Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, respected by millions as a living God, has clarified that his reincarnation is to be decided by him.
The Buddhist monk had recently apologised for his “attractive” female successor remark, saying he genuinely meant no offence and offered his sincere apologies if people were hurt by what he had said.
However, aides in his private office in this northern Indian town clarified there is no question of the search for his successor as the Dalai Lama, 84, announced in 2011 that he would decide at 90 whether or not he should have a successor.
At the same time, the globe-trotting monk warned that any candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including China, should not be recognised or accepted. The aide said still there is no certainty that whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not after the 14th and current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. “My reincarnation is to be decided by myself, nobody has the right to decide about that,” he often said in his remarks. “One day you will hear that the Dalai Lama has passed away, but I will come back, even if the institution of Dalai Lama is no longer recognised. I will be back,” a post on his website quoting the Dalai Lama said.
But who is next after the Dalai Lama?
On his birthday on July 6 this year, he said, “I am now 84, but I hope to be able to celebrate the occasion with all of you for many more years to come.”
Clarifying this month on his remark during a BBC interview that has caused disquiet, the Dalai Lama recalled the conversation on the physical appearance of a female successor with the then Paris editor of Vogue magazine, who had invited him in 1992 to guest-edit the next edition.
She asked if a future Dalai Lama could be a woman. His Holiness replied, “Certainly, if that would be more helpful,” adding, as a joke, that she should be attractive, said a statement by his office.
On the Chinese stating that the next Dalai Lama will be born in Tibet and chosen by them, he said: “If the present situation regarding Tibet remains the same, I will be born outside Tibet away from the control of the Chinese authorities. This is logical. The very purpose of a reincarnation is to continue the unfinished work of the previous incarnation.”
In 1989, the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for Tibet. He was awarded the US Congressional Gold Medal in October 2007, even in the face of protests by China.
The Dalai Lama now lives in exile along with some 140,000 Tibetans, over 100,000 of them in different parts of India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.