Dalai Lama anoints Mongolian boy as reincarnation of a Buddhist spiritual leader

Dalai Lama anoints Mongolian boy as reincarnation of a Buddhist spiritual leader

The Dalai Lama has anointed an 8-year-old US-born Mongolian boy as the reincarnation of the third most important spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism.

The boy, who reportedly is the son of a university professor and the grandson of a former Mongolian member of parliament, has been recognised by the 14th Dalai Lama as the 10th Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche.

His anointment ceremony took place in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh on March 8. “We have the reincarnation of Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche of Mongolia with us today,” the Dalai Lama told his followers, according to media reports. Nearly 600 Mongolians had turned up to witness the ceremony.

Mongolian media said that the child is one of a pair of twin boys named Aguidai and Achiltai Altannar.

Also read: Dalai Lama has no plans of visiting Sri Lanka for now: Tibetan official

Risking China’s anger

According to foreign newspapers, this move to identify the boy as the reincarnation of one of Buddhism’s spiritual leaders, is likely to anger China. For China has made it abundantly clear that their special government approved appointees are the ones who will choose Buddhist spiritual leaders.

For instance, in 1995, when the Dalai Lama named a new Panchen Lama, who is the second most important figure in Buddhism, the child and his family were immediately arrested by Chinese authorities and they were never seen or heard of again. The Chinese authorities then placed their own candidate as the Panchen Lama.

So, there is apprehension and fear among Mongolians as they fear retaliation from the Chinese over the naming of the 10th Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpochee.

Also read: Kiren Rijiju lays foundation of Dalai Lama Centre for Tibetan and Indian Ancient Wisdom

Dalai Lama’s successor

Meanwhile, the 87-year-old Dalai Lama too is expected to announce his successor when he turns 90. Many believe his death could spark a religious crisis in Asia. The Dalai Lama himself has indicated that his successor could hail from another country and the person could come from India, Nepal, Bhutan or Mongolia, where Tibetan Buddhism is practised.

The Dalai Lama was recognised as a reincarnation of the faith’s previous leader in 1937 when he was just two years old. However, after his native Tibet was occupied by Mao Zedong’s communist forces in 1950, he was forced to flee the capital Lhasa in 1959 after a failed uprising. Since 1974, the Dalai Lama has said he is fighting not for independence from China for Tibet, but a meaningful autonomy that would allow Tibet to preserve its culture and heritage.

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