His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Statement About His Reincarnation


A fascinating statement by His Holiness that covers the history of the tradition of reincarnations with respect to the office of the Dalai Lama. He summarizes his motivation by writing, “Therefore, while I remain physically and mentally fit, it seems important to me that we draw up clear guidelines to recognise the next Dalai Lama, so that there is no room for doubt or deception.” His Holiness also discusses past and future lives, the meaning of tulkus and emanations, and the system of recognizing reincarnations in Tibet.

He concludes that, “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.”

The part that I found quite touching and in some way amazing was the last paragraph which starts with, “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.”  His Holiness has occasionally said in the past that he’d outlive the Communists and would live into his 90s, I believe. But in the context of this official statement, it’s particularly interesting.

Official link to the statement.  Please share your thoughts.

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