Dalai Lama Concedes Tradition May Cease Following his Death

dalai lama

Recently, the Dalai Lama has made comments regarding the cessation of the Dalai Lama tradition and has stated that he could very well be the last to hold the title of spiritual leader of Tibet.

His comments during interviews with the “Newsnight” program on BBC and with other news outlets have carried the suggestion that it could be a good thing to have the tradition end with a popular Dalai Lama, rather than be destroyed by the ascension of someone unfavorable that would possibly become a disgrace to the Dalai Lama tradition.  He calls such an event “very sad,” saying the tradition would be better served by ending when there had been a largely popular Dalai Lama. 

The spiritual leader suggested, “The Dalai Lama institution will cease one day. These man-made institutions will cease,” and such a decision would be “up to the Tibetan people.”

The Dalai Lama’s actual name is Tenzin Gyatso. He has been the Dalai Lama since 1950, when he turned 15.  At 79, the 14th Dalai Lama holds the distinction of both serving the longest and winning a Nobel Peace Prize.  In 1959, the he attempted to ignite a Tibetan uprising against China, which failed, resulting in his exile to India.

He made the point that his position did not have any political responsibilities presently, as he had handed them off to Lobsang Sangay, who is the exiled Tibetan government’s elected leader, in 2011.  The move came after China vowed to make the choice for the next Dalai Lama and has been seen by some as an attempt by the Dalai Lama to ensure his community would be able to look to a leader who had been elected and was not in China’s control.


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