My previous post covered my visit to the Lama Temple. I’ve now got a video posted, so you can experience this “museum” more fully yourself.
You can see this in the middle of this video, but here’s a transcript of what I overheard the tour guide say about the Dalai Lama, and my question to him.
Tour Guide (to group of foreign tourists):
“They are all Buddhas, so they will never die. When their body dies, we will be left another young boy who will be the next Dalai lama. After this Dalia Lama dies, we will have another Dalai Lama. The present Dalai Lama, he is living in India Because in 1950 when this Dalai Lama was young, 30, he wanted to separate Tibet out of China and this kind of behavior makes the official government quite angry. Then he escaped out of Tibet.
Now Dalai Lama is getting old. So of course he is thinking about his next life, the next Dalai Lama. He wants to select his next one. Of course he cannot select where he will live. He knows when he passes, maybe without the permission of central government of China, maybe he cannot get re-life… so this is his problem so he is getting much closer relationship now with Central Government”
Me (Lhadon): so is it that the Dalai Lama needs permission from the central government to be reborn?
Tour Guide: Yes, yes.
Me (Lhadon): But isn’t the Communist party atheist. There is no religion right?
Tour Guide: Its not a problem with religion. Dalai Lama still has lots of followers that want separate for Tibet. But Dalai Lama himself and Tibetan people want Dalai Lama to be back because he is from Tibet.