15th Dalai Lama

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The 15th Dalai Lama refers to the possible successor of the 14th Dalai Lama in a lineage of Dalai Lamas.[1] China plans to control the 15th Dalai Lama.[1][2] In a 2004 interview with Time, the current Dalai Lama stated:

The institution of the Dalai Lama, and whether it should continue or not, is up to the Tibetan people. If they feel it is not relevant, then it will cease and there will be no 15th Dalai Lama. But if I die today I think they will want another Dalai Lama. The purpose of reincarnation is to fulfill the previous [incarnation's] life task. My life is outside Tibet, therefore my reincarnation will logically be found outside. But then, the next question: Will the Chinese accept this or not? China will not accept. The Chinese government most probably will appoint another Dalai Lama, like it did with the Panchen Lama. Then there will be two Dalai Lamas: one, the Dalai Lama of the Tibetan heart, and one that is officially appointed.[3]

On 24 September 2011, the Dalai Lama issued the following statement concerning his reincarnation:

When I am about ninety I will consult the high Lamas of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the Tibetan public, and other concerned people who follow Tibetan Buddhism, and re-evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not. On that basis we will take a decision. If it is decided that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should continue and there is a need for the Fifteenth Dalai Lama to be recognized, responsibility for doing so will primarily rest on the concerned officers of the Dalai Lama’s Gaden Phodrang Trust. They should consult the various heads of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and the reliable oath-bound Dharma Protectors who are linked inseparably to the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. They should seek advice and direction from these concerned beings and carry out the procedures of search and recognition in accordance with past tradition. I shall leave clear written instructions about this. Bear in mind that, apart from the reincarnation recognized through such legitimate methods, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s Republic of China.[4]

The Dalai Lama stated in 2007 that the next Dalai Lama could possibly be a woman, remarking, "If a woman reveals herself as more useful the lama could very well be reincarnated in this form".[5] In 2010 he stated that "twenty or thirty years ago", when discussing whether a woman could be a Dalai Lama in the future, he said yes but "I also said half-jokingly that if the Dalai Lama's reincarnation is female, she must be very attractive. The reason is so that she will have more influence on others.[6]

In 2015, the Tibet regional governor Mr. Padma Choling (白玛赤林) stated:

Whether [the Dalai Lama] wants to cease reincarnation or not ... this decision is not up to him. When he became the 14th Dalai Lama, it was not his decision. He was chosen following a strict system dictated by religious rules and historical tradition and also with the approval of the central government. Can he decide when to stop reincarnating? That is impossible.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pistono, Matteo (March 9, 2011). "China and the (Next) Dalai Lama". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 15, 2011. 
  2. ^ O'Brien, Barbara (March 11, 2011). "The Dalai Lama steps back, but not down". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved March 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ Perry, Alex (October 18, 2004). "A Conversation with the Dalai Lama". Time. Retrieved March 15, 2011. 
  4. ^ Statement of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, on the Issue of His Reincarnation Website of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet September 24, 2011. Accessed December 26, 2014. Archived December 30, 2014.
  5. ^ Spencer, Richard (December 7, 2001). "Dalai Lama says successor could be a woman". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved November 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ Aktuell, Buddhismus; Doepke, Michaela (January 2011). "Interview with the Dalai Lama about the Full Ordination of Women". Info-Buddhism.com. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  7. ^ McDonell, Stephen (March 10, 2015). "China accuses Dalai Lama of profaning Buddhism by signalling end to reincarnation". abc.net.au. Retrieved July 26, 2017.