Dalai Lama offers his flock a vote on whether he should be reincarnated

November 28th, 2007 - 4:26 pm ICT by admin  

Amritsar, Nov.28 (ANI): Nobel Laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has said that he may appoint a reincarnation while alive to thwart China from usurping a more than 600-year-old tradition.
Describing himself as a man in fine health, the Dalai Lama said detailed discussions on his succession had yet to begin, and that several options were being considered.
The Dalai Lama has come up with two revolutionary proposals either to forgo rebirth, or to be reborn while still alive.
The exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader proposed yesterday to hold a referendum among his 13-14 million followers around the world before his death on whether he should be reincarnated or not.
If the majority vote against it he said he would simply not be reborn, ending a lineage that tradition dictates dates back to the late 14th century, when a young shepherd was appointed the first Dalai Lama.
If the vote was in favour he said that he might appoint a reincarnation while he was still alive, breaking the 600-year-old tradition of being reborn as a small boy after his death.
His proposals not only raise some mind-bending metaphysical questions: they put Chinas atheist Communist leaders in the unusual position of claiming to be the protectors of Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Yes, a referendum, yes, its possible, the Dalai Lama told The Times at an interfaith conference here.
When my physical [condition] becomes weak and serious preparation for death [has started], then that should happen. According to my regular medical check-up, it seems another few decades, I think, are there, so no hurry, he said.
Senior monks, who interpret signals from the last reincarnation, scour the region for promising young candidates and then set a number of tests, have traditionally chosen the Dalai Lama.
The current Dalai Lama the 14th was born into a farming family and identified at the age of two after passing tests, including identifying his predecessors rosary from among several others.
He fled Tibet in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule and has been living in India ever since, heading a 200,000-strong Tibetan exile community from the northern town of Dharamsala.
He now campaigns for greater autonomy within China, but Chinese leaders accuse him of still seeking independence for Tibet, which they see as an integral part of their territory. (ANI)

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