Talk:Dalai Lama

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what precisely is a Dalai Lama?[edit]

To say "The Dalai Lama is a lama of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" school of Tibetan Buddhism" is like saying "a bishop is a priest in Catholicism." It is true, but it doesn't really help that much. Especially since the next line ("the 14th and current Dalai Lama") seems to mean that 'Dalai Lama' indicates a particular lama of the Gelug school. Can the word "chief" (or "abbott", or whatever is correct) be added before the word "lama" in the first sentence? "The Dalai lama is the head lama of the Gelug school..."? --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 19:37, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

I made some clarifications.VictoriaGraysonTalk 22:47, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I also made some clarifications in the first paragraph, concerning his status within the Gelugpas, and corrected the date of his recognition as the Dalai Lama (it was given as 1950, which was the year when he assumed political responsibility).Sean M Jones (talk) 13:47, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I have carefully researched more details about the institution of the Dalai Lamas and added them with ref to other Wikipedia articles about the 1st, 3rd and 5th Dalai Lamas, Je Tsongkhapa, Gelug, Ganden monastery etc., and I have checked with the main Gelug institutions themselves about whether the Dalai Lama is the school's "head monk" as was previously stated. As per the citations given the evidence gathered clearly shows that the only "head monk" acknowledged by the Gelug school itself is the Ganden Tripa, which the Dalai Lama is not nor ever has been, although it is said that he has a more general responsibility as the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. The date of the 14th's recognition (as per the infobox shown further down), the emergence of the Dalai Lama political institution under the 5th Dalai Lama, its rule over Tibet until the Chinese invasion of the 1950s and other details up to the 14th's resignation from politics in 2011, which I had added, are all documented on other Wikipedia articles referred to, and confirmed by external citations from the Dalai Lama's own website and other reliable sources.
Yet VictoriaGrayson has simply deleted all my edits with the comment "confusing, and wrong", and stated simply in its place "For certain periods between the 17th century and 1962, the Gelug school managed the Tibetan government, which administered portions of Tibet from Lhasa." - which, compared to what is written below in this article's "History" section (and in the main article "History of Tibet") is vague, incorrect and inconsistent, not to mention contentious and unreferenced, as compared to evidence given in other Wikipedia articles such as I have drawn from, and referred to.
As what VictoriaGrayson has done in this instance is not compatible with the rest of Wikipedia on the same subject, and not consistent with other reliable and verifiable external sources cited by me and by the respected authors of the other relevant Wikipedia articles, I have undone his (or her) new version and reinstated most of my deleted copy. This has been done byme after careful re-editing, checking of details and adding additional references in support. As a newcomer I hope this reversion will not be found inappropriate editing and I also hope it will not lead to unnecessary argument.
With respect, and apologies for feeling obliged to undo the wholesale deletions of my painstakingly compiled text on the grounds stated above. Naturally I am open to be shown to be wrong, if some proof or convincing evidence with citations (to justify the deletions, showing how my text was 'confusing and wrong' and to substantiate the vague line that was substituted for it) can be offered by the editor in question.Sean M Jones (talk) 14:52, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • The 1st Dalai Lama was not known as the Dalai Lama during his lifetime. Only with the 3rd Dalai Lama does the title arise. For example see the book Tibet: A History, 2011, page 115:

"Thus Sonam Gyatso became the first Tibetan to receive the title Dalai. Since he was the third in a line of rebirths the title was posthumously awarded to his predecessors, which made him the third Dalai Lama."

Yes this is very common knowledge and I totally agree. Sean M Jones (talk) 15:14, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • It is debatable that the Ganden Tripa is the head of the Gelug school.
It may be considered debatable by some, but not by any Tibetans, and certainly not by the Tibetan Gelugpas themselves. Ask any Gelugpa and they will say their head monk is the Ganden Tripa. What more proof is needed? Some westerners see things differently, true, and would argue the fact, as I wrote it is a common misconception in the west, but who would say that various western commentators and observers know better the answer to this particular question than the Tibetans and the Gelugpas themselves? It is their system. Sean M Jones (talk) 15:14, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • The 2011 retirement of the Dalai Lama from the CTA has nothing to do with anything.VictoriaGraysonTalk 22:24, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying your respected opinion that the Dalai Lama's official retirement from all politic activity in 2011 was apparently a totally irrelevant act. However, for the great majority of the Tibetan people who accepted the institution of the Dalai Lama as the spiritual and temporal leader of the country for the last 300+ years, it appears to have been quite significant and much commented on in Tibetan circles as well as in the western news, such as CNN and other major media outlets.[1] The 14th had continued this role of political and spiritual leader before and after his exile and when he announced his retirement from politics it was the first time, interregnums apart, that the institution of the Dalai Lama had not been actively involved in Tibetan politics since the 17th century! Nevertheless, he continues in the role of spiritual leader. Therefore, in the context of this article, which attempts to describe this unique institution of the Dalai Lama (rather than the individual Dalai Lamas themselves who all have their own personal articles elsewhere), his retirement from politics is considered by most Tibetans as a very significant step on behalf of his institution. The whole institution has now changed from being a political and religious one to being only a religious one.

When did the political institution of the Dalai Lamas cease?[edit]

The political institution of the Dalai Lama ended in the 1950's. Not 2011. The CTA is not a government.VictoriaGraysonTalk 16:35, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks very much, this is interesting. Could you possibly be more precise, please, I mean, at which point in the 1950s do you say that it ended: with the Chinese invasion in 1950, on the Dalai Lama's exile in 1959, or at some other time in between? Thanks again, I am interested to know the logic for your pov. Sean M Jones (talk) 09:13, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
The idea that you need to be in a government to be a political institution is wrong. Otherwise a lot of opposition parties would not exist! Wikipedia defines "politics" thus "(from Greek: πολιτικός politikos, definition 'of, for, or relating to citizens') is the practice and theory of influencing other people," and an institution as "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior" which, "as structures or mechanisms of social order, govern the behaviour of a set of individuals within a given community." So there is nothing in that to deny that the Dalai Lama continued to represent a political institution until the current one resigned in 2011 as stated. MacPraughan (talk) 13:05, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Armstrong (March 10, 2011). "Q&A: What the Dalai Lama's 'retirement' means". CNN.