Author Topic: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?  (Read 7381 times)

DharmaSpace

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I just came across this article in my readings ....  in a matter of two weeks and after the Karmapa money scandal how things have changed! It does not seem the Karmapa would be considered as the leader succeeding the Dalai Lama anymore.  Why would the Gelugpa hierarchy follow the leadership of the Karmapa, no disrespect meant to the holy Karmapa, it is unprecendented.

Nothing is mentioned about the Karmapa succeeding the Dalai Lama anymore. 

Will a Dalai Lama succeed the Dalai Lama? – Shoban Saxena
Posted on March 14, 2011 by IS
An official of the Tibetan government in exile explains the community’s nervousness about the Dalai Lama’s succession: “China has plans to select a 15th Dalai Lama. That’s why it’s important for the Dalai Lama to put clear guidelines about his next reincarnation and designate people who will be responsible for finding the next one” – Shoban Saxena

Talking about his rebirth in 1996, the Dalai Lama quoted one of his favourite prayers: “So long as space remains and suffering of sentient beings is there, I will remain in order to serve.” Then he contradicted himself. “Regarding the institution of the Dalai Lama, whether that institution should remain or not is not my business. The people of Tibet, they have the right. If they want to keep it, it will remain. If it’s not relevant for them, it will cease,” said Tenzin Gyatso, better known as the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal head of all Tibetans.

In recent years, the Dalai Lama has often spoken about his next reincarnation. At times, in conflicting terms. In 2008, when asked if he would be the last Dalai Lama, the monk told Germany’s Der Spiegel: “Everything is possible: a conclave, like in the Catholic church, a woman as my successor, no Dalai Lama anymore, or perhaps even two, since the Communist party has, astonishingly enough, given itself the right to be responsible for reincarnations.” Thursday’s announcement by the Dalai Lama seems to have settled the political part of his institution but the future of his spiritual role remains open to speculation.

After Tenzin Gyatso is gone, there are four possibilities:
No Dalai Lama
Two Dalai Lamas: one in Tibet, another somewhere in exile
A woman Dalai Lama appointed by him
A leader of another Tibetan Buddhist lineage inheriting his spiritual role

Beijing is at least partly responsible for this confusion. In 2007, China enacted a law that asserted the Chinese government was the final authority in the process that recognizes a reincarnated lama. In February, Hao Peng, a Chinese Communist Party official told a group of foreign journalists that rebirths of “all Tibetan spiritual leaders, including the Dalai Lama, must be approved by the Chinese central government.”

An official of the Tibetan government in exile explains the community’s nervousness about it all. “China has plans to select a 15th Dalai Lama. That’s why it’s important for the Dalai Lama to put clear guidelines about his next reincarnation and designate people who will be responsible for finding the next one”.

Will there be another Dalai Lama? According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of Avalokitesvara, a Bodhisattva of compassion, who stays on earth to help people. In this tradition, reincarnated lamas control their rebirth. When high lamas such as the Dalai are involved, the identification of the next reincarnation is a complicated procedure. China claims the authority to choose the Dalai Lama because it possesses the Golden Urn, a relic that was used by the Manchu emperors to anoint Tibetan lamas in their efforts to exert control over Tibet. In 1995, China used the urn ceremony to appoint the 11th Panchen Lama, rejecting the boy identified by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama.

History might well repeat itself after the 14th Dalai Lama. According to Dibyesh Anand, the author of Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination, it is probable there will be two people anointed the 15th Dalai Lama. One boy recognized in China, another in exile.

Anand, who teaches at London’s Westminster University, says: “There are already two contending Panchen Lamas (next only to the Dalai Lama in importance), both inside China: one publicly feted, another not seen since his disappearance in 1995. There are two Karmapas, the head of the Kagyu sect, both in exile now. But having two Dalai Lamas, both under intense international public scrutiny, will be uncharted territory. It will be the end of all hopes for reconciliation between China and its Tibetan population”.

But Tibetan officials say this scenario reckons without an important fact: A Dalai Lama appointed by Beijing will have no legitimacy because the principle behind reincarnate lamas is that the rebirth occurs to continue the work of the previous embodiment. The Dalai Lama himself has been considering ways of averting the “two Dalai Lama situation”. He recently said, “If we are still in exile then, my successor will presumably have to be found somewhere in India, certainly outside Tibet”.

Tibetan officials suggest that the Karmapa Lama, also based in Dharamsala, could well succeed the Dalai Lama as the figurehead of Tibetan exiles. “Throughout their lineage the Karmapas have been entirely spiritual. Now, with the Dalai Lama giving up his political powers, it’s quite possible that he may appoint the Karmapa as his spiritual successor, though he belongs to another sect,” says an official. “But it’s not going to happen in the immediate future.” The immediate future — and that way off in the distance — seems full of all sorts of possibilities. – Times of India, Chennai, March 13, 2011



DharmaDefender

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Re: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 02:58:50 PM »
How quickly they forgive and forget...I think someone must've realised the mistake they made.

Anyway, 99% of the Tibetan community who are Gelugpa will probably not follow him. How are they going to get the Tibetans in Tibet to listen anyway?

beggar

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Re: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 07:19:31 PM »
The new potential prime minister, Mr Lobsang Sangay, is a layperson who studied in Harvard and is very exposed to the rest of the world. I don't believe he will be following many of the archaic laws that the TGIE are currently following and using to suppress people. He seems very focused and very well-spoken. And he will want to bring up the profile of his government, not continue outdated practices of witch-hunts and rely on being a religious figure-head.

The Dalai Lama has also indicated a move to distinguish the secular from the spiritual - so this reliance on Dalai Lama begins to shift away. I hope this signals the beginnings of a truly "free" Tibet, which is democratic and people will be able to have freedom to practice as they wish (as it should be )

jessicajameson

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Re: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 07:46:03 PM »
I don't know too much about the Panchen Lama, but I feel that the Panchen Lama's influence and power seems to have depleted since China's interference. Having 2 Panchen Lama's, although I really believe that they're both are genuinely the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, seems to create more schism, segregation and separation.

We are all Buddhists, this shouldn't happen within the same "people"...

I feel that perhaps with China's influence, the same will happen. HHDL influence and power will decline. What do you guys think?

jessicajameson

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Re: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 07:54:17 PM »
With the Karmapa being the successor to lead Tibetans, I agree with DharmaDefender: 99% of the Tibetan community who are Gelugpa will probably not follow him.

Perhaps the Karmapa might succeed, Tibetans will fall apart - and the TGIE crumbles too.

Who will issue out "Down with the Shugdenpas" then? It'll get SO passe.

People should get over it, stop "baa-ing" like sheep and THINK for themselves.

Read the immense resources on this website. I did, and DS practice is sound, authentic and real.

DSFriend

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Re: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 09:04:11 PM »
I don't know too much about the Panchen Lama, but I feel that the Panchen Lama's influence and power seems to have depleted since China's interference. Having 2 Panchen Lama's, although I really believe that they're both are genuinely the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, seems to create more schism, segregation and separation.

We are all Buddhists, this shouldn't happen within the same "people"...

I feel that perhaps with China's influence, the same will happen. HHDL influence and power will decline. What do you guys think?

Tibetans on China claimed land, will naturally be subjected to the ruling of the Chinese government. Well, from what I've read, there seems to be freedom in religious practices.

HHDL is already handing powers over to the new Prime Minister. He will have quite a big shoe to fill though...but I think in time, it'll work out best.

If the Dalai Lama relinquish his political role, does it mean that when and if the next Dalai Lama's incarnation (if he wish to incarnate back as the spiritual head)  returns, he will purely only take on the role of spiritual leader?



Vajraprotector

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Re: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 09:19:02 PM »
While we still await the results of the Kalon Tripa election that happened on 20th Mar, let's see what Dr Lobsang Sangay has to say:

From: http://www.kalontripafortibet.org/interview3.aspx

1. What will be your guiding principles as the next Kalon Tripa and leader of the Kashag?
If given the privilege and honor to serve His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people, I will be guided by the three principles of unity, innovation, and self-reliance. Unity as the foundation, innovation as the process, and self-reliance to sustain the movement and to guide us in restoring freedom in Tibet.

UNITY: I envision a Tibetan society that is free of regionalism, sectarianism, and gender inequality. In a non-violent movement like ours, unity is paramount. Our movement will not succeed if we are not united. While we can all take pride in our diverse backgrounds, we should no longer allow parochial regionalism and sectarianism to divide us. Women represent more than half of our society and we must develop their potential and galvanize their innate leadership qualities. My Kashag will embody this principle in terms of both policies & practices. Every Tibetans - in Tibet, shichaks and around the world - must strengthen our unity by ending differences and discriminations of any kind. United, we can successfully challenge the oppression and injustice of the People's Republic of China.


Big Uncle

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Re: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 07:46:15 AM »
I personally respect the Karmapa Lama very much especially since his previous incarnation had made a very powerful prophecy about Dorje Shugden. However, I do not think that his incarnation would be able to fill in the Dalai Lama's shoes after he has gone. It is not an easy pair of shoes in the first place. He has to balance, spiritual and secular matters along with keeping an eye on China while inspiring the world as a religious leader.

The Karmapa Lama for one, is still quite young and inexperienced as a stateman and the recent scandal had certainly destroyed any hopes of a political career in the near future. On top of that, there is his shadow, the existance other Karmapa, which I personally think is his emanation does not make things any easier. Soon, they would both be compared and rivalries between both factions would not be favorable for any leader. In the secular world, a rival would be dispose off but in that's not an option in the Lama's world.

In other words, there are too much against taking over the Dalai Lama's role.

DharmaDefender

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Re: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2011, 12:17:54 PM »
The new potential prime minister, Mr Lobsang Sangay, is a layperson who studied in Harvard and is very exposed to the rest of the world. I don't believe he will be following many of the archaic laws that the TGIE are currently following and using to suppress people. He seems very focused and very well-spoken. And he will want to bring up the profile of his government, not continue outdated practices of witch-hunts and rely on being a religious figure-head.

The Dalai Lama has also indicated a move to distinguish the secular from the spiritual - so this reliance on Dalai Lama begins to shift away. I hope this signals the beginnings of a truly "free" Tibet, which is democratic and people will be able to have freedom to practice as they wish (as it should be )

If he is as modernised and forward-thinking as you make him out to be, my hope is that he will replace the old fogies in the government with new people full of fresh ideas. My only fear is that if he finds himself elected into the position, he will be surrounded by those who think in the old way, that he has no choice but to go along with it. And in that way, we lose another open-minded Tibetan to the archaic masses.

It's why every new British PM brings in a new cabinet (well, except for our coalition). Out with the old and in with the new...surround yourself with good people, and you can do good things.

Vajraprotector

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Re: Is the Karmapa still viable as the leader for the Tibetans ?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2011, 05:19:14 PM »
Got this from Facebook of Dorjee Shugden (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/dorjee.shugden?sk=wall), not sure if it's true. Anybody heard anything yet re the Kalon Tripa election?

The name of the winner of the recent election, Mr. Lobsang Singey, has leaked through all over Tibetan settlements into the streets, even though the TGIE did not plan to release the results of Kalon Tripa elections until April 27.

The overwhelming majority of the Tibetans voted for him – 29,253 leaving behind Tenzin Tethang with 18,415 votes and Tashi Wangdu – 8,967. Lobsang Singey is an outsider of TGIE, and his victory with such a huge margin demonstrated that the Tibetans are fed up with the existing TGIE and the scandals around it for the last years.