Author Topic: Dalai Lama: My successor may be a woman  (Read 2988 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
    • Add me to your facebook!
Dalai Lama: My successor may be a woman
« on: June 15, 2013, 11:47:57 AM »
This is not a new piece of news as the Dalai Lama has alluded to this previously, in a November 2008 Newsweek article As he has repeated this a few times, it may indicate this as a high possibility. It is interesting that this could happen, bearing in mind that it is only recently that nuns could become Geshes ( ). I hope that if the Dalai Lama does incarnate back as a woman, it will change the perceived gender inequality that has been present in Buddhism and bring Buddhism truly into the 21st century.

Dalai Lama: My successor may be a woman

“If the circumstances are such that a female Dalai Lama is more useful, then a female Dalai Lama will come"

The Dalai Lama (Credit: Religion/Jessica Rinaldi)
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama says the world is in the midst of a “moral crisis” of inequality and requires compassionate leaders — particularly, female leaders.

“In that respect, biologically, females have more potential. Females have more sensitivity about others’ wellbeing. In my own case, my father [was] very short tempered. But my mother was so wonderfully compassionate,” he told the Australian Associated Press.

Sure, assigning a wholesale biological predisposition to women — or men, for that matter — is problematic. Essentialist thinking is all too often used to justify keeping women outside the halls of power or to explain away the violence committed by some men as being rooted in “nature,” and the research on whether women are more empathetic than men is complicated and often contradictory.

But his comments still bring much needed attention to gender parity in governance and compassionate leadership more broadly, which are both really good things.

He went on to say, in fact, that his own successor may be a woman, telling reporters: “If the circumstances are such that a female Dalai Lama is more useful, then automatically a female Dalai Lama will come.”
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
Re: Dalai Lama: My successor may be a woman
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2013, 09:56:01 PM »
Very interesting article. It seems like the “woman’s power” is recognized by HHDL too. ?
Googled on female tulkus and found that there are woman tulku in the history of Tibet too. 

Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo is an enthroned tulku within the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma tradition recognized by Penor Rinpoche. In the late 1980s, she gained international attention as the first Western woman to be named a reincarnate lama. (source:

Khandro Tsering Chödrön was considered to be an emanation of Shelkar Dorje Tso ( / )

There is an article on the point of view from the Tibetan service presenter Lobsang Rabgyal on the possibility of a female incarnation of the Dalai Lama, or other reincarnating lama lineages, known collectively as tulku. It is good to read on  :

I agreed with WisdomBeing that if Dalai Lama is reincarnated as a woman, it will change the perceived gender inequality that has been present in Buddhism and bring Buddhism to another higher level!  This will also prove that tulku are able to be incarnated into any form that they desire which  they think will benefit more people!  8)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 659
Re: Dalai Lama: My successor may be a woman
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2013, 08:45:59 PM »
The male has been main decision maker for a long time. The female also assumes that they the male are the ones who do the decision making otherwise they are considered non-decisive, a quality associated to being male. This is not really true as we all know in many cases the female is a decision maker confined in a family environment but not outside of the family where the male is the dominant decision maker. Therefore both sexes cannot avoid being decision maker and taking responsibility for it. The difference is where the decision was made because of the assumed role and responsibility. Therefore it is all about making decision and taking responsibility for it. We can see that the male is not doing it that well as we can see that governments and corporations are very good at making decision and not taking responsibility for it, putting the blames on others when it comes to performance and evaluation time.

Jessie Fong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
Re: Dalai Lama: My successor may be a woman
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 12:06:14 AM »
It does not matter which gender is more appropriate to be the leader of a great mass of people. It is not a battle of the sexes.
What matters is who will be the best to lead. If the situation warrants that thd reincarnation should be in a female form, then it will be so.
Don't look upon that person as being a male or female; rather look upon the qualities that person possesses.
Women make great leaders, too. Many countries have women leaders.
So the next Dalai Lama being a woman may be just what the world needs.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: Dalai Lama: My successor may be a woman
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2013, 09:44:06 AM »
I do welcome a female Dalai Lama. Although Avalokiteshvara is male, he appeared in female form as Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, who appeals to millions of followers in Asia. I think most Buddhists will be able to accept this if it really happens. The transformation of the male bodhisattva to a female form is given below:

Avalokiteshvara, the male bodhisattva who represents compassion, was first brought to China by traveling monks as early as the 1st century C.E., some 500 years after the Buddha’s death. The first indigenous Chinese form of Kuan Yin to appear was Water Moon Kuan Yin. Though some earlier forms of the bodhisattva had moustaches, Water Moon Kuan Yin had a smooth face and androgynous features. These subtle changes helped the bodhisattva transform from male to female form. Indeed from the 10th century onwards, Kuan Yin was increasingly depicted in China as a woman. The first feminine form to appear was White Robed Kuan Yin. Though similar to the male Water Moon Kuan Yin, this figure is clearly female. This iconographic change was supported by various legends and miracle tales of the time that mention a “woman in white”, who miraculously appeared to those in need of help. White Robed Kuan Yin wears her robe over her head in the hooded style of the Chinese women of that period, which reinforced her connection to the people and made her broadly accessible.

The sutras do not recount Kuan Yin’s transformation to female form. Though the texts do mention Avalokiteshvara/Kuan Yin as manifesting in various forms, male and female to help sentient beings, the classical texts universally depict Kuan Yin as male. Because the feminine forms of Kuan Yin do not follow the scriptures, it seems clear that they developed alongside the traditional sutras, supported by later Chinese texts, legends, and miracle tales. Sometimes Kuan Yin devotees had spontaneous visions of the bodhisattva.

Avalokiteshvara became domesticated in China and became Kuan Yin. He was first mentioned in Buddhist scriptures eg. Lotus sutra which was translated into Chinese in 255,286, 290, 335, 406 and 601. The 3rd, fifth and sixth versions still exist. His gender was male or androgynous. Early images depicted a male or androgynous figure.