Although this is really not relevant at all to the A Level Geography course, I did a little random research on the Dalai Lama a few days ago (I’m really not sure why, I just had a sense of curiosity about him), and found some comments I thought were interesting, at least.
The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is well known as a proponent of a free Tibet, and as one of the few internationally respected heads of state, at least by the people. In the 1980s he proposed taking the middle ground and granting greater autonomy to Tibet, if the government of the PRC did not want a truly free Tibet. After this, he said something along the lines that the next Dalai Lama might not be born to the PRC, as clearly such an “authoritarian” state did not lead a spiritual leader. It was then speculated that a future Dalai Lama might be born to another geographically close country, like Nepal, Bhutan or even somewhere like Bangladesh.
(Since these comments, one spokesperson said something along the lines that if the middle way could not be fulfilled, Tibet must campaign for full independence once more.)
At another point, the Dalai Lama then stated that he might not reincarnate at all, as the world needs spiritual leaders less now.
And after that, he said that even if he did, he might be a woman in a future life.
Regardless of whether anyone reading this believes in reincarnation or not, I think these are still very interesting comments.
The Dalai Lama is normally found by a series of signs, such as which direction smoke is flowing at the time, or from visions. I think it would be interesting to see if these comments are taken as signs to a 15th Dalai Lama’s identity, and if, if they are, this would mean someone from outside Tibet could become the spiritual leader of the region, and even if a female Dalai Lama would take a traditionally male role. And of course, the implications if no Dalai Lama were found, would be culturally enormous.
There’s even a question of, if reincarnation is possible and has occurred 13 times for the Dalai Lama- can the Dalai Lama choose who he reincarnates as in any way, and, can he choose whether he reincarnates at all?
There hasn’t been a female Dalai Lama, and very rarely have there been female leaders in the Himalayan region, so that is especially interesting in a way.
Of course, I’d like it to still be a while before anyone finds out, as the 14th Dalai Lama, at least from what I’ve seen, is an incredibly good leader, and a brilliant person.