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15th Dalai Lama selection process to begin in next couple of years

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. (Photo courtesy: CNN)
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. (Photo courtesy: CNN)

(TibetanReview.net, Aug13, 2017) – The Dalai Lama has said Aug 9 that ‘preparation work’ to select his successor, the 15th Dalai Lama, will begin in as early as ‘one or two years’, said a report posted Aug 11 on the Tibet.net website of the Central Tibetan Administration at Dharamshala.

Addressing the annual Rajendra Mathur memorial lecture organised by the Editor’s Guild of India, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet has said “Some of the preparation for the future of the Dalai Lama institution will begin in the next one or two years,” indicating that his successor might be found either in Mongolia or in the Northern Himalayas (India).

The Dalai Lama has previously said the process to choose his successor would begin only after he turned 90, in the year 2025 when he would consult Tibetan Buddhist high Lamas on the need or otherwise for continuing the institution of the Dalai Lama.

Scholars have been cited a saying the Dalai Lama’s latest statement meant that he had already decided on the need to continue the institution and that the deadlines for choosing a successor had been advanced.

The report also noted that in a statement he made while speaking at the Indo-Tibet foundation in New Delhi on May 17, the executive heads of the Central Tibetan Administration, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, had said the Dalai Lama would pick his successor in his lifetime. “He (the Dalai Lama) says that he will decide at the age of 90, but I think it should happen sooner and I think it is likely to happen,” he was quoted as saying.

Although historically a Dalai Lama is usually succeeded after his passing away by his reincarnation through an elaborate religious process of recognition, the current Dalai Lama has made it clear that this could change and that his successor could be chosen during his lifetime.

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