are getting at, @lobster, but it doesn't make much sense. I realize HHDL abdicated his political responsibility a while back, but for sure up to that point, his responsibility was to his people, not to making concessions to terrorists to allow them some compromised control over a region that wanted autonomy. Also, hasn't he already said that they not longer want completely autonomy from China? China won't even bite at that. One has to be awfully careful about making concessions considering China has done plenty to obliterate the Tibetan culture and it's religion and as a result, it's people with no regard for anything but their own power and control.

    Just because one might have compassion for the hatred in the hearts of others, doens't mean they should throw themselves (and an entire population of people) into that hatred.

    Rowan1980EarthninjaKundo
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    It's kind of a shame... I was looking forward to seeing how the world responds to a female Dalai Lama.
    lobsterDairyLamaRowan1980Earthninja
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 2015

    The situation in Tibet is complex
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1999/02/tibet-through-chinese-eyes/306395/

    Do we tend to be very simplistic and biased? The Dalai Lama as a feudal theocrat is about as relevant long term as other figure heads for example Liz II of the UK, also a spiritual head incidentally.

    Maybe the British could lease Tibet like they did with Hong Kong? The imperial Brits did invade Tibet a while back, probably not an option . . . or perhaps Apple could offer to lease it as a franchise? After all one of their founders was a Buddhist (Steve Jobs) . . . m m m . . .

    Nope my political ideas are too fantastical. Maybe the Dalai Lama and personification of compassion could go to China for re-education or at least offer some wise alternatives . . .

    Earthninja
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited March 2015

    I know it is complex. I have an overall problem (including with how the US has, and does, manage their "territories") with the idea of a country owning the people and the cultures contained within their borders. I know that's how the world works, but I still don't like it, lol. I know it won't happen, but I'd prefer to see a world without borders.

    Why do the first world countries insist on bringing everyone kicking and screaming into their level of modernity? Increasingly, people who live in the highest states of "modernity" are seeking to go back and simplify things. Why does China assume Tibet wants, or needs, to become more modern? If that is not what they want (unfortunately they never get a say by voting so who knows for sure) then why does China get to tell them otherwise? Even in the US, kids can be taken from their parents for not living to modern standards even if the kids are well cared for. Silly notions we have. Is not living in the modern world truly as horrible as some think? Perhaps it is more of a gift and those hanging onto it are doing it for good reason.

    Also, the short comparison of Washington and his liberating the slaves. Pfft. Not really true history. He and particularly his wealthy wife, kept slaves in other states. Even after declaring them liberated, they moved their slaves to other areas so they would not have to give them up, and many years after, Martha offered one of her most prized slave's daughters to her daughter as a birthday gift. History, whether in this small example or larger examples of China and Tibet, is rarely true in what we are taught. Finding the truth is much harder. But China operates, not just with Tibet, but with it's citizens, out of a place of fear. That never works. The US does as well, on a large scale. But I have the freedom to buy into it or not. Chinese/Tibetans, don't so much.

    lobsterRowan1980
  • @ourself said:> China wants to own a Dalai Lama. If he decides not to reincarnate, they will fake it I'm sure.

    Weren't they grooming their own candidate?

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    If I remember right, yes... At the time I predicted there would be two of them running around with the groomed one eventually finding out he was a fraud and getting exiled as well.

    Rowan1980
  • zenguitarzenguitar Bad Buddhist New England Veteran

    One of the most ludicrous statements in this article is the one made by the communist (presumably atheist/materialist) official: "Decision-making power over the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, and over the end or survival of this lineage, resides in the central government of China." Huh?? :confounded:

    EarthninjaHamsaka
  • howhow Veteran
    edited March 2015

    No armchair quarterbacking here, (especially when it's not my tradition) but....

    I can think of few other Buddhist monks like the Dalai Lama, who having also been saddled with a political hat, so consistently infused compassion into what is otherwise a universally adversarial arena.

    If I am going to give anyone credit for having the most compassionate plan in place for the future, it will be to the practitioner who has seemingly devoted their life to **already **doing just that.

    lobsterHamsaka
  • NeleNele Veteran

    I do wonder what HHDL's goal was in "hinting" he might not reincarnate. He must have known it would stir up a hornet's nest. It seems un-lama-like.

  • zenguitarzenguitar Bad Buddhist New England Veteran

    I didn't know bodhisattvas could choose not to be reborn. So does this mean he goes directly to Nirvana? "Go to Nirvana. Go directly to Nirvana. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200 ( £135.82)" :smile:

    lobster
  • howhow Veteran
    edited March 2015

    @Nele said:
    I do wonder what HHDL's goal was in "hinting" he might not reincarnate. He must have known it would stir up a hornet's nest. It seems un-lama-like.

    @Nele

    If one believed that the current direction of the HHDL's reincarnation might be subverted into more greed, hate & delusion than compassion, love and wisdom, then the Bodhisattva action would be to cast doubt on whether that reincarnation was going to happen.

    That would mean that the popular acceptance of any new installment of his replacement would more depend on that candidate's actual demonstrated practice than on the claims from any political influences.

    Not sure if it is Lama - like or not, but it sure seems Buddhist to me.

    Hamsaka
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    I think HHDl should write the following contract:

    I the HHDL, will only reincarnate in this particular world if the following conditions are met:

    1. I am a human being.
    2. I will be a man / *woman (delete as appropriate).
    3. I am still alive and what I am, and will vocalise this sentiment!
    4. You are what you are!
    5. You make me laugh!
    6. I agree to not try and control you, and in exactly the same way you will not try to control me.

    bless you all and everyone

  • @ourself said:
    China wants to own a Dalai Lama. If he decides not to reincarnate, they will fake it I'm sure.

    I would be willing to buy a fake Dalai Lama if they clone them. I think we might all prefer the genuine article. As trainee embodiments of Avalokiteśvara, are we all becoming a little Dalai Lama?

    I'm Spatacus!
    [lobster dragged off by emergency sangha sanity response team, sponsored by Apple Tibet]

    EarthninjaHamsakaKundo
  • NeleNele Veteran

    And apparently HHDL might also reincarnate while he's still alive...perhaps as a woman. Now THAT's setting the political stage for change. From this week's New Yorker:

    At the age of eighty, the Dalai Lama has begun to discuss a range of prospects for the future disposition of his soul. Traditionally, after he dies, a search party of senior monks would set out to locate his new incarnation, who is most often a boy toddler, who goes on to be trained as a monk and a leader. But the Dalai Lama has said that times have changed, and the old ways might not make sense; he has suggested that he could be reincarnated as a woman, or reincarnated while he’s still alive, a gradual migration that might give him more control over the process. In December, he told the BBC that the Tibetan public should decide if he reincarnated at all. “There is no guarantee that some stupid Dalai Lama won’t come next, who will disgrace himself or herself,” he said. “That would be very sad. So, much better that a centuries-old tradition should cease at the time of a quite popular Dalai Lama.”

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Pizza?

    make mine one with everything - he knows who he is...

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    @Nele said:
    And apparently HHDL might also reincarnate while he's still alive...perhaps as a woman. Now THAT's setting the political stage for change. From this week's New Yorker:

    At the age of eighty, the Dalai Lama has begun to discuss a range of prospects for the future disposition of his soul.

    No, no, not his soul! His "consciousness".

    ;)

    @Nele, what New Yorker was that? The latest one? Where I live, we always get them a week behind schedule.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Do you really think it matters to HHDL if he has realised everything about his life and his place in it? Death may be quite welcoming...

  • @Nele said:
    I do wonder what HHDL's goal was in "hinting" he might not reincarnate. He must have known it would stir up a hornet's nest. It seems un-lama-like.

    @how said:
    If one believed that the current direction of the HHDL's reincarnation might be subverted into more greed, hate & delusion than compassion, love and wisdom, then the Bodhisattva action would be to cast doubt on whether that reincarnation was going to happen.

    I think @how hits the nail on the head here. It is glaringly obvious that the Chinese government will make every attempt to influence and control the Dalai Lama succession process in a way that will benefit them and their political motives. The Dalai Lama is declaring that he will not reincarnate as a way to prevent such corruption from taking place. The Chinese government's anger in response to his declaration is proof of their motives. Aside from the whole Tibetan Horror Story that goes along with it, there is a profound hilarity to this whole thing. As the article says:

    “I don’t think the Dalai Lama would mind if you saw this through the prism of Monty Python,” Robert Barnett, director of the modern Tibetan studies program at Columbia University, said in a telephone interview. “But he is reminding the Chinese that, from his perspective and the perspective of probably nearly all Tibetans, the Chinese don’t really have a credible role in deciding these things.”

    In the face of such horror, the Dalai Lama is being funny! ...and at the same time, being incredibly politically savvy. He is calling attention to the absurdity that the Chinese Government (especially considering their history...but even regardless of it) would have any role whatsoever in the reincarnation of a Bodhisattva. It is brilliant political comedy, besting anything Jon Stewart has ever come up with (and I love Jon Stewart).

    Even if the Dalai Lama did have plans to reincarnate (we're getting into abstractions here), he likely would still say what he has said because it is the most compassionate, practical, and powerful thing to say in this situation. In other words, he might be lying; telling an untruth in order to prevent the inevitably worse untruth that the Chinese Government has been planning.

    This throws a wrench into that whole right speech thing.

    EarthninjaRowan1980
  • boobysattvaboobysattva Explorer
    edited March 2015
    HHDL is a very wise one (ok thats not news) and he will liberate Tibet and its people in this lifetime. He is a remarkable man. He has so much simplicity and goodwill but he is not a weak man. I know this sounds silly but he is like a rock that many have leaned on and he does not take his responsibilities lightly.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Other than the fact that he will definitely NOT liberate Tibet in his lifetime, or after it, you're on target regarding his greatness, IMHO.

  • @vinlyn i think he may yet surprise you :) well - i hope he does.
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    He has liberated Tibet...

    Although, most people do not realise this!

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