Firstly, may all we wish that the Dalai Lama, as a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, recovers soon.
As the 14th Dalai Lama has suggested different possibilities by which his successor will be identified, I wish to share with readers my thoughts, as previously posted at ReligiousFreedomForChildren.blogspot.com.
Let children choose their religion after they have grown up.
When a boy chosen by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the spiritual leader turns his back on the Buddhist order, the outside world should ask why such religious practice carries on in the 21st century? The process of handpicking an infant as a reincarnated successor is inhuman. It does not give the child the right to choose, and can easily ruin his life as he is no longer able to live a normal childhood. So often the child is just whisked away to a monastery where he has to spend the rest of his life, luckily or unluckily, as a guru for others to worship.
Osel Hita Torres, the enthroned lama who is now 24, told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo that, “They took me away from my family and stuck me in a medieval situation in which I suffered a great deal.”
The issue at hand is not reincarnation or Tibetan Buddhism. It is the simple humanity of giving a child the right to decide what he wants to be, not handing that right to others. The Dalai Lama is regarded as the principal incarnation of Chenrezig (referred to as Avalokiteshvara in India or Kwun Yim in China), the Bodhisattva of compassion and kindness.
The Living Buddha should extend his kindness to all children, and allow his successor to be selected from adults who have a choice.
Published : April 14, 2019