A Simple Buddhist Monk

To Tibetans the Dalai Lama is infallible, a sacred emanation of compassion, enlightened and beyond any criticism, centuries of cultural and political tradition have placed the institution of the Dalai Lama at the centre of each Tibetan heart. Tibet’s leader is invested with and possesses qualities beyond human knowledge and experience, for example many Tibetans when wrestling with the troubling prospect of accepting autonomy under communist Chinese rule derive some comfort from believing that Kundun knows best and that he may have some deeper understanding that envisions this an an option which will eventually result in Tibet’s freedom. From a western perspective, infused with a more seasoned and cynical political realism,  such hopes seem dangerously innocent, yet the almost visceral loyalty and respect Tibetans feel towards their political and spiritual leader remains unmoved by such thinking.

However, a number of western supporters too appear to have endowed the Dalai Lama with all the qualities of sacred kingship and seem to have replaced intellectual reasoning and critique with a blind devotion that accepts any comments made by the Tibetan leader as inviolable and flawless. What were such people thinking when the Dalai Lama states, as he does so often, that he is “just a simple monk”, do they intepret this genuine statement to be a display of self-effacement from a magical super-being possessed of a range of extraordinary powers, including the gift of prophecy?

Well, in the interest of introducing some objectivity let us present some remarks made by the Dalai Lama in which he publicly foretold the future status of  Tibet, these are offered not in any demeaning or critical sense, but simply as a caution to those westerners, who if the Tibetan leader said ‘place your head in a bucket-of-boiling water to gain enlightenment’, may just for a second consider doing so!

“In the five to ten years to come, the present Chinese regime will fall down, while the country will follow the path of the former Soviet Union. Tibet will gain independence“. (Source: Federal News Service April 30 1992)

“..within five to 10 years Tibet will be free. I think I can return to serve the Tibetan people” (Agence France Presse May 11 1992)

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