Christopher Michel [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Christopher Michel [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Dalai Lama jokes about an attractive female Dalai Lama successor.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is one of the world’s most popular religious figures. His childish laugh and his pleasant, slow cadence, and his lightheartedness has made him incredibly famous across the world, as he continues to spread his message of universal love and peace and the tenets of Buddhism across the globe. He is also one of the most active social media presences on the Internet, with nearly 12 million followers on Twitter alone, giving each of his messages and words a larger impact than has ever been possible for the Dalai Lama.

Not afraid to speak in public or to be interviewed by the media, recently, the Dalai Lama made some comments in a recently aired interview by the BBC that have many people scratching their heads at the Dalai Lama’s potential for progressivism.

Last Monday, the BBC aired the interview with the Dalai Lama, Jezebel reported. He responded where His Holiness was asked if the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama could be a woman with an enthusiastic “Yes!” He then went on to say that females are more biologically inclined to show affection and compassion. Taking it one uncomfortable step further, the Dalai Lama said, “…if a female Dalai Lama comes, their face should be very attractive.

The BBC reporter asked the Dalai Lama to clarify his statement, and His Holiness responded with I mean, if female Dalai Lama come, then that female must be very attractive, otherwise not much use.The reporter asked if he was joking, and the Dalai Lama said, No. True!

The BBC interview was also very in-depth on many other issues, including combatting ISIS, the responses of countries that are strengthening their borders and the countries that are taking in Syrian refugees, discussions of the Dalai Lama’s presence on social media and the way that the younger generation venerates him, not for his religious beliefs, but for his spirituality.

On the issue of fleeing Syrian refugees and the Hungarian Prime Minister’s statements that he wouldn’t want to take in many refugees because he wouldn’t want Hungary to become an Islamic country, the Dalai Lama responded: You cant blame or generalize whole Islam. Islam like any other religion; essence is a message of love. It is wrong to generalize Islam, Muslim, thats wrong.

When asked about ISIS and how to combat ISIS, the reporter asked His Holiness if the ideals of non-violence, for which the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism are famous, could work against the violence of ISIS, pitting the values of non-violence against statements made by Lord Kerry, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, who stated that there should be “renewed military and diplomatic efforts to crush the twin menaces of Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.” In responding, the Dalai Lama seemed to waver in his absolute belief in non-violence, saying, Well, yes, in some particular case, maybe, force is something that is necessary. The reporter pressed the Dalai Lama for more clarification, to which he returned to his original Buddhist message, saying, “Unless you deal with this problem in a non-violent way…today, one Bin Laden…after a few years, 10 Bin Ladens. After more years, a hundred Bin Ladens could come.”

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